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5 1/2 Bits ND (1798), Type I

World - Tobago
5 1/2 Bits ND (1798), Type I


World - Tobago, 5 1/2 Bits ND (1798), Type I (Silver, 13.91 gr, 34.00 mm) KM unlisted, Pridmore unlisted. Fine - Holed .

The first dollar consisted of various cut or holed Spanish dollars and other Spanish colonial coins. The dollar was subdivided into bits (worth 9 pence). The first series of coins was produced between 1791 and 1798 in denominations of 1-1/2, 5-1/2 and 11 bits, with the 5-1/2 bits holed 4 reales coins, the 11 bits holed 8 reales coins and the 1-1/2 bits the plugs from producing the 5-1/2 and 11 bits coins.

Authorization not traced, but is presumed near the end of 1798. The Holey Dollar issues of Dominica and Tobago appear to be quite similar, but in fact are distinctly different. The most significant of which is the side each coin was pierced from; Dominica from the reverse while those of Tobago were pierced from the obverse. Furthermore, it is now theorized that there are two distinct types from Tobago; Type I, crude elongated and slanted crenations (Stack's Bowers Galleries, January 2023 NYINC Auction, Lot 21468) and the Type II, with neat nearly vertical crenations (Stack's Bowers Galleries, January 2023 NYINC Auction, Lot 21377). Plug removal by piercing the center of the coin consisting of 14 or 15 crenation's.

Pridmore collection not including 5-1/2 bits (Half dollar) coins, and the Byrne collection mentioned an example attributed to Dominica (Ray Byrne collection, Jess Peters, Sale 78 June 1975, Lot 1214). The 4 reales coin was pierce from the obverse and should be distinct as Type II from Tobago.

Applied to a 1776 PTS JR 4 Reales from Bolivia KM-54