The Hannibal Head Holey Dollar. Photo: Jason South
An extremely rare, 1813 Australian coin with a hole in it has sold for a record $410,000 at a Melbourne auction.
A private collector bought the Hannibal Head Holey Dollar, which was shaped in New South Wales from a silver dollar minted in Peru in 1810.
The coin was the only privately owned version; the only other is housed in the State Library of New South Wales.
Its highest previous recorded auction price was $270,950 in 2008. The coin's shape came about when Governor Lachlan Macquarie, amid an acute colonial coin shortage, acquired 40,000 Spanish silver dollars. He enlisted the convicted forger William Henshall to cut a hole in the centre of each and stamp the doughnut with ''New South Wales'', the value five shillings and the date 1813.
Also sold at the Coinworks sale at the RACV Club in Bourke Street last night was an 1813 New South Wales Colonial Dump - a centrepiece from one of the 1813 doughnut coins, stamped ''fifteen pence''. It sold for $100,000.
And an 1852 Adelaide Pound coin sold for a record $370,000. The previous highest price was $130,000 in 2005.