This blog entry was updated 12/28/2016 (as seen with italicized text).
I made this discovery back in February 2013 .
The hula girl and volcano is the obverse of the medal.
The low volcano variety die (with reference to hula girl's chin) was used on the thin silver planchets and limited
gold planchets. This variety is shown on the right side of the detailed image.
The high volcano variety die (with reference to the hula girl's forehead) was used on the thin and thick planchets. This variety is shown on the left side of the detailed image.
Note: Additional differences is seen in the clouds, shoreline waves, and the smaller volcanos.
I surmise the following:
1. Low volcano obverse die was used on the initial striking of thin silver planchets.
2. Low volcano obverse die was used on the striking of gold planchets.
3. At some point, the high volcano die was switched in to continue striking thin silver planchets.
4. At some point, a planchet change occurred (US Government request/direction due to same dimension as US half dollar) resulting in the high volcano die and a "medal configured " reverse die used to strike thick silver planchets. I believe that the replacement reverse die was switched-in and placed incorrectly in a 180 degree rotated position or "medal configuration" .
5. At some point, the reverse die's "medal configuration" error was noticed and the reverse die was placed in the proper "coin configuration", resulting in the high volcano die and a "coin configured" reverse die being used to strike thick silver planchets.
I performed a survey of NGC certified silver Hawaii art heraldic medals and I could
not locate a thick planchet with a low volcano. Also, I could not locate any gold high volcano specimens.
There are now five known varieties of the Hawaii Statehood So-Called 50C.
1. Thin silver medal with low volcano.
2. Gold medal with low volcano.
3. Thin silver medal with high volcano.
4. Thick silver medal with high volcano struck with medal configured (180 degree rotated ) reverse die.
5. Thick silver medal with high volcano struck with coin configured (non-rotated ) reverse die.
(There is a need for a so-called half dollar / heraldic art medals comprehensive catalog)