When the colony of New South Wales was founded in Australia in 1788, it ran into the problem of a lack of coinage. Foreign coins – including British, Dutch, Indian and Portuguese - were common in the early years, but much of this coin left the colony by way of trade with visiting merchant ships.
To overcome this shortage of coins, Governor Lachlan Macquarie took the initiative of using £10,000 in Spanish dollars sent by the British government to produce suitable coins in a similar manner to that described above. These coins to the value of 40,000 Spanish dollars came on 26 November 1812 on HMS Samarang from Madras, via the East India Company.
Governor Macquarie had a convicted forger named William Henshall cut the centres out of the coins and counter stamp them. The central plug (known as a dump) was valued at 15 pence (i.e., 1 shilling, 3 pence, or 1s 3d), and was restruck with a new design (a crown on the obverse, the denomination on the reverse), whilst the holey dollar received an overstamp around the hole ("New South Wales 1813" on the obverse, "Five Shillings" on the reverse). This distinguished the coins as belonging to the colony of New South Wales, creating the first official currency produced specifically for circulation in NSW. The combined nominal value in NSW of the holey dollar and the dump was 6s 3d, or 25 percent more than the value of a Spanish dollar; this made it unprofitable to export the coins from the colony.
The project to convert the 40,000 Spanish coins took over a year to complete. Of the 40,000 Spanish dollars imported, 39,910 holey dollars and 39,910 dumps were made, with the balance assumed to have been spoiled during the conversion process. The converted coins went into circulation in 1814.
From 1822 the government began to recall the coins and replace them with sterling coinage. By the time the holey dollar was finally demonetised in 1829, most of the 40,000 coins in circulation had been exchanged for legal tender and melted down into bullion. Experts estimate that only 350 Holey dollars and 1500 dumps remain. The rarity of the Australian holey dollar ensures that even those in relatively poor condition are valuable. There are many stories of holey dollars being found in unusual circumstances.
Read more about this topic: Holey Dollar
Other articles related to "australia":
... While they were still one landmass, Zealandia and Australia combined broke away from Antarctica between 85 and 130 million years ago ... Australia and Zealandia split apart 60–85 million years ago ... While a continent like Australia consists of a large body of land surrounded by a fringe of continental shelf, Zealandia consists almost entirely of ...
... Australia has an embassy in Ankara since 1968, a consulate-general in Istanbul and a consulate in Çanakkale ... The first encounter of Turkey and Australia was on the battlefields of Çanakkale, the scene was that of a fierce one, but at the same time, a gentlemanly war ...
... The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and head of government, holding office on commission from the Governor-G ... The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful political office in Australia ... government in the country, the office is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia specifically and exists through an unwritten political convention ...
... She is a regular commentator on the Australia business news website Business Spectator ... Currently Stott Despoja is a board member of non-profit organisations Burnet Institute (Australia's largest virology and communicable disease research institute) and ... Stott Despoja was named a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as a Senator for South Australia, through leadership roles with the ...
... In Australia, the current member of the House of Representatives with the longest period of continuous service, whether a Minister or not, is known as "Father of the ... the Father of the House and the Father of the Senate in Australia have no parliamentary role at all ...
Famous quotes containing the word australia:
“It is very considerably smaller than Australia and British Somaliland put together. As things stand at present there is nothing much the Texans can do about this, and ... they are inclined to shy away from the subject in ordinary conversation, muttering defensively about the size of oranges.”
—Alex Atkinson, British humor writer. repr. In Present Laughter, ed. Alan Coren (1982)
“I like Australia less and less. The hateful newness, the democratic conceit, every man a little pope of perfection.”
—D.H. (David Herbert)