Three rare Australian coins including the most famous example of the nation's first coin the "Holey Dollar" have fetched Aus$880,000 (US$911,000) at auction.
The coin known as the "Hannibal Head" Holey Dollar -- created in New South Wales state in 1813 from an 1810 Silver Dollar minted at the Lima Mint in Peru -- sold for Aus$410,000, an auction record for a coin of its type.
Dealer Coinworks also auctioned an 1852 Adelaide Pound, the nation's first gold coin, at the sale in Melbourne late Monday with that item attracting Aus$370,000, while an 1813 Colonial Dump coin sold for Aus$100,000.
"I saw really beautiful quality coins sell for very exciting prices, so from a Coinworks perspective, and an industry perspective, there are no complaints," Coinworks managing director Belinda Downie said.
The Hannibal Head coin is the only known example in private hands, with only one other known to exist held by the State Library of New South Wales.
It was one of 40,000 Spanish silver dollars obtained by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to alleviate the British colony's coin shortage in the early 1800s.
Macquarie enlisted the help of a convicted forger, William Henshall, to cut a hole in the centre of each.
The resulting "donut" was then stamped over with the words New South Wales, the value Five Shillings and the date 1813 to create Australia's first coin, the 1813 Holey Dollar.
The piece taken out of the centre became the 1813 Colonial Dump, with a value of 15 pence.
The Hannibal Head Holey Dollar is special because the original coin was minted in 1810 at the Lima Mint with a portrait design that protested Joseph Bonaparte's ascension to the Spanish throne by use of an unflattering portrait.
Adding to the history, it was discovered in 1881 near Hobart in Tasmania and believed to be from the cache of a bushranger, or outlaw, who would have robbed passing travellers.