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Numismatic Detective -1959 Official Hawaii Statehood Silver Medal



Happy 53rd Statehood Anniversary (August 21, 1959) Hawaii!

Another investigation....

The Numismatist, May 1960 provides an ad with the details on the initial limited sterling striking of 2,500 serially numbered high relief Hawaii Statehood medals.

There are two varieties documented (Medcalf & Russell) and is based on the spelling of the island of Niihau on the obverse. Variety 2MS-2a was struck first with the NII HAU spelling error (space between the I and H). Variety 2MS-2 was struck later with the correct spelling of NIIHAU.

My curiosity got the best from me to find out definitive number of silver medals with the NII HAU spelling error.

A Stack's 1998 auction catalog indicated that serial number 1022 with the error was sold. Sold at the same auction was serial number 1023 with the error.

A Heritage 2007 auction catalog indicated that serial number 1266 was sold, but did not identify the variety.

In 2010, I acquired serial number 1266 and identified it as a non-error variety. Currently, serial number 1266 has been identified as the lowest serial number without the error.

(If you have information about the variety for serial number 1024 through 1265, as it will be beneficial to Hawaii numismatic collectors).

My additional research indicates the following:

a) 2,500 silver medals was stuck (first striking serial number 1 through 2500, correct spelling made at serial number 1266)

b) 500 silver medals was stuck due to complaints from Hawaii citizens (second striking serial number 2501 through 3000)

c) 154 silver medals was struck for the lieutenant governor as political gifts (third striking without serial number)

I posted the following at my GWU website (back in December 2011)...

"It can be estimated, with high probability, that no less than 1,265 of the 2MS-2a variety (with the island of Niihau spelling error) of the Official Hawaii Statehood medal in sterling silver were minted."

~D.A. Gomez, December 19, 2011

This research was also posted on wikipedia


(wikipedia plate coin is serial number 33 reverse, used on the Seal of Hawaii wiki page)







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