When is the Royal Hawaiian Mint Not the Royal Hawaiian Mint?

The title of this blog entry seems a bit confusing. Let me explain. I will be discussing a curious King Kalakaua coin that is being misrepresented as a Bernard von NotHaus’s  Royal Hawaiian Mint issue. This misrepresentation also applies to a few other coins that I will point out at the end of this blog.

For the curious King Kalakaua coin. In 1969, Royal Hawaiian Coins Inc (of Honolulu, Hawaii) had a division named “Royal Hawaiian Mint”. Their issues are anodized aluminum with gold color. You will see a a “RHM” hallmark to the left of the King’s portrait and just above the left dot. These are tourist coins sold in decorative package for mailing. Below is an image of one (click to enlarge, click twice for max size) with packaging in rough shape. If you read the reverse, it provides a date and business name of the manufacturer as described earlier (Royal Hawaiian Coins Inc with a Royal Hawaiian Mint division).


This coin was also used in other decorative Hawaii items. Below is an image (click to enlarge, click twice for max size) of an  inaugural 747  flight by Continental Airlines on June 26, 1970.  If you carefully look at the coin, you will see the RHM hallmark above the left dot. Both the pre-packaged coin and the embedded coin are one in the same.


Now, if you look at the Medcalf & Russell book on page 134. A short history is provided about the mint names used by Bernard von NotHaus. In 1986, he re-organized and began to use the “Royal Hawaiian Mint” name.

Now you see the issue?

The Royal Hawaiian Mint of 1969 is not the same as The Royal Hawaiian Mint of 1986!

To further clear up the issue, look at the description of 2M-230 (page 115).  The three images above are of 2M-230 (anodized aluminum with gold color). The above coins are not a product of Bernard von NotHaus.

To prevent confusion, the proper description a seller should be using is … “minted by the Royal Hawaiian Mint, a division of Royal Hawaiian Coins Inc”.

Now…to the other coins by the Royal Hawaiian Mint, a division of Royal Hawaiian Coins Inc.

Medcalf & Russel 2M-322 (Menehune Money), 2M-280 (Queen Liliuokalani), and and unlisted Princess Kaiulani. It just so happens an eBay seller has listed a set in their original packaging.


What is your top Hawaiian coin in your collection?

A few year ago, the top coin in my collection was a 1883 Hawaii Quarter with great eye appeal. It was a NGC MS66. In fact, I was and still  is surprised that NGC used it’s image on their website. I sold the coin (foolish me). But at least I still have a PhotoProof folder of it (I ordered two when I had the service done. The other is with the coin’s new owner). Here is my former Hawaii Quarter. I just love the aqua blue hues. Make sure you click on the image to see it close up…


Today, I have to say that my 1991 Princess Kaiulani in uncirculated condition is my favorite. Only 55 struck and its 1 ounce of gold!.


1995 RHM Unification 1/20 oz Gold Coin

Close-up images of my new acquisition.

Mintage is 200.

This specimen is from a dispersed 1995 Ku’apapa Mo’i Gold Proof Set (1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10, and 1/20 oz gold coins). As you can see in the images, it is in a holder (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo).



KAMEHAMEHA I, HAWAII with Kamehameha in headdress holding spear.





UNIFICATION, KU’APAPA MO’I, 1/20 with Diamond Head, canoe, and pahoa (Hawaiian knife inbedded with shark teeth).

The Honolulu Mint – Endangered Species Series (designated as THN-THM-ESXX series)

There is a Hawaiian Endangered Species series that was issued by The Honolulu Mint.

The Honolulu Mint series is not well documented for the the Hawaiian specialist. This is good for some collectors (those who know can buy the series specimens at low prices), but bad for the whole Hawaiian coin collecting community (they are not really known, so collectors tend to shy away from them).

Below is the Nene Goose from the series. It comes in a booklet with the coin visible from both sides. The holder is well made and provides interesting facts about the the Nene Goose and the coins. It also functions as a COA. The coin is 27mm in diameter. This coin was issued in 2001.

Note that it was sold at the Bishop Museum (see the sticker). The selling price is also listed. Portion of the sale is to be donated to help protect the Nene Goose. It can be surmised that this series is  limited issued.

(click image to enlarge)



Here are a few other species in the collection series.







More information about this series can be read at The Honolulu Mint website…



The series is cataloged here as  THN-THM-ESXX

THN = The Hawaiian Numismatist

THM= The Honolulu Mint

ES=Endangered Species

XX = Unique Identifier

  • THN-THM-ES01 – Dolphin
  • THN-THM-ES02 – Green Sea Turtle
  • THN-THM-ES03 – Humpback Whale
  • THN-THM-ES04 – Humuhumunukunukuapua’a
  • THN-THM-ES05 –  I’iwi
  • THN-THM-ES06 – Monk Seal
  • THN-THM-ES07 – Moorish Idol
  • THN-THM-ES08 – Nene Goose


The Honolulu Mint also states that:

An Exclusive, Limited Edition Collectible Coin Set
The Honolulu Mint offers a limited edition of the Hawaiian wildlife endangered species coin collection in a .999 pure silver one ounce coin; deluxe sets of .999 pure gold one ounce coin with two .999 pure silver one ounce coins. All coins are proof-minted quality with a certificate of authenticity.”

If you have images of these coins Please provide me images to aid in cataloging this series. Thank you.

The ESXX series may expand  by 16 (8 – 1 oz silver coins and 8 – 1 oz gold coins). It will depend on the gold/silver deluxe set combination(s).