Summary

Australia New South Wales Sydney
Holey Dollar, 1813
Five Shillings
Struck from an 8 Real piece from the mint at Mexico in1793 with counterstamp dies B/I

In 1813 Governor Lachlan Macquarie overcame an acute shortage of currency by arranging for the purchase of Spanish silver dollars, having the centres punched out and therein creating two new coins - the 'Holey Dollar' (valued at five shillings) and the 'Dump' (valued at one shilling and three pence). This doubled the number of coins in circulation and increased their total worth by 25 per cent. The work was carried out by William Hanshall, a convict transported for forgery.

Physical Description

A ring shaped silver coin (40 mm diameter) manufactured by cutting a circular 'dump' from the centre of a Mexico mint 8 real piece of 1793 and counterstamping the words NEW SOUTH WALES 1813 around the central hole on one side (the obverse) and the words FIVE SHILLINGS on the other (the reverse) together with a spray of leaves with the engraver's initial H at the centre.

Obverse Description

Overstruck around a circular hole cut from a Mexico Mint 8 Real coin, NEW SOUTH WALES 1813, around the rim of the original coin M (with a small o above) 8 R. F.M. HISPAN. ET IND. REX. This was the reverse of the host coin and featured a crowned shield of Spain supported by the pillars (mostly removed with the central dump).

Reverse Description

Overstruck around a circular hole cut from a Mexico Mint 8 Real coin, FIVE SHILLINGS, around the rim of the original coin CAROLUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1793. This was the obverse of the host coin and featured a laureate bust of Charles IIII (mostly removed with the central dump) facing right. At the bottom of the overstrike is a spray of olive leaves with the artist's initial H at its centre.

Edge Description

Circle & rectangle pattern.

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