This is the first book-length study to be devoted to Canada's most exotic and celebrated colonial-era coin, The Holey Dollar of Prince Edward Island and its accompanying Dump. With its basis in twenty years of research in international archives, libraries, and private and institutional collections, from as far a field as Charlottetown and Puerto Rico, Vancouver and London, this book uncovers the origins and history of a coin which has been shrouded in mystery for two hundred years.
The book's Introduction elaborates the monetary and commercial circumstances, as well as the political and economic conditions, which led to the initial production of this unusual coin in 1813 and to its eventual dissapearance over the ensuing years. To that end, the book addresses a number of provocative questions: Who made the Holey Dollars and Dumps? How were they made? How long did they circulate? What could they buy? What were their precendents? Can we distinguish a Government issue Dollar or Dump from contemporary merchant counterfeits? What motivated the counterfeiters? In the course of addressing these questions, the author presents something of the texture of the places and peoples bound up with the Holey Dollar of PEI for the past two hundred years. The people that figure here include collectors and bystanders, merchants and government officials, and the places range from a Canadian homestead to an island in the Caribbean.
The Inventory portion of the book classifies Holey Dollars and Dumps based on their style of countermark, and offers a catalogue of all known specimens of Dollars and Dumps with provenance and pedigree together with a photographic record, metrological data, and diagnostics for every coin. There is also a full auction and sales history of Holey Dollars and Dumps from 1888 to 2010, a record of 20th century forgeries, replicas and fantasy pieces and a listing of coins and tokens with counterstamps which bear similarities to the marks on legitimate Holey Dollars.
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