Mar 112013

A Western Australian coin collector has paid a world record price of $495,000 for a specially-rare Holey Dollar.

Belinda Downie, Managing Director of Coinworks, said, “This Holey Dollar was created from a Spanish silver dollar that had been minted at the Lima Mint in Peru in 1808.

“Only 20 of the 200 specimens held by private collectors have ties to the Lima Mint. And this is the absolute finest of them all.”


Picture courtesy Coinworks.

The Spanish silver dollar was the world’s greatest trading coin in the late 18th and 19th centuries and was struck at the Spanish mints in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Spain, Guatemala, Santiago in Chile and Santa Fe de Bogota in Colombia.

Governor Macquarie famously purchased 40,000 silver dollars to help ease the currency crisis in the colony of New South Wales. It is 200 years since they were converted into Holey Dollars and Dumps – becoming Australia’s first domestic currency.

The original shipment covered a range of dates depicting the Spanish monarchs of Ferdinand VI, Charles III, Charles IIII and Ferdinand VII.

Between 1826 and 1829, the Holey Dollar and Dump were officially withdrawn from circulation. The recalled specie were shipped to London to be melted down and sold off as bullion silver. Of those that survived the smelter, there are now around 200 Holey Dollars and perhaps 800 Dumps in private hands.



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