A 'Holey Dollar' coin created in early colonial New South Wales is going on auction this month and could harvest more than $225,000 for the seller.
The early years of British settlement saw acute shortages of currency. NSW governor Lachlan Macquarie attempted to resolve the situation in 1813 by importing 40,000 Spanish dollars then punching a hole through each – creating double the number of coins.
The outer donut-looking coins were worth 5 shillings (50 cents) and became known as Holey Dollars, which is now also the logo of Macquarie Bank.
The inner small coins were valued at 15 pence (12.5 cents) and were known as dumps.
Now an original 1813 Holey Dollar will go on sale November 19 in Sydney, with the auctioneer Noble Numismatics expecting the winning bid to be well over $200,000.
The Holey Dollars are now extremely rare because most of them were later recalled and melted down into bullion.
The auction at the State Library of NSW will also see five dumps go under the hammer, with forecast prices of up to $50,000 each.
Even older and rarer, the auction will also sell an Indian gold coin from circa 100AD.
Only six are known to exist in the world and they show one of the earliest known images of Buddha on currency, according to Noble Numismatics – although no value estimate was given.
Various other coins, notes and bravery medals will be on sale at the same auction.
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