New South Wales 1813 c/s 5 shillings

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Stack's Bowers 2014 ANA sale, lot 440
Sta ANA-440r.jpg
This specimen was lot 440 in Stack's Bowers ANA auction (Chicago, August 2014), where it did not sell. The catalog description[1] noted,
"AUSTRALIA. New South Wales. 5 Shillings or 'Holey Dollar', 1813. NGC VF-30. The First Coinage of Australia. EXCEPTIONAL RARITY with a distinguished pedigree. Part of the first series of coins minted for, and in, the British settlement of New Holland "Australia". Struck in 1813 and issued in 1814, during the governorship of Lachlan Macqua[ri]e. Described by Mira and Noble in their standard reference as 'Pride of place in any collection of Australian colonial coinage'. This RARE issue circulated for a short period of time as they were recalled in 1829 when they were ordered to be replaced with "English Specie" which brought their circulation to an end. The recalled coins were shipped to the Royal mint where the bulk of the original issue of almost 40,000 was melted down. Dies: I/5: A/4 (Spalding 81).

The countermarks are sharp and clear for both the obverse and the reverse. The central hole was not fully punched out in one quarter (slightly off center), and some minor amount of metal remains within the punched out hole. Attractive grey toning. Tied with one other coin for finest certified by either NGC or PCGS, with only two other pieces (struck on Peru 8 Reales) graded higher by NGC for the entirety of the 'Holey Dollar' denomination. A high quality coin with an interesting history and an impeccable pedigree, worthy to be included in the most sophisticated of collections."

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, .896 fine.

Catalog reference: KM-2.9; Mira/Noble-1799/7 (plate coin); Spalding-81.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • McDonald, Greg, The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes, 23rd ed., Lavington, Australia, 2017.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2014 Chicago ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Featuring the David O'Harrow Collection, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2014.

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