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Coin minted in 1789 auctioned in Australia

Tuesday July 05, 2011 04:09:54 PM, EFE

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 reported Monday.

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 Australia.

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 Australian.

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 ingots.









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