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Hawaiian Eyeful

Most of our thoughts of Hawaii usually drift towards beaches, windy palm trees, surfers in the Banzai Pipeline, volcanoes and the fabulous flora and fauna, not coin collecting. Vintage TV buffs of course remember Steve McGarrett and “book ‘em Danno” from Hawaii Five-O. Our 50th or The Aloha State has always been a great destination for travelers worldwide for these and many other reasons. Numismatists can relax at home and still feel the aloha living vicariously through its eclectic numismatic history. The 1883 Hawaiian coins minted in San Francisco are the most often seen Hawaiian pieces and are always popular with collectors. However, much rarer are the paper currency notes from the Republic of Hawaii. These were produced after the royal family was ousted in the 1893 Sanford Dole-led group’s bloodless coup (this was Hawaii, not 1793 France!). Of course, later on, the Queen was under house arrest when it seemed impractical to place her at five years hard labor in the pineapple groves for her supposed role in the Wilcox Affair.

Very few signed and issued notes from the Republic of Hawaii still exist. Fortunately, face and back color proofs were discovered in the American Banknote Company archives. That trove fueled collector interest as many needy collectors had an opportunity for the first time to own these gloriously conceived notes. Several of these, of all denominations and series, were sold back in 1990 at the giant sale held at Christie’s main sale room. Luckily at Stack’s Bowers and Stack’s, over the years we have handled some of the beautifully designed currency proofs that originally came from that sale.

Consigned to our 2012 ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction in Philadelphia is this stunning blue face and back pairing of the Five Dollar Silver Certificate from the 1895 Issue. The vignettes and tinting are majestically suited for this location and issue. At center is the Royal Palace, which of course became the government seat for the new republic. When Hawaii was annexed to the United States, it of course became the seat of the American administration. At the left is a lovely palm tree which evokes all that is tranquil about Hawaii. To the right side is a native male with coarse, stern features seated on the beach

The back design proof from this pairing is also quite stirring. Printed in a spectacular deep blue, the center has the newly designed arms for the Republic of Hawaii. The lathe details and corner counters are all finely detailed. We are expecting this pair, on their original cards with stubs, to bring $6,000-$8,000. This proof pair is just one of the spectacular currency lots consigned to our 2012 Philadelphia ANA Sale.

To consign your important and rare paper money to this very special sale and join this Hawaiian eyeful in our superb full color auction catalog, reaching the most sophisticated and enthusiastic bidders in the world; then call us today! Contact Matt Quinn at our Irvine office at 1-866-458-4646 or Bruce R. Hagen in New York at 1-800-566-2580. Limited space remains and the consignment deadline of June 8th, 2012 approaches rapidly. Don’t be left out of what will be the most attended and noteworthy paper money auction sale of the year.

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