State of Preservation: Franklin Mint Issues (silver medal in postal covers)

Many of the Franklin Mint issues have been mishandled by so-called dealers. One example is the medals encased in postal covers. These dealers (and collectors) focus on the medal and discard the postal cover. When this happens the degradation time-clock starts:

  1. The medal becomes unknown to non-specialist. Many key identification information from the COA is lost forever (set it came from, year issued, metal content, etc…).
  2. Environmental exposure begins to the medal’s surface. For an example, the Captain Cook medal was issued in 1977 and 38 years have now elapsed.
  3. Risk of mishandling begins to the medal’s surface. Again, using the Captain Cook example, I would prefer to own the original encapsulated medal rather than a loose piece.

One of the things I’ve been determining is a attrition rate formula to determine the “acceptable collectible supply” for the Franklin Mint issues.

For silver medals postal cover scenarios an example after 38 years after issue:

  • 20% smelting loss.
  • 20% mishandling loss.
  • 50% Remain intact in complete set by Franklin Mint collectors.

In this example only 10% of the mintage intact in original postal cover will be available to Hawaiian collectors.

Using this percentage “example formula”, the Captain Cook medal mintage of 2216 FMR-E03 results with only 221 specimens to Hawaiiana collectors. Again, this is just my theory to determine availability for Hawaiiana collectors.

The topic of determining price for the Captain Cook medal is subjective. Most use the M&R guidebook (which is now 24 years old). Then there is the lack of information (mintage and source set)) in the M&R guidebook. So how did M&R set the price?

In this Captain Cook example, its listed as 2M-79 with no mintage or source set identified. The source set somewhat helps to identify the demand for the individual medal based on the Franklin Mint collector’s demand for the set. The Great Explorer Medals was sold world-wide (not only in the US) making it also hard to locate.

The 10% mintage population rule seems to work for me in collecting intact specimens in original Franklin Mint packaging.

When was the last time you saw a 2M-79 Mint in Package for sale?


IMG_0002a IMG_0003a

The Aloha Airlines Silver Tail Ingot FMI-A01

Listed as FMI-A01 in my  just released book Hawaiian Numismatic Issues from the Franklin Mint: Medals, Coins and Ingots. 

This Aloha Airlines sterling silver ingot has a mintage of 1,777 (mintage is deceiving as Franklin Mint collectors do not breakup sets). If you locate a FMI-A01  today, its a remnant from a broken up completed set.

Hint: The choicest specimens are those in original Franklin Mint packaging.  The proper collector term is Mint in Package (MIP).

Hint: The original Franklin Mint paperwork is also desired and extremely hard to come by since most specimens are a remnant from a broken up completed set.

Hint: Aloha Airlines went out of business in 2008 making this highly sought after by airline and Aloha Airlines memorabilia collectors.

Here is a MIP FMI-A01 with its original Franklin Mint paperwork and magazine ad.



fm1 fm2 fm3

Eight $10 Dala Coins

Only 30 coins were struck for each of the six designs.

Here is my hoard (not included is my Princess Kaiulani) of eight (obverse design not shown on purpose).


Here are the Krause Publication listings (with my correction):

(has Kalakaua image, should be Kaiulani image)–cuid-140046-duid-343814

(has Liliuokalani image, should be Bust of Kamehameha holding spear image)

(has King Kamehameha Sovereign image, should be Liliuokalani image)

(has Kaiulani, should be Kalakaua image)

(has Bust of Kamehameha holding spear image, should be King Kamehameha Sovereign  image)–cuid-140050-duid-343818

This is correct image with description



21 of the Known 34 Franklin Mint Ingots are missing in the 1991 Medcalf & Russell Book

Below is the breakdown of the 34 known Hawaii related Franklin Mint ingots sorted by rarity.

The rows identified with “unlisted” indicates it’s unlisted in the 1991 Medcalf & Russell book.

Rarity Rank THN Identifier Population M&R Status
1 FMI-F03 1124 unlisted
2 FMI-F10 1124 unlisted
3 FMI-F05 1443 unlisted
4 FMI-A01 1777 unlisted
5 FMI-A02 1777 unlisted
6 FMI-E06 2285 unlisted
7 FMI-S01 2905 unlisted
8 FMI-S02 Included with FM-S01
9 FMI-FF01 2988 unlisted
10 FMI-E03 3078 unlisted
11 FMI-E01 3231 unlisted
12 FMI-E04 3231 unlisted
13 FMI-B05 3370
14 FMI-F07 3576
15 FMI-B01 4154
16 FMI-F01 4892
17 FMI-F08 4892
18 FMI-E02 5618 unlisted
19 FMI-E05 5618 unlisted
20 FMI-F06 5803
21 FMI-F12 7731 unlisted
22 FMI-B02 8014
23 FMI-B03 8014
24 FMI-B04 8014
25 FMI-F04 18412
26 FMI-F11 18412
27 FMI-F02 unk unlisted
28 FMI-F09 unk unlisted
29 FMI-S03 unk unlisted
30 FMI-ST01 unk unlisted
31 FMI-ST02 unk
32 FMI-ST03 unk unlisted
33 FMI-ST04 unk unlisted
34 FMI-ST05 unk unlisted

Now you need the book that fully catalogs  the Franklin Mint issues (release date is still TBD).

26 Out of the Top 40 Rarities are missing in 1991 Medcalf & Russell Book

Knowledge is power. Especially in numismatics. There are a total of 80 Hawaii related Franklin Mint Rounds (based on my upcoming re-release of my book).

Below is a breakdown of the 40 rarest Franklin Mint Rounds.  The rows identified with “unlisted” indicates it’s unlisted in the 1991 Medcalf & Russell book. And yes there are 26 of the 40 not listed in the Medcalf & Russel book. If you don’t have the full Hawaiian numismatic picture, you are collecting at a disadvantage and missing collecting  opportunities.

Now you need the book that fully catalogs  the Franklin Mint issues (release date is still TBD).

Rarity Rank THN  Identifier Population M&R Status
1 FMR-E12 1
2 FMR-E18 1
3 FMR-E26 1 Unlisted
4 FMR-E36 1 Unlisted
5 FMR-E32 3
6 FMR-P14 3 Unlisted
7 FMR-PL10 10 Unlisted
8 FMR-PL13 45
9 FMR-E14 63 Unlisted
10 FMR-E20 63 Unlisted
11 FMR-E28 63 Unlisted
12 FMR-PL05 155
13 FMR-E22 285
14 FMR-PL09 290
15 FMR-P04 296 Unlisted
16 FMR-P09 412 Unlisted
17 FMR-M01 500 Unlisted
18 FMR-P02 647 Unlisted
19 FMR-E24 651
20 FMR-PL15 743 Unlisted
21 FMR-PL07 866 Unlisted
22 FMR-P11 895 Unlisted
23 FMR-P07 955 Unlisted
24 FMR-PL20 1023 Unlisted
25 FMR-PL22 1023 Unlisted
26 FMR-PL16 1274
27 FMR-PL06 1303
28 FMR-PL18 1350 Unlisted
29 FMR-P08 1596
30 FMR-E34 1706 Unlisted
31 FMR-PL12 1853
32 FMR-PL21 1872 Unlisted
33 FMR-PL23 1872 Unlisted
34 FMR-E38 1876 Unlisted
35 FMR-P05 1939 Unlisted
36 FMR-PL17 2109
37 FMR-P01 2204 Unlisted
38 FMR-E05 2216
39 FMR-E30 2500 Unlisted
40 FMR-P06 2818 Unlisted

Unacceptable Re-seller Performance

It took some time for me to locate a Medcalf & Russell 2M-55 (Gomez FMR-PL17). The re-seller broke up a complete US Conference Mayors Medals set from the Franklin Mint.  Hawaii related Franklin Mint issues only appear for sale when a complete set is individually resold (intent is multiple price mark-ups on increase inventory or sell the remnants of a cannibalized set).

A USPS “body bag” that contained a bubble wrap envelope and a loose medal was delivered to my street address. From my evaluation of the situation, I see that the sealing fold of the bubble wrap envelope was damaged causing a large hole which allowed the medal to be ejected out during shipment. Half of a coin flip was found in the bubble envelope.

The re-seller failed in several ways:

1. Always secure the coin/medal in the coin flip or coin cardboard holder. Seal it to prevent it from being dislodged during shipment and handling.

2. Secure the coin flip or cardboard holder in a  corrugated safety mailer or place between a folded piece of corrugated cardboard from a shipping box. Seal it to prevent it from being dislodged during shipment and handling.

3. Secure the corrugated safety mailer/folded piece of corrugated cardboard in the mailing envelope. As an extra measure of security, tape the corrugated holder on the inside of the envelope. Filament tape works best.

4. Seal the mailing envelope.

5. Along the four mailing envelope folds, fold on re-enforced gummed paper tape. The gummed paper tape is first moisten  and  folded onto each of the folds. it is best to overlap the gummed paper tape for a secure seal.

6. Address with water resistant ink. If not, overlap the address with clear shipping tape. If a pre-printed label is used, overlap the address with clear shipping tape (USPS does not recommend covering the label with tape but I normally do it).

This re-seller only performed 1 of the 6 steps. A “F” in my book as a coin dealer.


As a side note: If the coin/medal is of high value always ship in a box. Entomb the box with gummed paper tape in random patterns. The random patterns allows the applied (stamped) inked USPS dated seal on the  gummed tape  to act as tamper evident seal. Always verify that the USPS randomly places the inked USPS dated seal all over and at random places on the entomb box.  This packaging method can be seen from received items from major auction houses and major dealers.


Book Update: Hawaiiana Numismatic Issues of The Franklin Mint: Medals, Coins, and Ingots

The original version of the book was titled, The Hawaiiana Numismatist’s Catalog of Franklin Mint Issues Relating to Hawaii and was published in March of 2014. Since then I decided to provide a more descriptive title, Hawaiiana Numismatic Issues of The Franklin Mint: Medals, Coins, and Ingots.

The Franklin Mint issues have been previously integrated into Hawaiiana numismatics. There are a total of 37 medals and 12 ingots cataloged in the book Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog “Second Edition”, 1991, by Medcalf & Russell (MR91).

In performing the research for this book, I uncovered a total of 80 Franklin Mint medals relating to Hawaii. These additional 43 medals are not generally known by the Hawaiian specialist/collector, are often overlooked and not collected. I’ve also uncovered a total of 34 Franklin Mint ingots relating to Hawaii. These additional 22 ingots are also not generally known by the Hawaiian specialist/collector, are also overlooked, and not collected.

This book fills the knowledge gap about the previously undocumented Franklin Mint issues relating to Hawaii by cataloging these issues.  This book also provides additional information helpful to the Hawaiian specialist/collector, such as images, mintages, cross references with MR91, and identification of the Franklin Mint’s source set of the medal or ingot of interest.

Book is under review. Release date is TBD.