Hutt River Province Coins

Hutt River Province Coins

Hutt River Province Coins May, Or May Not Be Coins

Hutt River Province coins are minted in numerous styles, and designed to be sold.  They cover people and events that might be of interest.  But, are Hutt river coins really coins?  This begs the question, does Hutt River Province have a legal right to issue money?  First, t would need to qualify as a country.  This is a fact that remains clouded.  But it issues coins and paper money.  So, is it an independent nation, or not?


If it has legitimate currency, it trades on a one to one basis with the Australian dollar, but since that trade is within its borders it is still a legal mess.


Hutt River Province Origins

Why Did It Form?

The events were set in motion by a law passed in Australia limiting a crop.  The law was just before Leonard Casley was to harvest his crop, and the quta applied to his crop already growing.  He tried to have the matter resolved, but to no avail.  So, he made the decision to break with Australia.


The events in the early 1970s pitted Leonard George Casley against Australia and led to the formation of Hutt River Province, or the Principality of Hutt River Province. Leonard Casley declared the area independent of Australia, the country to which it belonged. Through maneuvering, a country was formed if you believe Leonard Casley. Due to some complicated laws Australia has yet to act against Hutt River Province.


The laws that allowed such a new nation to form are now corrected, and it would be more difficult for other claims at independence. Part of Leonard Casley’s claim centered on an old law that it is treason to act against a person with a royal title who sets up a government, a leftover from the days such laws of the United Kingdom were the laws of Australia. Leonard Casley assumed the title Prince Leonard I. This action caused a dilemma for Australia.  Unfortunately for the Australian authorities, a Prime Minister referred to Leonard Casley as prince, thereby providing a level of acceptance of the title.  To strengthen his claim, he declared war on Australia, then a cessation of hostilities, and used the Geneva Convention and international law.


The history is more involved, and Australia has in the past acted against Hutt River Province by refusing mail, and sending tax bills.

Hutt River Coins and Currency

Hutt River Coins Were Income to the Province

Hutt River is a popular tourist location, and soon the small entity began issuing its own money with the effigy of Prince Leonard I on that money. The money of Hutt River Province traded  on a one for one basis with Australian money. Visitors would trade Australian money, and not always trade back when they left, leaving behind Australian currency that is internationally recognized as legitimate money.  The Hutt River Province money functioned as souvenirs.


Hutt River coins were minted in great quantity, and many of those coins were commemorative issues. Since Hutt River Province had no problem using movie stars and heads of state as well as significant events among the subjects of their coins, many became collectible. People and events were commemorated with a great variety of coins. And, there was a demand for these coins. In particular, there was a release of a huge number of coins related to Dessert Storm.


Hutt River Province in minting Hutt River Province coins sense was ahead of its time. Today, many island nations have commemorative coins minted, and sell them for a profit. Modern commemorative coins are minted in precious metals, a practice Hutt River Province also has. But, unlike small island nations, base metal coins are minted as Hutt River Province coins and sold to collectors. These are more affordable than precious metal coins.


Are Hutt river Province Coins Really Coins?

Are Hutt River Province Coins Universally Accepted?

The answer to these questions depends on who you ask. Technically, a coin is legal tender and is issued by a government that has the right to issue legal tender. Most of the world has not accepted Prince Leonard’s claim to have established a legitimate government. But, in Hutt River Province the coins are indeed considered legal tender, and regular circulating coins are also issued for daily use.


A collector can obtain these coins easily on Ebay, and as long as they are not called coins they should be fine for collecting. They are even being sold to collectors. They do have a denomination stamped on each coin. It could be somewhat problematic if they are referred to as coins when they are sold. They are not spent except in Hutt River Province. However, unlike other currencies there are no international money exchanges that would take them in the United States. But then these commemorative coins are not bought with the intent of later converting the currency, or spending them.


At this time the United States government does not recognize the Principality of Hutt River Province. As long as this remains the case, Hutt River Province coins will remain unaccepted.


Please visit Black Spaniel Gallery Coins to see out inventory.  Also, we have other informative articles, and will continue to add articles at Black Spaniel Gallery Blog.

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