Simple as 1, 2,and 3?

If you don’t watch carefully the off medal varieties can slip pass you.

I recommend that you start updating your WIGB with personal notes of everything you see that is missing or incorrect in WIGB. Mine is littered with notes and updates. Even if an items is being reported by another individual, document it.

Hint: You mean you have not periodically visiting the recently update Royal Hawaiain Mint since I first reported it being operational in late 2014?

Hint: Snooze and you loose. RHM has been removing items periodically from their website, thus wiping out all official and historical information.

Hint: Have you saved images as “for your use” only from the RHM website? Again, how can you collect without any visual information?

Back on topic…..

Varieties of the 1990 Honolulu Dala (in WIGB)

Variety 1 – Grand Opening

Variety 2 – Normal Issue

Variety 3 – Gold Plated

Simple as 1,2, and 3? Wrong

Variety 4 was reported in bronze!

The copper variety is unlisted. If you want to complete this series you will need a bronze variety.

I made the discovery and reported it in a previous blog….


Mule It

One of the steps I perform in reviewing coins at auction sites is to verify the die pair of a coin listed. This maybe time consuming, but if it doesn’t match you have a mule that you can add to your collection. Mules are dies that are paired together that were not officially issued together.

Hint: The Royal Hawaiian Mint (RHM) has made several mules. A common mule incorporates a  die struck in official released and pairing it with a RHM advertising die.

Hint: It is most likely that these mule strikes are low in population and have been identified RHM newsletters (wait…you have not read the old RHM newsletters at their current website?) . If they contain a stated value, striking will be limited.

This is a 2M-196 obverse paired with a “Royal Hawaiian Trade Dala” reverse die.





The Hawaiian Mint 21mm Sister Bronze Patterns

One of my earlier blog entry mentioned the purchase of a unrecognized bronze Hawaiian Mint “replica” pattern with possible matching obverse die on a 18K gold pattern.

After close examination of the coin it has been confirmed that these are sister pattern coins, that is, both coins utilized the same obverse die.

Based on the Waifs in Gold Boots (WIGB) listing. This is a discovery (unlisted) “replica” Hapaha bronze pattern. Diameter match. Reeded edge denticals match. Thickness match. Font on die match. Etc…

Kalakaua 1980 21mm Sterling 180 Obv. KALAKAUA I KING OF HAWAII 1883 (replica 1883). Rev. 1/4 D, HAPAHA, Marked “replica”, Crest, Motto of Kingdom,
Kalakaua 1980 21mm 18K Gold 17 Obv. KALAKAUA I KING OF HAWAII 1883 Rev. Crest, Motto of Kingdom, 18K GOLD
Kalakaua 1980 21mm Copper 9 Patter. Same except in copper

In addition,  WIGB listed the 18K gold pattern as copper with population of 9. This sister pattern coin in my collection is bronze. I assume WIGB is incorrectly listing the coin as copper.Based on this low pattern population. The “replica” pattern must also be low.



Establishing a Numismatic Legacy

During the past weeks my career has been keeping me busy (4 projects, 2 reviews, mentor sponsorship, overtime, lunch time presentation, performance reviews, etc…).

I’ve have five displays cases reserved  for an upcoming coin show and have been finalizing its design.

The last snippet pretty much reveals the significance of my research.

The effort for the coin show was not a waste of time since majority of the graphics can be ported over to the book (ISBN number already assigned).sc2 cs1


The Unwanted Pattern Purchase

The difference between a collector and a numismatist is the curiosity factor. The collector wants the specimen to build his/her collection. The numismatist wants the specimen to study and understand.

The case of the Unwanted Pattern happened recently. By sheer coincidence I viewed a coin with a strange auction title. As I previously mentioned in earlier blogs, I perform a sequence of steps on candidate purchases. This candidate resulted in a red alert signal which triggered a must buy at all reasonable cost.

I monitored the specimen daily for bids. After a few days, I knew that this specimen was not getting any attention at all. I discretely placed a bid. Days elapsed and no other bids appeared. A last second sniper made a last ditch effort to win the coin.  (really, look at the screen capture of the auction in the photo).

I won the specimen for a bargain basement price of $6.38 + 99c shipping.

What was this coin? What was the purchase trigger? How was the specimen overlooked?

The key word in the ad was “REPLICA”. This was the negative trigger that raised an “avoid it like the plague” signal.

The coin is an undocumented bronze pattern of a 1980 KALAKAUA I KING OF HAWAII HAPAHA

(1) As the Waifs in Gold Boots (WIGB) indicates a 21 mm silver coin was struck with:

Obv. KALAKAUA I KING OF HAWAII 1883 (replica 1883). Rev. 1/4 D, HAPAHA, Marked “replica”, Crest, Motto of Kingdom,

(2) How did I know it was a Pattern since it’s not listed in WIGB?

Right below this WIGB listing is a 18K gold coin that I have a Pattern specimen. This Pattern uses the same Obverse Die as the coin in the auction

Another giveaway was the light metal streaks  seen on the coin’s surface and are the same for the Pattern in my collection. I’ve studied the obverse die previously and document the 18K pattern find

Click images to enlarge.



Hawaiian Royal Orders By Gordon Medcalf

I picked up this book a few weeks ago. A very good book.

Expands on the derails in Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog Second Edition. Most likely it was the source for the two M&R guidebooks.

This book also identifies the recipients (aids in provenance traceability).



What is the first State of Hawaii Item Produced by the U.S. Mint?

Not the Kingdom of Hawaii silver coins (dollar, half-dollar, quarter, dime, nor 12-1/2 cents)!

Not the Territory of Hawaii Hawaiian Sesquicentennial half dollar!

Not the Hawaii Statehood quarter!

It’s Gomez DDE-08 (M&R 2M-94) struck in 1960 as being the first U.S. Mint product with the State of Hawaii as a design element. It took just 10 months after becoming the 50th State. (Alaska originally was to have a POTUS appreciation medal, but it was cancelled.

The image below is part of my collection of POTUS Appreciation medals (I have four more medals not in the picture).

Other facts based on my ongoing POTUS appreciation medal research.

  • Majority of the POTUS medals were officially first issued outside the U.S. in a foreign country. This is a significant find as US Mint products are normally issued domestically first, however these medals were first issued internationally
  • Department of State is normally given credit for issuing the POTUS appreciation medals (which is totally incorrect)
  • Other information is still confidential as an update to the current book is in progress