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.
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.