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    Description

    Rare Kingdom of Hawaii Waterhouse Token

    (1855-1860) Hawaii Waterhouse Token AU53 PCGS. The obverse features a bust of King Kamehameha III (although the inscription reads Kamehameha IV) while a beehive is the major device on the reverse. Struck in white metal that is quite soft and prone to corrosion or other damage. John Thomas Waterhouse, Jr. was an importer and owned the very first "dry goods" store on the Honolulu Harbor waterfront, having emigrated from Tasmania in 1851. The name of the store was the "Beehive" and indeed his firm's tokens were called hale meli, which translates to beehive in Hawaiian. These scarce pieces are the earliest known tokens used in Hawaii and are eagerly sought by collectors of Hawaiiana. The example offered here is the first we can recall handling and is among the finest known for this elusive issue. There is typical bluntness at the center of the obverse and a few scattered areas of porosity. (NGC ID# 2C52, PCGS# 10966)

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2004
    9th-11th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,139

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