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Obverse of 1847 Hawaii Keneta (One Cent)     Reverse of 1847 Hawaii Keneta (One Cent)


PCGS Nos: 10965, 10966, 10967

Circulation strikes:
Proofs: None

Designer: Edward Hulseman

Diameter: 27 millimeters

Metal content:
Copper - 100%


Edge: Plain

Mintmark: None (H.M. & E.I. Richards of Attleboro, Massachusetts)

Plain and Crosslet 4

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.

The 1847 Hawaiian Keneta (One Cent) was commissioned by King Kamehameha III, ruler of the Hawaiian Islands, under a newly established monetary system.  The Keneta was to be the equivalent of the United States Large Cent; it was, in fact, minted privately in America.  The designer and engraver was Edward Hulseman, who is perhaps better known for his 1837 Half Cent token.  An obvious error on Hulseman's part was to misspell the denomination as "Hapa Haneri" instead of "Hapa Hanele".  Although the coin was a disappointment to the Hawaiians, the Keneta remained legal tender until 1884 and circulated even later.  According to Breen, Wayte Raymond used to travel to Belmont, Massachusetts in the 1950's to purchase Uncirculated examples from the descendants of the original minters!

In the May 20, 1953 issue of The Numismatic Scrapbook, Melvin Came offered Hawaiian Cents "from the hoard I discovered" at $3.50 for VF or better examples and $5.00 for Sharp Uncs!

The finest examples graded by PCGS were four MS-65 Browns, one MS-65 Red & Brown, and four MS-64 Reds.  The most common Mint State grade appears to be MS-63, followed by MS-62, then MS-64.  Gems are very rare.

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-64 Red (illustrated above).  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. January 5-7, 2000 "FUN 2000" sale, Lot 8040

"About Uncirculated."  Ex - Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", October 17-19, 2000, Lot 1615, "Gould-Bressett 31, Medcalf-Russell CC-2, Crosslet 4, Berries 7-8"

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"Standard Catalog Of World Coins, 19th Century, Second Edition 1801-1900" by Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler

"The PCGS Population Report, January 2002" by The Professional Coin Grading Service