Hawaiian (The) Mint

Hawai‘i State Archives


Hawaiian coins
$1 coin, obverse and reverse dies.
Artifact Collection: #120b-c.


In 1883, the Hawaiian Government ordered $1,000,000 worth of silver coins from the United States San Francisco Mint for use as the coinage of the Kingdom. The denominations minted were ‘umi keneta (dime), hapahā (quarter), hapalua (half dollar) and ‘akahi dālā (one dollar).

All denominations depicted a profile of King Kalākaua on the obverse, and the shield from the Hawaiian Coat of Arms on the reverse, except for the dime which had a wreath and crown.

After the required number of coins were minted, the dies used to strike the obverse of each denomination were defaced with an X mark across the profile of King Kalākaua to prevent further use. Both the obverse and reverse dies were then turned over to the Hawaiian Government and are now in the collection of the Hawai‘i State Archives. The hubs which were used to make the dies are still preserved at the U.S. Philadelphia Mint.

The coins were legal currency under the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, the Republic of Hawai‘i and even after Hawai‘i became a Territory of the United States in 1900. The coins ceased to be legal after January 1, 1904.