World Coins

Holey dollar, ‘Dump’ among those stolen from exhibit in Australia

An 1813 Holey dollar, left, and “Dump” were among 12 coins stolen from a display at the State Library of New South Wales on Aug. 6.

Images courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales.

Twelve rare Australian coins, including a Holey dollar and “Dump” coin, were stolen from a gallery in the State Library of New South Wales.

The theft occurred Aug. 6, confirmed Victoria Bond, manager, media & communications branch, at the State Library of New South Wales. Bond did not disclose the other 10 coins taken in the theft, but the coins are reportedly worth $1 million Australian (about $931,045 U.S.).

The coins were among 15 dating from 1850s to 1920s on public display in “a secure case,” Bond said. 

“We are deeply disappointed by this callous act of public vandalism. The theft is under police investigation and we are doing everything we can to assist with this serious matter,” Bond said.

A spokesperson for the New South Wales Police Force said, “Police are currently following a number of lines of inquiry and investigations are continuing.”

Each Holey dollar, perhaps Australia’s most famous coin, was struck on a silver 8-real piece. The parent coin of the Holey dollar in the display is an 1810 piece of Ferdinand VII issued at the Lima Mint. It is paired with the “Dump,” the central portion of the earlier coin. Both were created in 1813 as a measure to alleviate a coin shortage by using existing coinage.

Read more of Coin World's recent world coins coverage:

Community Comments