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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe name Barrie Winsor holds true in our industry. He was the driving force behind the formation of the very famous Quartermaster Collection. The same person was instrumental in bringing back the Adelaide Ingots to Australia in 1999. And tracking down the whereabouts of the Commonwealth of Australia’s first Ten Shillings, M000001, in the year 2000. Winsor has been pivotal in shaping the Australian rare coin and banknote industry. He loves his history. And he has always had a strong personal interest in the Spanish Silver Dollar and the various forms in which the Dollar appeared, including Australia’s very own 1813 Holey Dollar. This collection of 10 pieces was formed by Barrie Winsor over many years and is now available for private sale. Offered as a complete collection. Pieces are also available individually.
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The Spanish Silver Dollar. The coin that ruled the world.

Beginning with Columbus in 1492 and continuing for nearly 350 years, Spain conquered and settled most of South America, the Caribbean, and the south west of America. 

It was however, the silver rich continent of South America that became Spain’s treasure trove, bank rolling its ascendancy as a world power.

In 1536, Spain established its first colonial mint in Mexico. It was by far the most lucrative of the Spanish mints, coining more than 2 billion dollars’ worth of silver pieces over a 300 year period (1536 – 1821). The Lima and Potosi Mint came on board in 1568 and 1573 respectively.

Not only were the Spanish mint’s prolific but the monarchy in 1537 introduced exacting standards of weight and purity into its coinage that would see the worldwide dominance of the Spanish Silver Dollar and its ultimate acceptance as an international currency and medium of exchange.

The Spanish Silver Dollar was fabled as pirate plunder. It was the famous ‘piece of eight’ of the Spanish empire with a diameter of 39mm and weighing 27.70 grams of pure silver.

And it was used – and abused – the world over for centuries.

It was the coin that was holed and counter stamped by private individuals, banks and government authorities in the eighteenth and nineteenth century including the penal colony of New South Wales.

The Spanish Silver Dollar was defaced by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to create his Holey Dollar and Dump, the very first coins struck in Australia.

When cut into quarters, half or three-quarter segments and stamped with the insignia of a colony, it served as small change for that dependency.

Such practises were widely used throughout the British colonies of the Caribbean and several African nation’s including Sierra Leone.

Even Great Britain succumbed to the lures of the Spanish Silver Dollar.

In 1797 the Bank of England purchased for its own account well over two million dollars of Spanish Silver Dollars to supplement its own coinage. These were counter stamped with an oval bust of King George III.

Cut Quarter Segment issued under William IV, by the British colony of Sierra Leone.

Coin Good / Counter stamps Extremely Fine

$7,500 - SOLD

171205-428 2nd Pair OBV

An extremely rare, cut quarter segment of a Spanish Silver Dollar counter stamped circa 1832 – 1834 with a crown and ‘W R’ for William Rex.

Testimony to its rarity - and collector appeal - this coin sold for $5,000 on an estimate of $3,000 in 2007.

The Spanish Dollar was the principal coin in circulation in Sierra Leone in the 1820s and the practice of cutting the dollars into quarters was widespread.

To make the cut dollars legally current, the colony obtained from England a stamp marked with a Crown and the letters ‘W’ ‘R’ for William Rex. The old cut dollars were called in and the stamped quarter dollars were issued.

A Proclamation of 1832 made such stamped cut money legal tender.

Clipping (shaving metal from the coin’s circumference) was a common practice that debased the currency and undermined confidence. In 1835 the Lieutenant-Governor wrote that the over stamping had failed to stem clipping and Treasury urged that the cut dollars be replaced by British coins.

The cut money was re-called in 1838 and 83,076 cut quarters were shipped to England to be sold as bullion and replaced with British shillings, sixpences and threepences.

On 7th January 1839 all cut monies ceased to be the current coinage of the colony.

One Shilling and Eight Pence Token cut from a Spanish Silver Dollar and issued by the Rothsay Cotton Mills, Scotland.

About Very Fine


The severe shortage of silver coin in Great Britain, prompted private tradesmen to cut and counter stamp Spanish Silver Dollars and cut dollars. One such private trader was the Rothsay Cotton Mills, established 40 miles south west of Glasgow.

Prior to Winsor's ownership we note that this piece had been held by Syd Hagley. Another leading industry figure. 

171205-383-2 1st pair REV
171205-408 1st pair OBV

171205-438-2nd pair REV
171205-428 2nd Pair OBV

1813 Circular segment from a Spanish Silver Dollar by the British colony of Dominica.  

Coin Good / Counter stamps Very Fine


Extremely rare. A circular segment cut from a Spanish Silver Dollar; the hole featuring 15 notches. Counter stamped with a Crown and '4' for the value of 4 bitts.

We note that prior to Barrie Winsor, this piece had been owned by esteemed British colonial collectors J. W. Garrett and Robert Climpson.

1813 Circular segment from a Spanish Silver Dollar by the British colony of Dominica. 

Coin Fine / Counter stamps Very Fine

$1,250 - SOLD

Very scarce. A circular segment cut from a Spanish Silver Dollar and counter stamped with a Crown and a '6' for the value of 6 bitts in a vertical rectangle. Note the outline of the portrait of the Spanish King.

171205-453 3rd Pair REV
171205-461 3rd Pair OBV

171205-486 4th pair REV
171205-501 4th pair OBV

Cut Half Spanish Silver Dollar by the British colony of Tortola.

Coin Fine / Counter stamps Very Fine

Price $1,950 - SOLD

On 3 February 1801, the Assembly of the Virgin Islands passed an Act to establish a current coinage for the internal use of the community. The cut half and quarter dollars circulating in the colony were withdrawn and officially re-stamped with the word 'TORTOLA'. 

This half dollar was created from an extremely rare Charles IV transitional dollar (note the legend Carolus IV). Ex Hopkins Hoard and Spink London 1988 and sold with Auction tickets.

Cut Fifth Segment of a Charles IIII Silver Dollar Curacao, British Occupation.

Coin Very Good / Counter Stamps Very Fine

Price $1,000 - SOLD

To cope with the demand for small change during the administration of Governor Lauffer (1799 – 1803), Spanish Dollars were cut into four parts and counter stamped with a roseace of five petals.

Ex Von Schuckmann Collection.

171205-526 5th Pair REV
171205-543 5th pair OBV

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