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Description

1881 Pattern Hawaii Nickel, AU50
Medcalf 2CN-1, A Major Rarity

1881 5C Hawaii Five Cents AU50 NGC. Medcalf 2CN-1, KM-2. This major Hawaiian rarity is a pattern, struck two years before regular coinage. To paraphrase the Medcalf reference, in 1881 King Kalakaua took a trip around the world while his new palace was being built. The owner of a nickel mine in New Caledonia was able to get in touch with him and offered to have five cent pieces struck as patterns at the Paris Mint. Approximately 200 such pieces were minted and later sent to the king when he returned to Hawaii. Nothing happened to advance the patterns to official status, but they were given out and many were carried as pocket pieces or ended up in jewelry. Later strikings from copy dies can easily be distinguished from originals by the absence of the cross on top of the crown.
This is apparently one of the pocket pieces. The surfaces display even, light wear over the high points, and there are no obvious or detracting abrasions on either side. The surfaces have the typical nickel-gray patina of a lightly circulated but uncleaned coin.
From The Michael A. Tongg Collection. (PCGS# 10975)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
27th-1st
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