Obverse of 1883 Hawaiian Dollar
Reverse of 1883 Hawaiian Dollar

Ron Guth: Hawaii has enjoyed a long and storied history, beginning with the original population of the islands centuries ago to their discovery by Captain Cook in 1778, their annexation by the United States in 1898, statehood in 1959, to the present day. Because of the close involvement between Hawaii and the United States, their history also includes a close connection with their coinage.

In 1847, cents were made for King Kamehameha III. These were struck by a private firm in the United States. Several varieties are known.

In 1883, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars were struck at the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia for Hawaii. These coins display a bust of the King David Kalakaua. The sizes of the coins match those of United States coins and, although the Hawaiian coins bore unusual Hawaiian denominations, they were valued the same as their U.S. counterparts.

Plantation Tokens are coins made for use in company stores on some of the plantations that existed in Hawaii years ago. All of these are rare and sought-after today.