DrDarryl's Blog

05 Jan 2017

Hawaii the 49th State

Exonumia | DrDarryl

One of my passions is Hawaii statehood medals,which includes the Hawaii the 49th state medals!

The Territory of Hawaii was vying to be the 49th state to join the United States of America. As you well know Alaska became the 49th state and soon afterwards Hawaii became the 50th state.

There was a period of time where many individuals and organizations believed Hawaii was to be the 49th State.

Today, there are numismatic reminders of this period: So-Called Dollars HK-722 (nickel-silver), HK-722a (bright bronze), and HK-722b (antique bronze) varieties. These So-Called Dollars is available in two forms (if you can find them): Original and Holed.

I believed holed specimens were created after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act on July 7, 1958 allowing Alaska to become the 49th state on January 3. 1959. The holed specimens were in reaction to this event and was one method to physically obliviate Hawaii's 49th state bid from the medal (the other was to destroy the medal in its entirety). But why waste a medal? Just drill a hole to remove the 49th...

This is were an issue arises. As you should be aware NGC implements Details Grading for holed specimens. As a result, the NGC population for the HK-722 varieties are ridiculously low for original (unholed) specimens. The NGC population are:

HK-722 population is 1.
HK-722a population is 4.
HK-722b population is 0.

Original unholed specimens are a rarity. So much so that in the Hibler Kappen book, So-Called Dollars: An Illustrated Standard Catalog, its HK-722 plate "con" is a holed specimen.

In my included images, you will see an image with 5 specimens in my collection:

HK-722 - Two holed nickel-silver specimens
HK-722a - Two original bright bronze specimens
HK-722b - One original antique bronze specimen

Unfortunately, my original HK-722b received a NGC Details grade due to surface damage from bronze disease.

Another interesting image is the original printing of the Hawaii 49th State brochure in my Hawaii statehood collection. I've only seen one other copy and it was in the National Archives. (link to the copy)



Level 5

another nice article. Glad you have such a passion for research.


Level 5

I completely enjoyed your blog. That is an interesting part of Hawaii's history that I never knew about.


Level 6

Thanks for the history lesson. Good work!

Conan Barbarian

Level 5

i didn't know that Hawaii was supposed to be the 49th but ended up being 50th very interesting research

Conan Barbarian

Level 5

that is interesting since Hawaii was the 50th state 50 August 21, 1959 and Alaska was the 49th, January 3, 1959

Interesting piece of history that I'd I never heard. You said that your original HK-722b had bronze disease. I've never heard of that either. What is it?


Level 5

Bronze disease - If left untreated will destroy the medal. It's a corrosion process which erodes copper from the medal and leaving pits covered by masses of corrosion byproducts.


Level 7

The Deluxe Red book has a whole section dedicated to so called dollars. There interesting I own a couple. Thanks for the information.


Level 6

I did not know that Hawaii could have been #49, ahead of Alaska. Your research is superb. Great deal of history here. It's obvious you love Hawaii. Well, who wouldn't?!

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.