1813 Holey Dollar struck from a Charles IIII, 1794 Spanish Silver Dollar.
The PTS overlapping monogram to signify Potosi is said to have inspired the '$' insignia.
When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar, he picked up a 1794 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Potosi Mint in Bolivia.
Had Henshall been a skilled numismatist, he would have noted that most of the 40,000 silver dollars imported by Macquarie had come from the Mexico Mint.
He would also have acknowledged that with the 'PTS' overlapping monogram between 'REX' and '8R' in the legend, the silver dollar he was about to deface had been issued by the Potosi Mint.
And that Potosi Mint silver dollars formed a minor part of the shipment of 40,000 coins.
Committed to the task, Henshall proceeded to cut and over stamp the 1794 Spanish Silver Dollar and in so doing created this 1813 Holey Dollar.
The chart below details the distribution of privately owned Holey Dollars by virtue of monarch and mint.
What is clear is the relative scarcity of Holey Dollars with ties to the Potosi Mint. Fifteen of the 176 privately held Holey Dollars (recorded in 1988) had ties to the Potosi Mint.
|Portrait & legend Ferdinand VI||1||1|
|Portrait & legend Charles III||18||3||1||22|
|Portrait & legend Charles III (deceased)||1||1||2|
|Portrait Charles III, legend Charles IV||8||8|
|Portrait & legend of Charles IIII||103||12||14||1||130|
|Portrait & Legend Ferdinand VII||12||12|
|Imaginary portrait & legend Ferdinand VII||1||1|
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.
Feedback from our clients tells us that it is a very proud and exciting moment when you acquire an example of the nation’s very first coin.
Equally as exciting, opening up the leading reference ‘The Holey Dollars of New South Wales’ by Messrs Mira and Noble and finding your coin photographed and officially recorded as one of the almost 300 surviving examples.
You can have both with this coin. The thrill and pride of owning the nation’s very first coin.
And the pleasure of seeing it featured on page 29 as Holey Dollar 1794/9 in the major reference of surviving Holey Dollars. (A copy of the Catalogue accompanies the sale.)
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.