1813 Dump, design type A/1

1813 Dump gVF small July 2018
1813 Dump gVF non date side small July 2018
1813 Dump, design type A/1
1813 Dump, design type A/1
Sold January 2020
Good Very Fine
Dr. John Chapman
A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump is a high quality piece and is genuinely hard to find. A chance opportunity. A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump that has been owned by Dr. John Chapman is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. Dr John Chapman has been involved in the Australian numismatic market as a foremost collector for as long as we can remember. He is as learned as he is well respected and this Dump was part of his prized collection. It is a coin that has all the attributes that a collector would look for in a colonial Dump including the original Spanish Dollar design (particularly strong), complete denticles and the presence of the ‘H’ for Henshall on the reverse. It is an impactful coin, the very reason why respected author and numismatist Greg McDonald features it in his annual Pocket Price Guide. And has so for many, many years. Technical shots are provided.
1813 Dump gVF non date side small July 2018
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1813 Dump date side TECH July 2018

Beautifully well centred striking with strong date, crown and legend New South Wales.

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.

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" for the 1813 Dump and establish where extreme rarity kicks in.

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.

The chart 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.

Dr John Chapman certainly knew what he was doing when he selected this 1813 Dump. It is a beauty.

  • The design is classically well centred and well struck.
  • The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are sharp.
  • The fleur de lis on the left-hand side and the right-hand side of the crown have definition and have not melded into the coin.
1813 Dump non date side TECH July 2018

William Henshall left his mark on this coin with the 'H' for Henshall clear.

  • The pearls to the left and right of the Crown are well defined and again have not melded into the coin.
  • The denticles around the edge of the coin are complete, a feature that is seldom if ever seen on even the very best examples.
  • Notice the oblique milling around the edge. Strong, well defined and fully evident.
  • The reverse Fifteen Pence also is strong and three dimensional.
  • The ‘H’ for Henshall also is defined. 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. There is strong design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created on the entire obverse. We refer to it as the undertype and its presence is again highly prized.
1813 Dump graph
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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 executed, 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. 


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