Cherry Picking a New Royal Hawaiian Mint Die Variety

One of the difficulties with online auctions of Royal Hawaiian Mint (RHM) coins  is the lack of information being provided by the seller. This results (at least for me) in looking for visual hints in the image provided and checking the RHM database. This is where deductive reasoning kicks in….This method is not set in stone, but provide subtle hints.

For this example I’m looking at a  individual 1994 Kalakaua 1/10 ounce gold (proof mintage 950 and uncirculated mintage 140)

Question 1:  Is the coin proof or brilliant uncirculated (BU)?

Question 2. Was the coin sold as a proof set?

Question 3. Is the coin for auction in its original RHM box for a single coin?

Question 4. Can you visually see a different between the proof and BU?  (need to search an image of proof and BU of the same coins)


Answer 1: Not sure (don’t trust the auction description).

Answer 2: Yes. If the coin was sold as part of a limited proof set, its is highly unlikely it would have NOT been sold as an individual proof.  Check the RHM database carefully.

Answer 3:  Yes.  Original individual RHM box provides the hint its highly likely  a BU coin. Need additional proof (no pun intended)

Answer 4:  Yes. I located a proof  image and compared it to the auction image.  I found two differences

See images




Difference 1:

In comparing the images, I made a discovery (there is  a “with RHM” and “without RHM”  obverse die varieties of the 1994 Kalakaua 1/10 oz gold).

I checked my intact 1994 Kalakaua proof set and inspected the 1/10 ounce coin. No RHM is present.

The BU coin has RHM hallmark.

Difference 2:

The BU coin’s field lacks  “true” mirror fields.



I now own a BU coin with a population of 140 and in original RHM box

As for the spots on my new coin, NCS conservation service can remove those spots.


A Unique 1994 Princess Kaiulani Dala Set

I finally completed my 1994 Princess Kaiulani Dala Set.

Each coin has a 1994 Princess Kaiulani obverse. Each coin also has a different design reverse.

Three of the specimens are not listed in the Royal Hawaiian Mint (RHM) database which makes this set rather unique and unknown to most  Hawaiiana collectors.

I originally identified the  Princess Dala and Akahi Dala error in the RHM database (search for the blog entry on this finding).

Later, I obtained a mule specimen of the Princess Mahalo Dala. I have a letter of provenance from the original owner. This is a unique specimen with only 1 known (The Meredith Specimen ) . (Search for the blog entry on this finding).

Recently, I acquired a very limited struck Princess  $10 Dala specimen at a very reasonable price. I actually had a NORFED broker search for  a specimen for me. He located only one. Unfortunately, the price was $1,500 (not a typo). The seller was out for cash and my response was ” NO WAY!”. It’s a very tough coin to locate according to the NORFED broker. This coin has an estimated 20 coin striking.

The following images are the four coins that are part of this rather unique 1994 Princess Kaiulani Dala Set.





2M-393 Deal of the Week

Unlisted in reference book So-Called Dollars by Hibler and  Kappen.

Listed in Hawaiian Money by Medcalf and Russell as 2M-393. The “marker” for this variety is the star. Star with rays (2M-394) and Star without rays (2M-393).

I made an online purchased of a 2M-393 this past week  at a low purchase price of $2.99 + shipping (see image).



In the below image (click to enlarge), 2M-394 is to the left (notice the rays extending from the star on the left). 2M-393 (on the right) star has no rays.