A Very Special 1996 Royal Hawaiian Mint Silver Proof Set

A very special 1996 Royal Hawaiian Mint Silver Proof Set was repeatedly ignored by collectors at an auction website. I have to admit, I also ignored the contents of the set, however I have been monitoring the set’s price as the seller was lowering its price on each auction re-listing. There were subtle hints  in the listing’s description if you read it carefully.

Over this past weekend I made the connection and pounced on this very special 1996 Royal Hawaiian Mint Silver Proof Set and became its new owner. What makes this set very special?

First lets’ review the contents of a normal 1996 Royal Hawaiian Silver Proof set. The set has a total mintage of 1250. The set includes five coins:

  • 1996 King Kamehameha Sovereign Akahi Dala (first day of issue sets have the date 5-16-96 above the last letter A of DALA) 1 oz. (individual mintage 2850)
  • 1996 King Kalakaua Hapalua Dala ½ oz. (individual mintage 1295)
  • Undated 200 LA HO’OMANO’O 200th Anniversary Hapaha Dala ¼ oz. (individual mintage 1315)
  • 1996 Queen Liliuokalani Hapaumi Dala 1/10 oz. (individual mintage 1350)
  • 1996 Princess Kaiulani Hapaiwakalua Dala 1/20 oz. (individual mintage 1375)

These are rather high mintages for RHM (for the entire set and individual coins).

What makes my newly acquired 1996 Royal Hawaiian Silver Proof set very special? Well, if you have looked closely at four of the five coins you would have seen it as an error set. Yes, an error set.  The very special 1996 Royal Hawaiian Silver Proof Set I purchased has the following five coins (significance traits are underlined and bolded):

  • 1998 King Kamehameha Sovereign Akahi Dala 1 oz. (individual mintage undocumented)
  • 1997 King Kalakaua Hapalua Dala ½ oz. (documented mintage 88 and has engraved serial number). This is a specimen without an engraved serial number.
  • Undated 200 LA HO’OMANO’O 200th Anniversary Hapaha Dala ¼ oz. (individual mintage 1315)
  • 1997 Queen Liliuokalani Hapaumi Dala 1/10 oz. (individual mintage undocumented)
  • 1997 Princess Kaiulani Hapaiwakalua Dala 1/20 oz. (individual mintage undocumented)

As you can see, this 1996 holder holds non-1996 dated specimens. This is a significant error. As pointed out in the bold and underlined text, four specimens are undocumented and are either pattern coins or low mintage test strike coins.

The RHM publically available mintage information have undocumented mintages for four of the five coins. It is also highly unlikely someone tampered with the sealed set and replaced them with rarities.

Rarities?  Here is my analysis of the coins.

  • 1998 King Kamehameha Sovereign Akahi Dala 1 oz – This is the first example of the date and Akahi Dala design I have seen.  The dated obverse die was later paired with the 1998 Hawaii Convention reverse design. The dated obverse die was also paired with the $10 Dala reverse design, thus creating X# MB154 (mintage 30). The 1998 King Kamehameha Sovereign Akahi Dala may just be an unique coin.
  • 1997 King Kalakaua Hapalua Dala ½ oz – This is the first example I have seen of an un-serialized version of this coin. RHM documentation (COA) indicates there are 88 specimens with an engraved serial number on the reverse. This may be the only one without a serial number, thus making it an unique un-serialized version specimen.
  • 1997 Queen Liliuokalani Hapaumi Dala 1/10 oz – This is the first 1997 dated silver specimen I have seen and should be elevated  key coin for the Queen Liliuokalani series collector.
  • 1997 Princess Kaiulani Hapaiwakalua Dala 1/20 oz – This is the first 1997 dated silver specimen I have seen and should be elevated as a key coin for the Princess Kaiulani series collector.

This error assembled 1996 Royal Hawaiian Silver Proof Set is serial numbered 0754. Pictures are forth coming once I have received the set.

Are there more sets like this out there?