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Numismatic Detective - The Remember Pearl Harbor Pocket Coins



Here come my Japanese Zeros!

There still is a lack of correct information about the "Remember Pearl Harbor" coins. These coins: 2M-379 (Copper); 2M-380 (Copper "Pat. Pending"); 2M-381 (Nickel) and 2M-382 (Sterling Silver), as identified in the Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog, 2nd Edition by Medcalf and Russell, 1991). The documented mintage:

2M-379/2M-380 10,000 minted

2M-381 5,000 minted

2M-382 Unknown minted

A check of four reference books verifies the 10,000 and 5,000 mintage figures. As for the sterling silver coin, its mintage number is unknown at this time.

I recently purchased another "Remember Pearl Harbor" coin to add to my collection and discovered a new variety!

The coin is a 2M-382 Sterling Silver with "Pat. Pending" markings and is unlisted in any numismatic reference book.

After searching the internet for additional related information, I found an interesting 1942 ad by the coin manufacturer, Metal Arts Company of Rochester NY. These coins were first advertised for sale in the February 14, 1942 issue of The Billboard (sixty-nine days after Pearl Harbor was attacked).

From the ad, it can be determined that 2M-379/2M-380 have been misidentified as being copper (ad states bronze). After rechecking my Hawaiian numismatics books (both editions of Medcalf and Russell (1978, 1991); Medcalf and Fong (1967); and Gould and Bressett (1961)), Gould and Bressett was the only book that correctly listed them as bronze.

From the ad, it can be determined that the bronze and sterling silver coins were awaiting completion of its patent (ad states "Patient Pending"). Hence, this is documented proof that there are in existence sterling silver coins with the markings "Pat. Pending".

From the ad, there was no mention of the nickel coin being offered. It has yet to be determined that there are in existence nickel "Pat. Pending" coins.

Below is my squadron of "Japanese Zeros": one bronze "Pat. Pending", three bronze, one nickel (with hole) and one sterling silver "Pat. Pending". I will post a better picture of the sterling silver coin in the future. I'm looking forward in having this squadron be NGC graded/encapsulated.

Lastly, check out the 1942 prices in the ad....


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