When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar in 1813, he grabbed an 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint.
If William Henshall had been a numismatist he would have acknowledged that the 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar that he was about to deface showed minimal signs of wear. Given that he was holding the world's greatest trading coin, that in itself was a miracle.
Committed to the task of creating holey dollars from silver dollars, he cut a hole in the dollar and 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, thereby creating this 1813 Holey Dollar.
The original 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar used to create this Holey Dollar is graded in the premium quality level of About Extremely Fine indicating that it underwent minimal circulation before the hole was cut into it in 1813.
The extent of usage of the Holey Dollar after it was released into circulation is evidenced by the wear to the counter-stamps, the over-stamping around the inner circular edge … New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings.
The counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are graded in the premium quality levels of Extremely Fine indicating that as a Holey Dollar this coin also underwent minimal use.
The Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins.
The status of the Holey Dollar as Australia’s first coin ensures that it will never be forgotten and, as time passes, its historical value can only increase.
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. And that statement is made irrespective of the quality level.
The coin is rare. And the coin is steeped in 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.