The coin that appears on the front cover of Philip Spalding's book.
The crown and the pillars of Hercules are strong. As is the legend.
Philip Spalding is unequivocally one of the most revered names in Australian numismatics.
He was passionate about the Holey Dollar, and its place in Australia's history. And he owned more than a dozen Holey Dollars.
His passion extended far beyond coin ownership for he authored the book, ‘The World of the Holey Dollar’, his greatest legacy and one of the finest contributions to the study of numismatics.
And which coin did he choose to adorn the front cover of his book?
This Holey Dollar.
The technical specifics of this coin are as follows.
Struck on a Charles IIII 1808, Mexico Mint, Spanish Silver Dollar the original coin is graded a high quality Good Very Fine.
The counter stamps New South Wales, Five Shillings and 1813 are graded higher again at About Extremely Fine.
It is all guess work now as to why Philip Spalding selected this coin to appear on the front cover of his book.
Perhaps it was the date 1808 that appealed to him, as it does to many other collectors that hold the number eight true to their heart. A sign of good luck, no less.
It may also have been the coin's aesthetic appeal for the coin is glossy and is very pleasing to the eye with the counter stamps New South Wales and 1813 in the same vista as the date 1808.
The pride of owning a Philip Spalding Holey Dollar is immeasurable. It is a feeling that is enjoyed by only a handful of collectors.
But only one collector can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollar featured on the front cover of Spalding’s eminent book.
Now in a retirement phase the current owner is passing the baton of owning this prized possession to a new collector.
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. No other coin has been so highly exhibited.
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 it logo.
Talk to those fortunate owners, either private collectors or institutions such as Macquarie Bank, National Museum of Australia and the Mitchell Library, and you quickly realise that the Holey Dollar is viewed as the jewel in their collection.
And there is a reason.
It is our first coin. It is steeped in history and is extremely rare.