A two-coin silver proof set commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Australian Holey Dollar and Dump debuted today from the Perth Mint of Australia.
The old Holey Dollar and Dump coins, struck in New South Wales, first appeared in circulation in 1813. The new 2013-dated silver coins bear the same reverse designs in proof quality and are composed from 99.9% pure silver.
By the early 1800’s, New South Wales was transitioning from a penal outpost to an important English settlement. Unfortunately, coinage was in short supply, leading many to revert to a system of barter or promissory notes that were often forged.
Governor Macquarie sought to ease the problem by issuing the colony’s own currency. To infuse a quick supply of coins, the British government purchased 40,000 Spanish dollars from the East India Company.
The centers of these dollars were then punched out to create two coins. The outer ring was known as the Holey Dollar while the center was the Dump. Both were counter-stamped with the colony’s name and the coin’s face value — five shillings for the Holey Dollar and fifteen pence for the Dump. The strikes remained in official circulation until 1829.
"This unique innovation was the origin of Australia’s economic system, and is a foundational milestone in our country’s numismatic history," said Ron Currie, Perth Mint Sales and Marketing Director.
"Today, experts estimate that only 300 Holey Dollars and just over 1,000 Dumps are still in existence, so our anniversary set is sure to create great interest among collectors worldwide."
Marking the importance the coins hold in Australia’s coinage history, the Perth Mint issued what it is officially calling the 200th Anniversary of the Australian Holey Dollar and Dump 2013 Silver Proof Coin Set. Up to 4,000 of these will be sold.
Inscribed around the outer edge of the new Holey Dollar is "DEI GRATIA," "1778" and "CAROLUS III." Along the inner edge are inscriptions of "NEW SOUTH WALES" and "1813."
The Dump also features the reverse inscriptions of "NEW SOUTH WALES" and "1813." These inscriptions surround the image of a crown.
Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is on the obverse of both silver coins. Surrounding the Queen are inscriptions "ELIZABETH II," "AUSTRALIA" and "2013." The legal tender face value of each strike is also indicated with "1 DOLLAR" on the larger coin and "25 CENTS" on the smaller one.
Each Holey Dollar has a diameter of 40.60 mm, a gross weight of 25.188 grams and a thickness of 4.00 mm. The Dump coin features a diameter of 17.60 mm with a gross weight of 5.947 grams and a thickness of 4.00 mm.
These two coins are presented in one display case. Included is a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
Orders for the 2013 Holey Dollar & Dump Two-Coin Silver Proof Set can be placed through the Perth Mint website for AUS $108.18 (~$113 US). Prices are subject to change daily based on market conditions.
See additional Perth Mint products from this site’s guide of Australian coins.
About the Perth Mint
The Royal Mint of England originally opened the Perth Mint of Australia (http://www.perthmint.com.au/) in 1899 as a branch of the London facility. It continued in operation as a branch of the Royal Mint until ownership transferred to the State Government of Western Australia in 1970.
Today, the Perth Mint is the official issuer of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. In addition, it produces some of the world’s most unique collectible coins.