On this day, 30th September 1813,  the distinctive coins called the “holey dollar” and “dump” were first circulated in the colony of New South Wales to combat currency shortages.

The  "holey dollar" and “dump” were created by punching the centre out of Spanish dollars. The external circle was the “holey dollar” and the punched-out inner circle was the “dump”. They were only ever used in New South Wales, Australia, and on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

In 1813, Governor Lachlan Macquarie faced the problem of currency shortages in the young colony of New South Wales. When the British Government sent £10,000 worth of Spanish dollars (40,000 Spanish dollars) to New South Wales, Macquarie took the initiative to create “holey dollars” and “dumps”. The dumps were assigned a value of 15 pence and were restruck with a crown on the obverse side and the denomination on the reverse. The dollars were worth 5 shillings, and were stamped with “New South Wales 1813” around the hole. The coins were released on 30 September 1813. The holey dollar became the first official currency produced specifically for circulation in Australia.

There are estimated to be around 350 Holey dollars and 1500 dumps still in circulation today. The coins were replaced by sterling coinage from 1822.

The State Library of New South Wales holds holey dollar and dump coins in the collections, including the Sir William Dixson coin collection : Australian holey dollar currency

The Castle Oak, Dinefwr Castle, Near Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

Castle Oak is one of the oldest trees on the 800 acre National Nature Reserve on the Dinefwr estate. Providing a living link to Dinefwr’s long history it sits in the shadow of Dinefwr Castle, home of the famous Welsh Princes of Deheubarth. Castle Oak is thought to be between 800- 850 years old and you can’t help but to stop in awe as you walk beneath the towering canopy. You can even walk inside its vast hollow trunk. If trees could talk, Castle Oak would have many a tale to tell. It must have witnessed the rise and fall of Dinefwr Castle, the ruins of which still stand on the hill overlooking the Tywi Valley. We like to think that many a picnic was enjoyed under the tree by the Rhys family who occupied Newton House and Dinefwr Park. We would love the opportunity to tell the story of this amazing tree to more visitors.

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