About This Set:
A King's Legacy: The circulating coinage of Kalakaua was struck at the San Francisco Mint between November of 1883 and June of 1884, though all coins bore the 1883 date. The denominations struck corresponded to those provided for in the law of 1846, with one exception: The hapawalu, or eighth dollar, was excluded from regular production in favor of the umi (ten) keneta, or dime. This move facilitated the use of standard USA silver planchets. Because the eighth dollar would have required a non-standard planchet, only 20 or so proofs were made, with no business strikes. Today, other than the eighth dollar, all denominations are fairly common in circulated grades, despite the high melt rates, although genuinely scarce in Mint State. The one exception is the hapaha, or quarter dollar. Many Uncirculated rolls turned up after World War II, and these coins are highly sought by collectors for their flashy luster. The other denominations did not survive in similar quantities. Walter Breen (1988) writes that the U.S. Treasury had decided that the Islands should use American coins. As a result, orders went out to banks and commercial establishments in the Islands ordering withdrawal of all 1883 Hawaiian coins from circulation. Quoting from an Old Goldberg Auction, September 2009: "The Kalakaua coinage of 1883 resuited from an adroit combination of two apparently unrelated laws: The Coinage Act of 1880 and the National Loan Act of 1882. The coinage act provided that the Minister of Finance could buy gold and silver bullion "with any moneys which may from time to time be in the Treasury." With the bullion he could have gold coins minted of certain specified denominations and 'Silver Coins of the value of One Dollar, Fifty Cents, Twenty-five Cents and Twelve and one-half Cents.' All coins were to be of the same weight and fineness as coins of the United States. "The National Loan Act provided for the lending of $2,000,000 for specific purposes, the most important being encouragement of immigration and agriculture, and construction of roads, bridges and government buildings. Under the law, the proceeds were not to be used for current expenses of the government. Bonds under the loan act were to be issued at not less than par, with an interest rate of not more than six per cent a year. Principal and interest were to be payable 'in United States gold coin or its equivalent." [Joseph Adler, 1960].