Royal Hawaiian Mint

Original Mint Masterpieces Since 1974

King Kalakaua

King Kalakaua

In 1883, when the Hawaiian Islands were still an independent kingdom, King Kalakaua I authorized the only legal tender coinage ever issued by his island nation. The story of the original coins begins when special representatives of the King of Hawaii asked Charles Barber of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia to design a set of legal tender coinage for the kingdom. Barber had designed many U.S. coins and his name is today associated with whole series of 19th century coins. Barber's designs were submitted to the King and approved. The U.S. Mint in Philadelphia struck six proof sets in September, 1883. Coins earmarked for circulation in the islands were struck at the Mint in San Francisco. The coins remained in circulation even after the monarchy was deposed eleven years later. Stanford B. Dole was named the first and only President of the Republic of Hawaii in 1893.

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