Hawaiian Coins by Denomination | United States Coins by Denomination 

Obverse of 1883 Hawaiian Dime     Reverse of 1883 Hawaiian Dime


Circulation strikes: 249,921
(250,000 were minted, but
79 were melted)
Proofs: at least 26

Designer: Charles E. Barber

Diameter: 17.9 millimeters

Metal content:
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%

Weight: 39 grains (2.5 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Recent offerings:
NGC Proof-63 (illustrated above).  Ex - Superior Galleries "ANA 2001 Nation Money Show" Auction, March 8-9, 2001, Lot 546, where it was described as follows: "Warm amber gold toning within Kalakaua's portrait, deepens to dusky blue and old-silver in the spaces around the letters on the obverse, with the reverse uniform in its light russet hue.  Some faint hairlines as always.  Frosted relief on the devices gives the coin its two-tone appearance."  Sold for $4,500 "to the book"

The Hawaiian Dime was a substitute for the 12-1/2 Cent (Hapawalu) denomination specified in the original application to the U.S. government.  The Hapawalu would have required specially made blanks, whereas the Dime denomination was already a standard in the American series.  Six Proof Dimes were made in September 1883 at the Philadelphia (PA) Mint for inclusion in four-piece sets containing the 10c, 25c, 50c, and $1.00 denominations.  250,000 circulation strikes were struck at the San Francisco (CA) Mint (without mintmark) from November 17, 1883 through June 1884.  An additional 20 Proof Dimes were made at the Philadelphia Mint in 1884, this time for inclusion in five-piece sets containing the aforementioned denominations, plus the 12-1/2c coin.

The reverse legend "UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO" means "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

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

"Hawaiian Money Standard Catalog, Second Edition" by Donald Medcalf and Ronald Russell