Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 54

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Lot 1457

1883 Hawaiian Dollar. PCGS graded MS-64. Well struck and nicely toned on both sides. One would be hard pressed to locate a more prestigious MS64 Hawaiian Silver Dollar, even if one were known to either NGC or PCGS. The richly toned, rotating surfaces, like summer storm clouds, provide base for the surge of unimpeded mint luster striking out from below. It is never common to find a Hawaiian coin struck with this degree of exactitude by the dies. But here is such a coin. We expect a fair amount of bidding activity. Pop 20; 8 in MS65; 5 in MS66. (PCGS # 10995) .

Discussions of Heraldry in coin design have passed, like the word itself, into desuetude. The modern reader's vision tends to fog over. But thanks to a copy of the October 1883 issue of "The American Journal of Numismatics" we can provide a detailed description of the reverse design on this famous Hawaiian silver dollar issue. Readers may wish to have a dictionary nearby:

The arms are quarterly, 1 and 4, barry of eight, arranged argent, gules, and azure, the bar in base being gules (the eight bars allude to the eight inhabited islands, and are arranged as the stripes in the national flag, in order of color); 2 and 3, argent," a " puloulou," or tabu stick, proper. This stick was a long rod, with a ball of "tapa" cloth at its top the white native cloth, prepared from bark. In former days, this staff with the cloth attached, and carried by one of the king's retainers, or by the followers of a high chief, had a peculiar significance. When the "puloulou " was left at the door of a native house it indicated that royalty was within, and it was death to enter, or pass it. When displayed at the four corners of a field, it signified that the land enclosed was appropriated by the chief who had placed them, and the same penalty followed any trespass. On the arms it alludes to the sanctity or inviolability of the government of the kingdom. The shield has for supporters two natives, in their old costume, the dexter holding a spear and the sinister the " kahili," or feather-topped staff, which was the badge of chief rank. An escutcheon of pretence bears gules, a fan (?) surmounted by two spears in saltire. This escutcheon is a portion of the royal arms, and does not, we are informed, pertain especially to the present ruler. Around the arms is the beautiful and poetic national motto UA MAU KE EA OKA AINA I KAPONO, signifying, "The life of the land is established in righteousness." On the left of the coat of arms is the numeral 1, and on the right D, and underneath AKAHI DALA, both meaning, "one dollar." At the bottom of the shield is the cross of an Order instituted by Kalakaua. The obverse of the smaller coins is the same with that just described.
Estimated Value $10,000 - 12,000.
From the 9/09 Hawaii Collection.

Realized $9,300

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