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A Two Coin Combination, the Holey Dollar

Updated on June 4, 2015

A Two Coin Combination, the Holey Dollar

The Holey Dollar is really two coins, a dollar and a smaller coin that is called the dump. These are issued by the Australian government, and obviously intended for collectors. Technically, the dollar and the dump could be used as legal tender separately, and each bears a denomination. The outer coin is a dollar, as the name suggests, and the smaller coin designed to fit into the hole in the dollar is a twenty-five cent coin. When the smaller coin is inserted into the dollar, the combined monetary value is one dollar and twenty-five cents. This commemorates the initial Australian money.

The Intro IMage was taken by, and fully owned by, Black Spaniel Gallery. We have the right to use it, and no link is possible.

The Historical Event, the First Holey Dollar

In 1812, Governor Lachlan Macquarie began an action that would precede the holey dollar. At that time Colonial Australia had no mint, and like many new and forming governments relied on foreign coinage. In those days coins were valued for their metal content, so it mattered little which country minted the coin. Among the coins that were being used was the Spanish silver dollar. Spain and its colonies were minting these silver dollars, using a variety of designs and mintmarks.

Governor Macquarie took possession of many Spanish silver dollars, and had a hole literally punched in them. The value of such a coin with a hole was set at Five Shillings. The piece of metal used to fill the hole, the dump, was set in value of Fifteen Pence. Now, Australia had a two denominations of coins that could be used.

The Centenary of Federation 2001 Holey Dollar and Dump

In 2001, the Perth Mint of Australia issued a Holey Dollar in fine silver, with a seven-sided star as the dump. The outer portion of the coin has the value of $1.00, while the dump has the value of $0.25. The obverse of the dollar features the official badges of the six Australian states, and that of Northern Territory. The dump has Parliament House across it. There are six one dollar fine silver state coins that were also issued, but these have no dump.

The 1988 – 1990 Issues

In 1988, a three year minting of holey dollars and dumps began. These coins are in fine silver, and have the value of $1 for the ring and $02.5 for the dump. The coins were minted in fine silver, with one Troy ounce used for the dollar and one-fourth Troy ounce for the dump.

The coins in this short Perth Mint series were issued in mint folders, mounted on cards. The problem is the environmental protection was inadequate, and the coins were subject to toning.

Some of the coins were special issues. The 1988 coins include a Sydney Fair issue and a Singapore fair issue. The 1989 coins include a Sydney Fair issue. While the special issues were much lower than those released through the mint, the current value is only slightly affected by this.

Mintage decreased annually, and the 1990 issue had a mintage of only 30,000.

Other Special Holey Dollars

In 2006, the Perth Mint produced a $1 Holey Dollar with a $0.25 dump honoring the FIFA World Cup Germany.

In 2003 the Royal Australian Mint produced a Holey Dollar with dump as a Subscription Silver Proof Issue as part of a series depicting coinage used in Australia over the years.

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    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I love the look of these.

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      Fascinating stuff. Blessed.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Wow, that's really a strange coin. Interesting.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      What will they think of next?! That's a very cool coin...coins...

      I wonder if it was inspired by the Canadian toonie that came out a few years back; it had a different centre piece that kept popping out by accident. :)