World Coins

Australian micronation Hutt River dissolves, ends coin production

The Principality of Hutt River was a prolific coin issuer but after more than 50 years the entity has dissolved.

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After more than 50 years as a self-proclaimed sovereign nation, the Principality of Hutt River (also called Hutt River Province) is rejoining Australia.

The announcement of dissolution was made Aug. 3.

The Hutt River Province, if not the most prolific coin-issuing secessionist state in history, is among the top contenders. The 75-square-kilometer area claimed for the nation is located some 290 miles north of Perth, Australia.

Leonard George Casley formed the nation on April 21, 1970, after seceding from the state of Western Australia and the Australian nation itself, because of a dispute over wheat quotas. Using what some saw as an arcane provision of constitutional law, Casley notified the government, and was soon prince of the province, then with a population of 12. His wife, Shirley, was princess consort.

The first coins for Hutt River appeared in 1976, a series of issues in 5-, 10-, 20- and 50-cent denominations, with an outpouring of issues to follow.

During the Gulf War, Hutt River issued an abundant series of coins marking the machinery, methods and men of the war.

Prince Leonard abdicated to his youngest son Graeme in 2017, and died last year.

A nickel-plated-zinc $10 coin marking the ascension or perhaps coronation of Prince Graeme (dated 2018) appears to be the most recent — and last — issue of “coins” for the unrecognized state.

In addition to coins, the “nation” issued paper money, postage stamps and even passports.

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