George Manz submitted this information about a great exhibit at the April 2020 Regina, Canada Coin Club show -Editor
Three rare pierced and counterstamped Holey Dollars from Prince Edward Island will be on display at the Regina Coin Club Spring 2020 Show and Sale.
In 1813, soon after the arrival of Lieutenant Governor Charles Douglas Smith to PEI, he announced that because of the shortage of coinage on the island, a new coinage would be
introduced. And what a coinage it was.
Because most of the merchants on PEI had to import their goods for sale from either Great Britain or Halifax, Nova Scotia, the merchants hoarded any coinage that came their
way. So it was difficult to make transactions with no money readily available.
So Smith decided to import 1,000 Spanish-American 8 reales coins, and pierce the centre of each, thereby producing two tokens: the centre or plug would be worth one shilling,
while the ring or Holey Dollar would be worth five shillings. Because the 8 reales coin was worth five shillings throughout the British Empire, the two new tokens would be worth
20 percent more on PEI than in a different jurisdiction.
Each Holey Dollar and plug was counterstamped with a mark of ten triangles resembling a star. Smith then issued a proclamation to the effect on September 24, 1813, which reads
in part: "It is also ordered that Spanish Dollars, limited to the amount of One Thousand, shall be cut at the Treasury, by having a circular piece taken out of the centre of each
– the Dollars so cut, are to be issued from and received at the Treasury at the rate of Five Shillings Currency each, and the piece so taken out to be issued from and received at
the Treasury at one shilling currency each."
Christopher Faulkner's wonderful book The Holey Dollars and Dumps of Prince Edward Island was published by Spink in 2012. Faulkner's book describes in detail how and why
they were produced and lists 79 Holey Dollars that were then known to exist. Eight years after publication, another four have turned up, making a grand total of 83 Holey
The three Holey Dollars on display in Regina include the Hill Dollar, the Foster Dollar and the Norweb Dollar.
The Hill Dollar was minted in Mexico City in 1808 during the reign of Charles IV of Spain. It is named after one of its former owners: Leslie Hill of British Columbia, a
long-time coin collector, coin dealer and author.
The Foster Dollar was minted in Mexico City in 1805 during the reign of Charles IV of Spain. It is named after Joseph C. Foster of Virginia, USA. Other notable owners of the
dollar include Douglas Robins whose massive token collection was recently sold at auction and long-time collector and dealer Geoffrey Bell.
The last Holey Dollar on display is called the Norweb Dollar, named after R. Henry Norweb and Emery May Norweb of Ohio. It was minted in Mexico City in 1805. The Norwebs were
prominent American collectors who amassed a huge number of coins and tokens during their lifetimes.
Similar pieces were produced in New South Wales Australia as well as in the Caribbean.
The three PEI Holey Dollars will be on display at the Regina Coin Club's Spring 2020 Show on April 18-19, 2020 at the Turvey Centre, located just north of Regina.
For more information on the Regina Coin Club, see:
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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