This beautiful coin, or Trade Dollar, is part of a series issued by the Maui Chamber of Commerce. A new design came out each year, and each featured Maui wildlife. This coin was issued in 2013 and could be used for trade at participating merchants for that year. The series became very popular and collectible so they were normally kept as souvenirs rather than traded in. The program was used to raise funds for local education on the island.
The 2013 coin featured a swordfish, which is found around the world as well as in Hawaii. The fish are very large, usually between 100 and 300 pounds. They are occasionally found as big as 600 pounds! They live an average of 4-5 years. They are difficult for fisherman to find since they tend to be found at depths of 1,400 to 1,600 feet in the ocean. Fishing for them is allowed, but it is no longer recommended to eat them since they often have very high levels of mercury.
These fish are big, strong, and with their spear can be dangerous. There is no record of anyone being killed by one but it isn't uncommon for them to pierce a boat with their "sword" and damage or sink it!
Hand Painted Coins by Ann Nolen. Each coin has a story, and this blog shares the stories of the coins that I have painted.