Aussie ‘Holey Dollar’ sets record

AFP-JIJI

A private collector has paid a world record 495,000 Australian dollars ($508,000) for one of Australia’s first coins, known as the “Holey Dollar,” auctioneers said Wednesday.

Only 300 of the coins are still in existence and Belinda Downie, managing director of Melbourne dealer Coinworks, said the one that sold this week was the finest example.

“This Holey Dollar was created in 1813 from a Spanish Silver Dollar that had been minted at the Lima Mint in Peru in 1808,” she said. “Only 20 of the 200 specimens held by private collectors have ties to the Lima Mint. And this is the absolute finest of them all.”

The previous record price was AU$485,000, set in 2011.

The coin is one of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars that New South Wales Gov. Lachlan Macquarie bought in 1812 to solve a currency shortage in the fledgling penal colony.