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18th Century Australian Countermarked Holey Dollar

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1971N707
Collection:Coins & Medals
Date:1799 - 1813

Maker Information

Manufacturer:Mexico Mint - View history


'Holey dollars' were made in 1813, when the colony of New South Wales was suffering from a severe shortage of coins. The governor had 40,000 Spanish silver 8 reales coins cut up. A round disc was cut from the centre of each coin and the resulting two parts were then stamped with their value in British money. The discs were worth 15 pence and the outer rings (like this) 5 shillings. Ironically the work was carried out by William Henshall, who had originally been transported to Australia for forgery!

Purchased from Bristol City Museum, 1971.

Further Information

Reign:King Charles IV
Production Period:18th century
Denomination:Dollar - countermarked
Mint Mark:Mexico
Place of Origin:Mexico

Associated People

Associated Places


Diameter:17 mm

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