Sydney: A coin
minted in Spain in 1789 for Britain, and which was in circulation
during the first years of the British colony in Australia, has
been sold at an auction for A$485,000 ($520,587), Australian media
The coin was part of an order for 40,000 pieces of a silver coin
worth eight reals, also known as the Spanish silver dollar, which
the British Crown purchased to resolve the lack of money in
To keep them from being smuggled out of the territory, British
authorities had a hole drilled in the centre of the coins, which
devalued them somewhat but also made them easy to spot.
The coin probably went through several hands before reappearing in
1813 in Australia, Coinworks executive Melinda Cuppens told The
This is one of 200 coins of its type preserved in private
collections, Cuppens said.
The Melbourne collector who acquired the piece in June was
attracted by both its "beauty" and the fact that 2013 will mark
the 200th anniversary since it surfaced again in Australia.
After being taken out of circulation, most of these perforated
coins were returned to Britain to be melted down and sold as