The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
This major Hawaiian rarity is a pattern, struck two years before regular coinage. To paraphrase the Medcalf reference, in 1881 King Kalakaua took a trip around the world while his new palace was being built. The owner of a nickel mine in New Caledonia was able to get in touch with him and offered to have five cent pieces struck as patterns at the Paris Mint. Approximately 200 such pieces were minted and later sent to the king when he returned to Hawaii. Nothing happened to advance the patterns to official status, but they were given out and many were carried as pocket pieces or ended up in jewelry. Later strikings from copy dies can easily be distinguished from originals by the absence of the cross on top of the crown.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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