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.