World Coins

Australian ‘dump’ sold in Noonans auction benefits charity

An 1813 silver “dump” from Australia sold at auction in London raised money for the charity Oxfam.

Images courtesy of Noonans.

A silver 15-pence “dump” coin from New South Wales sold Feb. 7 during Noonans Mayfair’s auction has raised £7,500 ($9,465 U.S.) for the charity Oxfam.

A dealer from the United States bought the 1813 Australian coin in the auction. The “dump” is the center part of a larger silver coin, the outer ring of which was turned into the coin known as the Holey Dollar. The Holey Dollar and Dump were emergency coinages in New South Wales during a coinage shortage. Various large silver-dollar-sized coins were used in this emergency.

Oxfam volunteer and coin enthusiast John Turner discovered the coin while looking through a bag of coins that had been donated to Oxfam’s shop in Orpington, the auction house said.

Turner, who is in his mid-70s, has volunteered for Oxfam for the past 10 years since he retired from banking. He lives in Bromley area in southeast London, but regularly visits multiple shops in South London, including the one in Orpington where the coin was donated.

After the sale, Turner said: “As a volunteer of nearly 10 years, it is not every day you make discoveries like these.”

He added: “When I first found the coin, I had no idea what it was, but I am so glad I persevered with the research. I am thrilled that it has sold at such a brilliant price — especially knowing that all the money raised will go towards Oxfam.”

The coin realized a hammer price of £7,500 ($9,465 U.S.) against a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 to £7,000 ($6,325 to $8,846 U.S.).

Shelley Hitch, valuer at Oxfam, said: “It is absolutely amazing that the coin has sold for such a high price. It is hard to believe that something so small could end up being so extraordinary. Volunteers like John are so valuable to Oxfam and it means we can raise the money we need to help fight poverty across the globe.”

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