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Hutt River Province Coins

Updated on February 20, 2015

Principality of Hutt River Province Issue

A Dessert Storm issue of Hut River Province.
A Dessert Storm issue of Hut River Province. | Source

Hutt River Province Coins

Events in the early 1970s pitted Leonard George Casley against Australia and led to the formation of Hutt River Province, or the Principality of Hutt River Province. Leonard Casley declared the area independent of Australia, the country to which it belonged. Through maneuvering, a country was formed if you believe Leonard Casley. Due to some complicated laws Australia has yet to act against Hutt River Province.

The laws are now corrected, and it would be more difficult for other claims at independence. Part of Leonard Casley’s claim centered on an old law that it is treason to act against a person with a royal title who sets up a government, a leftover from the days such laws of the United Kingdom were the laws of Australia. Leonard Casley assumed the title Prince Leonard I. This action caused a dilemma for Australia. To strengthen his claim he declared war on Australia, then a cessation of hostilities, and used the Geneva Convention and international law.


Hutt River Province Coins and Currency

Hutt River is a popular tourist location, and soon the small entity began issuing its own money with the effigy of Prince Leonard I on that money. It traded its money on a one for one basis with Australian money. Visitors would trade Australian money, and not always trade back when they left, leaving behind Australian currency that is internationally recognized as legitimate money.

Hutt River coins were minted in great quantity, and many of those coins were commemorative issues. Since Hutt River Province had no problem using movie stars and significant events among the subjects of their coins, many became collectible. People and events were commemorated with a great variety of coins. And, there was a demand for these coins. There was a release of a huge number of coins related to Dessert Storm

Hutt River Province in this sense was ahead of its time. Today, many island nations have commemorative coins minted, and sell them for a profit. Modern commemorative coins are minted in precious metals, a practice Hutt River Province also has. But, unlike small island nations, base metal coins are minted for Hutt River Province and sold to collectors. These are more affordable than precious metal coins.

Are Hutt River Province Coins Really Coins?

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Technically, a coin is legal tender and is issued by a government that has the right to issue legal tender. Most of the world has not accepted Prince Leonard’s claim to have established a legitimate government. But, in Hutt River Province the coins are indeed considered legal tender, and regular circulating coins are also issued for daily use.

A collector can obtain these coins easily on Ebay, and as long as they are not called coins they should be fine for collecting. They are even being sold to collectors. They do have a denomination stamped on each coin. It could be somewhat problematic if they are referred to as coins when they are sold, but they are not spent except in Hutt River Province. However, unlike other currencies there are no international money exchanges that would take them in the United States. But then these commemorative coins are not bought with the intent of later converting the currency, or spending them.

At this time the United States government does not recognize the Principality of Hutt River Province. As long as this remains the case, Hutt River Province coins will remain unaccepted.

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes it would probably make a goo hub. I may look at writing about that in future. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image
      Author

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      I understand they closed the loophole in the law that allowed this to come about.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image
      Author

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      The entire story, not fully told here because I concentrated on coins, had Leonard Casley declare war on Australia then send a letter of ceasing hostilities, so he could use the Geneva Convention to prevent his entity from being absorbed. There was also one occasion where a Prime Minister referred to him as Prince Leonard, making the old law of protection of a titled person protected and acting against him could have been called treason. If you know the details it might make an interesting hub, but should be written by an Australian. I focused on the coins, but there is so much more.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes there was another municipality that tried to separate itself from Australia a number of years later but it failed. I don't think there have been any attempts since.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub. Hutt River province has always interested me (being Australian) and I also am a collector of coins so I enjoyed this article. I have often joked to people when we have complaints about our Government, that I am going to migrate to Hutt River Province. I'm sure Prince Leonard is a better leader than our current Prime Minister. Voted up.