One evening (December 2013) I was populating the Hawaii State section of a website with specimens from my collection. I was at the point where I completed the addition of my 1974 Maui Coin Club (MCC) uniface medal to the database. Curiosity about this medal made me research the internet for duplicates and other MCC medals. I received no search hits.
After re-reading the MCC pages in the book, Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog 2nd Edition by Medcalf & Russell, I searched for the minter, Pressed Metals Products (PMP) from Canada. I received a hit, clicked on it, and was directed to PMP official website. I explored the website and found images relating to the MCC medals. I send an email to PMP requesting permission to use the images for the website. I did indicate that PMP would receive full credit as the source for the images.
PMP was the original minter of the Maui Coin Club (MCC) medals issued between 1973 through 1981. MCC disbanded in 1981. After a few days I received a reply from PMP. They denied me image use rights based on the fact that MCC owned the designs and their approval was required. I immediately provided evidence that the MCC organization was no longer active (sent images of pages 120 and 121 from the Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog 2nd Edition). At that point, PMP was supportive with my request and granted me image use rights for the website. They also asked if I could use better quality images. I replied “yes”.
PMP searched their archive and found several MCC “working samples” or simply “samples”. Samples are struck at the same time as the original order. A sample was used to judge the quality of the medal from the production run and was later placed in their archive as a reference.
Organizations ordering medals from PMP are told samples are kept. It is unlikely that these organizations are aware in the existence of PMP’s archive of samples. All samples within PMP archive has never left their minting facility and are not considered “issued” medals. Samples are not re-strikes. PMP destroys dies that reach the age of 10-years old. In the case of MCC, no MCC official claimed the MCC samples before or after MCC disbanded. Images of the MCC samples were provided to me to use at the website.
In one email exchange, I inquired about my 1974 MCC uniface medal (PMP later provided very helpful information). In the same email, I jokingly asked if I could buy a few MCC “samples” for my collection. I believed it would be impossible to buy any in their archive. I was pleasantly shocked in that they entertained the idea of selling their archived MCC medals to me. They asked for an estimated value for each medal and I provided it.
After a few days, they made the decision to sell their MCC samples to me since they were collecting dust and it would be in better hands with someone who would appreciate them. They ask me to provide a buy price. I quickly provided a buy price for their entire inventory of MCC samples.
A few days later PMP sent an email indicating they found two more MCC samples in their archive and provided me with an amended buy price. I agreed to the terms of the amended buy price with two conditions. Condition 1: Do not clean the medals. Ship them to me as how it was found in the archive. Condition 2: Provide me a letter of provenance (with a signature by a company official) indicating I am the original purchaser of the MCC samples, include a complete inventory of the purchased MCC medals, and their status as MCC working samples.
The MCC medals were delivered today. I am the proud owner of rather unique set of MCC medals. Below is one of the medals received today. Click to enlarge.