Lot 393 Was My Prize – Alaska-Hawaii Statehood Oxidized Copper

I’ve been anticipating this auction for weeks. This past Sunday morning I was glued to my computer screen and listening to some KPOP  http://youtu.be/7LP4foN3Xs4 waiting for the right lots to appear…

I normally don’t bid sight unseen. And to boot, no other descriptive information nor image was in the auction catalog.

http://www.numismaticauctionsllc.com/uploads/Sale_53_US_Exonumia___So-Called_Dollars_Lots_249-421.pdf

However, it was NGC graded MS64RB.

Population 8 with only 1 graded higher. A very desirable coin.

http://www.ngccoin.com/poplookup/census-detail.aspx?PrintOrder=23165&IDCoins=850869&PopSubCat=1959AK-HIHK-533

Bidding was furious for lot 393.

There was a so-called dollar specialist buying up what he could…

Final hammer price was $170 without auction fees. Images to be posted when coin is received.

 

Bronze Progression Set – Official Hawaii Statehood Medal

According to M&R only 30 progression sets are known to exist.

What is a progression set? A progression set provide samples taken  during the manufacturing process of the medal, in this case here, the Official Hawaii Statehood medal.

Here are some recent images of a set in my collection. I tried to focus on a specific area of the medal to show the creation of details of the medal (high relief medals require multiple strikes). No image was taken of the blank planchet. The first three strikes are in brilliant bronze.  Focus on the lei details…

Strike 1 - Crude forming of the design

Strike 1 – Crude forming of the design

Strike 2 - Details gets better

Strike 2 – Details gets better

Strike 3 - Full design

Strike 3 – Full design

Finished medal with antiquing performed to contrast the high relief

Finished medal with antiquing performed to contrast the high relief

100 Dalas 1/20 oz Gold Coin

On eBay last night, there was a 1991 Princess Victoria Kaiulani Heir Apparent 1891  1/20 oz gold coin (13mm ) listed for auction. This coin was struck in 1993. Only 625 specimens were stuck. The iconic design of Princess Victoria Kaiulani makes this a highly desirable coin.

This is a mule coin in that the reverse dies were most likely created in 1993 and the obverse die was from 1991.

The significance of this piece is that it is the first coin to depict a money unit greater than one dala in the RHM coin series. This is a 100 dalas gold coin. This is also the first instance where the upright dolphin was used as a design element.

goldk

Is it a counterfeit?

I examined the pictures of the coin and its looks like a worn obverse die was used or striking pressure was reduced.

The obvious catch is the incomplete RHM initials below the word Hawaii.

Then the incomplete C,  E, S and S in the PRINCESS.

Then the C and O in VICTORIA are incomplete.

The A, R, E, N, T are also incomplete in the word APPARENT.

The 89 in the date 1891 is also incomplete.

The weak striking of the denticles on the obverse are also matches the areas near the incomplete letters.

The denticles on the top side of the obverse are not single and uniform (split in two)

The obverse portrait: Ear looks doubled, rust marks along cheek, and lost of detail in hair above date.

Here is a redline markings of my concerns (click to enlarge)…

Redlines are my concerns

Redlines are my concerns

The reverse 13 mm design is the upright dolphin (first time used on a RHM coin).

The upright dolphin  design (13mm) was also used on the:

1994 Save the Ocean 13mm gold coin

1997 Save the Dolphin 13mm gold coin (undocumented in public accessible RHM mintage information).

(top is 1994 and bottom is 1997 . Note the change in wave design. )

dolphin

The upright dolphins come in three sizes (for the 13mm gold).

Slim head – 1993

Medium  head- 1994

Large head – 1997

I did an instant purchase on the 1993 struck 1991 Princess Victoria Kaiulani Heir Apparent 1891  1/20 oz gold coin. I will inspect the coin in person as soon as I receive it…

I plan to conserve the coin with NCS to remove the spotty look.