David Kalakaua (1836-1891) was a hawaiian king from 1874 to 1891 who was a strong supporter of native hawaiian civil rights. This was a period of significant change in hawaiian's internal policies and its relashionship with the United States of America.
Due to his opposition of the white business community a rebellion in 1887 forced him to sign a new constitution and hand over his powers as head of state.

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King Kalakaua issued a series of coins including 5 cents, 10 cents, 1/8 dollar, 1/4 dollar, 1/2 dollar, and dollar in 1883.

The 1883 dollar was engraved by Charles E. Barber, who was the sixth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in 1917.

The obverse of the 1883 Hawaiian dollar depicts King David Kalakaua and the lettering "KALAKAUA I KING OF HAWAII · 1883 ·", and the reverse bears the lettering "UA MAU KE EA O KA AINA I KA PONO " which is a well-known Hawaiian phrase adopted as the motto of the state of Hawaii. It is commonly translated as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness"

There are now less than 46,300 "1883 King Kalakaua dollars" in existence. Of the 500,000 minted coins across all varieties; 453,652 where redeemed an exchanged by US standard coinage and then melted.

In November 1890, King David Kalakaua sailed to California for medical treatment. He died at a hotel in San Francisco on January 20, 1891. “Tell my people I tried” where is final words.

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