Hawaiian dollar

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Hawaiian dollar
dala (Hawaiian)
KINGDOM OF HAWAII, KALAKAUA I, 1883 -DIME b - Flickr - woody1778a.jpg
Ten-cent piece from 1883
Monetary authority Department of Finance
User(s)  Kingdom of Hawaii
Pegged with US dollar at par
 1/100 cent (keneta)
Symbol $
Plural dollars
cent (keneta) cents (keneta)
Coins one dime (umi keneta), quarter dollar (hapaha), half dollar (hapalua) and one dollar (akahi dala)
Banknotes $10, $20, $50 and $100 (silver coin deposit certificates)
Mint Royal Hawaiian Mint
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The dollar or dala was the currency of Hawaii between 1847 and 1898. It was equal to the US dollar and was divided into 100 cents or keneta. Only sporadic issues were made which circulated alongside US currency.


Hawaii's first coins were issued in 1847. They were copper cents bearing the portrait of King Kamehameha III. The coins proved to be unpopular due to the poor quality image of the king. Although it is claimed the denomination was misspelled (hapa haneri instead of hapa haneli),[1] the spelling "Hapa Haneri" was correct until the end the 19th century. The spelling "Haneri" (Hawaiian for "Hundred") appears on all $100 and $500 Hawaiian bank notes in circulation between 1879 and 1900.[2][3][4]

In 1883, silver coins were issued in denominations of one dime (umi keneta in Hawaiian), quarter dollar (hapaha), half dollar (hapalua) and one dollar (akahi dala). The vast majority of these coins, were struck to the same specifications as current US coins by the San Francisco Mint. A tiny quantity (26 of each denomination) of proof examples were minted by the Philadelphia Mint for presentation purposes. Hawaiian coins continued to circulate for several years after the 1898 annexation to the United States. In 1903, an act of Congress demonetized Hawaiian coins, and most were withdrawn and melted, with a sizable percentage of surviving examples made into jewelry. Following melting, the maximum number of each circulating coin that could possibly exist is as follows:

  • Umi Keneta: 249,921
  • Hapaha: 242,600
  • Hapalua: 87,700
  • Akahi Dala: 46,300


In 1879, the Department of Finance issued Hawai`i's first paper money, silver coin deposit certificates for $10, $20, $50 and $100. However, these notes were only issued in small numbers and US notes made up the bulk of circulating paper money.[5] From 1884, only US gold coins were legal tender for amounts over $10.[6]

In 1897, the Republic of Hawaii issued silver coin deposit certificates for $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. In 1899, banknotes backed by gold deposits were issued in the same denominations. All Hawaiian notes, especially the gold certificates, are extremely rare today.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hawaii’s Coinage 1847-1883
  2. ^ http://numismondo.com/pm/hwi/HwiP.4p100DollarsND1879.jpg
  3. ^ http://numismondo.com/pm/hwi/HwiP.5p500DollarsND1879.jpg
  4. ^ http://numismondo.com/pm/hwi/HwiP.UNL15100Dollars1895SerC.jpg
  5. ^ The Morgan Report, p. 758
  6. ^ The Morgan Report, p. 416

External links[edit]