More than 80,000 convicts were transported to the penal colony of New South Wales over an eighteen-year period.
One of the most famous of them all was emancipated convict William Henshall who was charged with the responsibility of creating our very first coins.
When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar, he picked up an 1800 Charles IV Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint.
Using crude equipment, he cut a hole in it. He then continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date 1813 and the value of Five Shillings.
In so doing he etched his name into Australia's history by becoming Australia’s first mint master and created one of Australia’s greatest coin rarities, the 1813 Holey Dollar.
The Holey Dollar is history that you can hold in your hand. It is history that can be passed onto the next generation.
Its status as Australia's first coin ensures that it will never be forgotten and, as time passes, its historical value can only increase.
The Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins. The coin is rare. And the coin is steeped in history.
Talk to those fortunate enough to own one, either private collectors or institutions such as Macquarie Bank, National Museum of Australia and the Mitchell Library, and they will tell you that the Holey Dollar is viewed as the jewel in their collection.
The Holey Dollar is a coin that is held in the utmost respect. It is history. And yet it is refreshingly current. The ingenuity of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in creating our first coin is reflected in the naming of the Macquarie Bank and the bank’s ultimate adoption of the Holey Dollar as its logo.