NGC-certified 'Holey Dollar' Among Top Rarities at August ANA Auction in Chicago

Posted on 7/23/2019

The 1813 Australian coin is a Spanish 8 Reales with a hole punched in its center.

An NGC-certified example of an unusual monetary solution used in early Australia is being featured at the Heritage Auctions ANA World’s Fair of Money World Coins Platinum Night Auction set for August 15 in Chicago.

The coin is unusual because it has a large hole punched in its center. Called a “Holey Dollar,” the 1813-dated coin was intended to address the British colony’s shortage of coins, which constantly left through trade with visiting ships.

New South Wales Gov. Lachlan Macquarie had a convicted forger named William Henshall punch the centers out of £10,000 worth of Spanish 8 Reales coins in 1812.
Click images to enlarge.

The New South Wales colony of Australia imported £10,000 worth of Spanish 8 Reales coins in 1812. To prevent their use outside the colony, Gov. Lachlan Macquarie had a convicted forger named William Henshall punch the centers out of the coins and counterstamp them with the name of the colony (New South Wales), the year (1813) and the denomination (5 shillings). The smaller, punched-out centers were used as coins valued at 15 pence.

The Australian coin began its life as a Mexico Ferdinand VII Silver 8 Reales dated 1808. Its estimated sale price is $150,000 to $200,000 (USD).

The Heritage auction also includes much older coins, including a 2,600-year-old Electrum Stater that is graded NGC Ancients VF, 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface. The oval coin has a depiction of a stag on its obverse and has three punched marks on its reverse. It is one of the earliest recorded coins with both a type and an inscription. Its estimated sale price is $100,000 to $150,000 (USD).

Other NGC-certified ancient highlights of the auction include:

Particularly significant NGC-graded world coins in the sale include:

All estimates are provided by the auction house.

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