1813 Dump, a textbook example of the nation's very first coin

1813 Dump, a textbook example of the nation's very first coin
1813 Dump, a textbook example of the nation's very first coin
Sold 21/4/2023
Very Fine / Good Very Fine
The Dan Collection Queensland
When you look at the photo of this Dump, it almost leaps off the page. And that’s a sign of a high-quality Dump. Then, when you look at the coin in your hand, the fields are smooth and reflective and the design details crisp and clearly visible to the naked eye. And that’s also a sign of a high-quality coin. This is a superior quality example of the nation’s first coin, ranked in the top FIFTEEN per cent. Over and above its quality ranking this coin has attributes that are highly prized and the reason why we refer to it as a 'textbook' Dump. (Traits that you simply don't see in every Dump.) For a start there is the 'H’ for Henshall on the reverse, the mark left by the nation’s first mint master guaranteeing his fame. There also is strong evidence of the original Spanish Dollar design from which it was created. Intact edge milling, the minting authority's ploy to prevent clipping of slivers of silver from the edges. And edge denticles that act as a picture-frame to the design. There is additional information below that expands on our introductory comments.
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This is a text-book example of the 1813 Dump.

1. High quality, in the top fifteen per cent

The 1813 Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence of its extensive use. The average quality Dump is graded at Fine to Good Fine, with this coin three to four grades higher at Very Fine / Good Very Fine.

We rate it in the top fifteen per cent of surviving examples. The coin has obviously been cherished for it has been brilliantly preserved with beautiful charcoal toning and highly reflective fields.

2. A coin to enjoy and show around

Struck with the A/1 dies, the crown is classically well-centred. The design details are chunky, strongly three-dimensional ... and by this we are referring to the crown with its fleur-de-lis and pearls, the legend New South Wales, the date 1813 and on the reverse, the value Fifteen Pence.

3. Henshall's claim to fame - the elusive 'H'

William Henshall declared his involvement in the creation of the Dump by inserting an 'H' into some (but not all) of the dies used during its striking. Its presence is highly prized whenever it is appears.

This Dump clearly shows the ‘H’ for Henshall between the 'FIFTEEN' and the 'PENCE' on the reverse, just one of the reasons why we say this is a 'textbook' coin.

4. Strong denticles that are rarely seen

The denticles around the edge of the coin are almost complete, a feature that is seldom seen in even the very best examples. A piece of art without a picture frame is a blank canvas ... and the denticles act like a picture frame to the coin and give it substance.

5. Oblique milling

Notice the oblique milling around the edge. It is fully evident. (The edge milling was used as deterrent against clipping whereby the unscrupulous shaved off slivers of silver, reducing the silver content of the Dump. And making a small profit on the side.)

6, Evidence of the original Spanish Dollar design, an aspect that really counts

While the Holey Dollar clearly shows that it is one coin struck from another, in a less obvious way so too can the Dump. The design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created is evident on the reverse. We refer to it as the under-type and it is not always present. Its existence re-affirms the origins of the Dump and is highly prized.

The under-type is particularly strong on this 1813 Dump and surrounds the words 'FIFTEEN PENCE'.

A Spanish Silver Dollar, the coin from which Australia's first currency was created will be gifted with this 1813 Dump. (See photo below)

Pile of Silver Dollars n&v July 2017

Governor Lachlan Macquarie enlisted the services of emancipated convict, William Henshall, to cut a hole in 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars, creating two coins out of one.

The Dump, the small disc that fell out of the centre of the holed silver dollar, was then over stamped with the date 1813, a crown, New South Wales and the value of fifteen pence.

The buyer that pursues a top-quality Dump will find the task extremely challenging. It can be years before a premium quality example comes onto the market.

The Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence that they saw considerable use. So, while the Dump may seem the diminutive partner of the Holey Dollar, the reality is "top quality" Dumps have authority.

So let's define the words "top quality" and establish the levels that are rarely seen.

Every circulated coin has a grading level at which serious rarity kicks in. That is the point at which the balance between acquiring a coin as a collectible - and as an investment - shifts more towards the latter. For the 1813 Colonial Dump that point is Good Very Fine. (This coin.)

The chart below clearly shows that securing a Colonial Dump in a quality level of Good Very Fine or better is a difficult task. We would sight a Good Very Fine Dump on the open market perhaps once or twice every year.

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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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