1813 Dump

1813 NSW Dump A1 Unc reverse Large SEO March 2018
1813 NSW Dump A1 Unc obverse Large SEO March 2018
1813 Dump
1813 Dump
About Uncirculated
The 1813 Dump, and its partner the 1813 Holey Dollar, were the first coins struck in Australia, the innovation of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Not only are they rare, but their fascinating history has made them two of the world's most famous coins. They are as recognised, respected and sought after on the international stage as they are on our home shores. What is also recognised is that, in the highest quality levels, the Dump is the scarcer of the two. This 1813 Dump is for the buyer seeking the absolute finest example of Australia's first silver coin. It is ranked NUMBER ONE in the pecking order. The enormity of this offer becomes clear when you consider that there are quite likely 1000 Dumps in existence today, with 200 housed in public institutions and the balance available to collectors. This Dump is in every respect a 'miracle' coin.
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1813 NSW Dump A1 Unc obverse Large SEO March 2018
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This 1813 Dump first appeared at the now famous March 1988 Spink ‘Bicentenary’ Auction when it was offered for sale as lot 1025.

Described as " a beautifully struck specimen with a semi-brilliant obverse fields and exceptional mllled edge and border denticles", the coin sold for $15,200 on an estimate of $10,000.

The coin's reputation was further enhanced when it appeared as the showpiece example of the design type A/1 Dump in the Mira Noble Catalogue, 'The Holey Dollars of New South Wales'.

Published in 1988, this reference is the only resource that catalogues, photographs and details the known surviving Holey Dollars. It is used worldwide.

The coin appeared in 1988 with much fanfare, and then simply vanished, the industry rife with gossip that that it had either been destroyed or lost.

In fact the discussions have been so animated that the coin took on an almost mythical standing.

Those rumours can now be put to rest. The coin is available now and prime for the buyer seeking a noted, supreme quality 1813 Dump. 

The Holey Dollar and Dump were struck to create a medium of exchange in a colony starved of currency. 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.

Experience has shown us that most Holey Dollar buyers will eventually pursue a Dump. And vice versa. A simple reflection of the collector's mindset for completion. And a recognition that both are equally important as the nation's first coins. 

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. It can be decades before the very best become available. As a case in point, this coin has been held by the owner for three decades.

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.

1813 Dump aUNC rev March 2018
1813 Dump aUNC obv March 2018

We have been involved in the Australian rare coin industry for nearly half a century and we have physically handled and sighted a large volume of coins ranging from the worst up the very best.

We have a point of comparison that is not based on information gleaned from books and magazines. Our point of comparison is based on actual experience.

The very best Colonial Dumps will show a cross on the orb at the top of the Crown. This Dump has it. And we have seen it in only one other example.

The industry often makes reference to the cross on the orb at the top of the Crown in the  Adelaide Pound. In Dumps it is virtually unheard of.

The border denticles are complete, a feature that again is seldom ever seen. Mint master William Henshall was not known for the precision of his work, simply for the volume in creating Holey Dollars and Dumps from the shipment of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars.

The fleur de lis on the left-hand and the right-hand side of the crown are plump and have full definition. So too the pearls to the left and right of the crown. The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are crisp and three dimensional.

Notice the oblique milling around the edge. Strong, well defined and fully evident.

The milling was a feature introduced to deter paring of coins that would reduce their silver content.

Flip the coin over and the value fifteen pence is strong and three dimensional. Also strong, and shaped, the ‘H’ for Henshall. 

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.

While the Holey Dollar glaringly shows that it is one coin struck from another, in a less obvious way so too does the Dump.

The original design detail of the Spanish Dollar used to create this Dump is clear, surrounding the word ‘Fifteen Pence’. The cross bars, the castle and the lion are all evident .

 We refer to this as the under type and its presence is highly prized.

This is a remarkable relic of our colonial past, brilliantly preserved, the surfaces lustrous and unblemished.

Further information on the 1813 Dump.

Availability and pricing.

It is an interesting exercise to look at the availability of Dumps and their current market values with an acknowledgement on our part that there is a vast price difference between a well circulated 1813 Dump and one in the upper echelons of quality.

But the information that we have gleaned from our research clearly shows the reasons why.

You can acquire a well-used 1813 Dump for $5,000 - $10,000. Of course you won’t see much of the design: it will almost be obliterated. Expect some gouges and unsightly marks at this level also.

Moving up the quality scale you will find a  Fine to good Fine Dump  for $15,000 to $25,000. The design will be evident, but flattened, and the coin will more than likely be a bit knocked around. The reality is that finding examples below the $25,000 price level is a relatively easy task. 

Buyers that are looking for a higher quality example might stretch their budget to $30,000 - $40,000 and so walk away with an  about Very Fine to Very Fine Dump .

The graph clearly shows that the 1813 Dump is reasonably readily available up to, and including, a quality level of Very Fine. 

What is also obvious from the graph is that Good Very Fine (gVF) is the point at which extreme rarity kicks in.

A buyer looking for a  good Very Fine Dump can realistically be looking at a one to two-year time frame to secure a coin. And expect to outlay $45,000 to $75,000 to acquire a Dump at this quality level.

Particularly if the buyer sets down some specifics with the Dump such as wanting complete denticles, 'H' for Henshall visible and the presence of the original Spanish Dollar from which it was created, better known as the under-type. 

It is at the quality level of  About Extremely Fine, and above , that the task of finding a Dump becomes tough and testing, invariably involving years.

The graph below clearly shows that at a quality level of about Extremely Fine to Extremely Fine you are in 'rarefied air' and buyers can expect to outlay $100,000 or more at this level.

But it is the about Uncirculated area of this chart that is  the absolute killer. Collectors have access to only two about Uncirculated Dumps, one struck using the A/1 die, the other using the D/2 die.

Given that top calibre Holey Dollars are selling for $450,000-plus, the price expectation of the very best Colonial Dumps is very fair and reasonable.

The four dies used to create the 1813 Dump.

Four distinctly different die combinations were employed in the striking of the Colonial Dump, classified as the A/1, D/2, C/4 and E/3.

Historians believe that the D/2 dies were the first dies used in the striking of the Dump. Most of the coins have deficiencies in their striking that suggest that the die was larger than the silver disc that fell out of the holed silver dollar. Approximately 250 D/2 examples are available to collectors.

Historians also suggest that the A/1 dies were taken up after the D/2 dies were rejected, the A/1 producing coins that were better excecuted, well centred. Approximately 500 examples are available to collectors.

While the E/3 and C/4 specimens are exceptionally scarce (15 and 10 are known), they also are exceptionally crude and aesthetically very challenging.

They are immensely interesting and definitely part of the Dump story; their demand however is generally restricted to those collectors wanting to acquire a complete set of the different die combinations.

Their limited numbers and the crude state in which they appear have historians concluding that they were most likely trials, prepared before a design acceptable to Governor Lachlan Macquarie was approved. 


1813 Dump Chart_Page_1

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