Counterfeit Coin, Australia, NSW. Dump, fifteen pence, 1813, one of several from excavation rear of 119 Pitt Street.
The continuing loss of coinage from the Colony through trading with visiting ships was of concern to the early Governors. This made it necessary to introduce some form of local coinage which, by reason of characteristics which would make it unacceptable for international trade purposes, would ensure that it remained within the Colony, to facilitate local trade.
In 1813 Governor Macquarie converted 40,000 Spanish Dollars into a local coinage, by removing a circular plug or ¬?dump¬? from the centre of each dollar, and using each piece as a coin. These new coins were officially counterstamped with their colonial origin, and denomination.
The residue of each dollar was valued at Five Shillings, and the central ¬?dump¬? at Fifteen Pence; a considerable ¬?mark up¬? on the trade value of a Spanish Dollar, which had an exchange rate of about Four Shillings and Ninepence.
Known as ¬?Holey Dollars¬? and ¬?Dumps¬?, they were produced in 1813, but did not enter circulation until 1814; and were finally withdrawn in 1829.
- From Sydney Mint Museum label written by curator, Major HP (Pat) Boland, c1982