The Holey Dollar
The Holey Dollar
The Holey Dollar Served early Australia
The Holey Dollar is really two coins, a dollar and a smaller coin that is called the dump. These are issued by the Australian government, and obviously intended for collectors. Technically, the dollar and the dump could be used as legal tender separately, and each bears a denomination. The outer coin is a dollar, as the name suggests, and the smaller coin designed to fit into the hole in the dollar is a twenty-five cent coin. When the smaller coin is inserted into the dollar, the combined monetary value is one dollar and twenty-five cents. This commemorates the initial Australian money.
History of the Holey Dollar
Early Australian Coinage
n 1812, Governor Lachlan Macquarie began an action that would precede the holey dollar. At that time Colonial Australia had no mint, and like many new and forming governments relied on foreign coinage. In those days coins were valued for their metal content, so it mattered little which country minted the coin. Among the coins that were being used was the Spanish silver dollar. Spain and its colonies were minting these silver dollars, using a variety of designs and mintmarks.
Governor Macquarie took possession of many Spanish silver dollars, and had a hole literally punched in them. The value of such a coin with a hole was set at Five Shillings. The piece of metal used to fill the hole, the dump, was set in value of Fifteen Pence. Now, Australia had a two denominations of coins that could be used.
The smaller coins that were circulating came from the royal Mint, since Australia was part of the United Kingdom. eventually, the royal Mint set up branch mints in Australia, But, before it did there was a need for larger, silver coins, and this was a creative method of meeting the demand.
The Modern Holey Dollar
Commemorative Coins of Australia
In 2001, the Perth Mint of Australia issued a Holey Dollar in fine silver, with a seven-sided star as the dump. The outer portion of the coin has the value of $1.00, while the dump has the value of $0.25. The obverse of the dollar features the official badges of the six Australian states, and that of Northern Territory. The dump has Parliament House across it. There are six one-dollar fine silver state coins that were also issued, but these have no dump.
The coins in this short Perth Mint series were issued in mint folders, mounted on cards. The problem is the environmental protection was inadequate, and the coins were subject to toning.
Some of the coins were special issues. The 1988 coins include a Sydney Fair issue and a Singapore fair issue. The 1989 coins include a Sydney Fair issue. While the special issues were minted with much lower quantities than those released through the mint, the current value is only slightly affected by this. Mintage decreased annually, and the 1990 issue had a mintage of only 30,000.
In 2006, the Perth Mint produced a $1 Holey Dollar with a $0.25 dump honoring the FIFA World Cup Germany.
In 2003 the Royal Australian Mint produced a Holey Dollar with dump as a Subscription Silver Proof Issue as part of a series depicting coinage used in Australia over the years.
The Holey Dollar is another way numismatists can find a historical significance to their collection, tribute coins to the coinage of the past.
read more about Australian coins at Barnes and Nobles.
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