One of Australia’s most valuable coins has a hole in it

One of Australia’s most valuable coins has a hole in it

Last Updated on February 26, 2023 by admin

Just like the interesting story of the dollar, the Australian’s coins has an equally fascinating story. It had its first currency as the holey dollar and one of the most coveted. It contains the punched-out part, and the holey coin commonly referred to as the “Dump.” Australia’s most valuable coins has a hole in it.

This article focuses on the origin of this combined nominal coin whose value is both 6 shillings and 3 pence- the holey dollar. 

The history of the holey dollar

The holey dollar was created in 1788 and was used in the colony of New South Wales. The colony used various currencies like the Indian, British, Dutch, and Portuguese in the initial stages. However, after some time, there was a lack of coinage because most foreign ones sailed off with the visiting merchant ships. The situation was so bad that the colonists had to result to old-fashioned bartering. 

Rum which was an unofficial colonist’s currency, was the popular product they bartered with. But it didn’t last for long; Governor Bligh prohibited its usage, a controversy that led to losing his post most dramatically. 

After noticing that the coin shortage situation was dire, Governor Lachlan introduced 40,000 Spanish dollars, an equivalent of 10,000 British pounds, sent to the British government through the East Indian Company. 

There was a stipulation guiding the shipment of Spanish coins, and to ensure that none left the colony, Governor Macquarie hired a convicted forger who cut out the center of the Spanish coins, then counter-signed them. 

The Holey Dollar Today

After their demonetization in 1828, a significant percentage of holey dollars and dumps were melted into bullion. Today, it’s believed that only 350 Holey dollars and 1500 dumps exist and thus a rare collector’s item. This rarity, coupled with storied significance, makes the holey dollar pretty valuable. 

How then do you acquire the Holey Dollar?

Set Aside a Budget

One of the things you must be ready for from the onset is the astronomical online and in-person price auctions. The price, of course, will depend on the conditions but remember, even at the poorest of conditions, the dollar could sell for thousands. Thus you must set a budget and be up-to-date on the Holey dollars that have sold recently.

Face Value

Multiple factors determine the value of the Holey dollar. The year, condition, monarch it depicts, and of course, where it struck. This is because the 40,000 holey dollars imported by Governor Macquarie had different dates of minting. Therefore the price of the Holey dollar could vary wildly. 


One thing you must note is that the monarchs are more common than any other. Like for instance, the most frequently seen coins are Charles IV coins. The other common one is Charles III and then Ferdinand VII. The rare ones are the Holey dollars featuring Ferdinand VI. The rarity of the mint is the other significant factor to consider, and the most common ones were stuck in Mexico. Madrid mint coins are the rarest, and these were stuck in Spain, their motherland. 

Therefore the main forces that drive the price of the holey coin are its rarity or reduced availability, and the condition.