When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar, he picked up a 1797 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Lima Mint in Peru.
Had Henshall been a numismatist, he would have identified that of the 40,000 silver dollars imported by Macquarie, most of them had come from the Mexico Mint. That as a product of the Lima Mint, the dollar he was about to hole was extremely scarce and might have been worth holding on to.
Committed to the task, Henshall proceeded to cut and over stamp the 1797 Spanish Silver Dollar and in so doing create an 1813 Holey Dollar. This Holey Dollar.
It is a fact that while all Holey Dollars are rare, those coins created from silver dollars struck at the Lima Mint in Peru are rarer again.
Of the 200 privately held Holey Dollars, only 11 per cent have ties to the Lima Mint. (By comparison 81 per cent have ties to the Mexico Mint.)
The original silver dollar is graded highly at Good Very Fine and has handsome toning and glossy surfaces. The counter stamps, New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings are graded higher again at Extremely Fine.
The Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins. 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.
A Holey Dollar can resemble a washer if it is well circulated. Or it can reach the heady quality heights of the record-breaking Madrid Holey Dollar. Or it can be in a quality level somewhere in between. No matter the quality, the pleasure of ownership is immeasurable.
Once you move from the well circulated Fine and Good Fine quality levels up to the Very Fine and Good Very Fine echelons, the differences in quality are marked and noticeable and clearly visible to the naked eye. It is the detail in the hair, the robes and the overall state of the fields as evidenced in this Holey Dollar.
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.
No other coin has had so many books written about it.
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.