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Press Release - April 16, 2004

Heritage to offer rare Huth Hawaiian Dollar at Central States Signature Auction

Dallas, Texas: A rare 1895 Huth Hawaiian Dollar will be placed under the auction hammer at Heritage's Central States Signature Auction, held in Milwaukee May 5-8. Heritage is the official auctioneer of the Central States Numismatic Society.

Struck in silver with a diameter identical to that of a contemporary Morgan dollar, the piece is encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation as PR63. The obverse features a bust of Princess Kaiulani along with four dolphins in the nearby field. The reverse depicts a globe focused on the Hawaiian Islands, and bears the date Oct. 16, 1893, which was the eighteenth birthday of the Princess. Kingdom of Hawaii specialists will recognize it as variety MH-5 (Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog, Second Edition, Donald Medcalf and Ronald Russell, 1990) or XM4 (Unusual World Coins, Third Edition, Colin R. Bruce II, 1992).

Technically neither silver dollars nor patterns, the 1895 Huth Dollars are nonetheless coveted by Hawaiian specialists. According to Medcalf, "They are extremely popular and seldom offered for sale." These fascinating, high quality medals were struck by Messrs. Pinches & Co. of London, England. They were made to order for Reginald Huth, a wealthy English numismatist and royalist who made similar unofficial pieces for Spain, Madagascar, and England.

Princess Kaiulani (1875-1899), whose full name was Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Kaiulani, was the final heir to the Hawaiian throne. Her visit to President Grover Cleveland is credited with his decision to deny annexing the Hawaiian Islands, although President McKinley made Hawaii a republic in 1898, ending the monarchy.

According to Heritage World Coin Auctions Director Warren Tucker, the Heritage Central States specimen "is exquisitely struck and has lovely original golden-brown, rose, and sky-blue patina. The fields are fully reflective."

Other varieties of the 1895 Huth Dollars feature Queen Liliuokalani (MH-1 and 2), or depict Kaiulani with only a single dolphin below the portrait (MH-3). According to Medcalf, fifty pieces were struck in silver, and this mintage represented both the one dolphin and four dolphin types. In addition to the silver strikings, extremely rare trial pieces are known struck in gold, copper, iron, and tin.

Images, descriptions, and prices realized are available in the Permanent Auction Archives at the Heritage website,

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