Birds on Coins

Birders often take advantage of opportunities to combine their passion for birding with their other favorite hobbies. For example, I often pack a small pair of binoculars in my golf bag or backpack on camping trips to get a good look at a bird while enjoying my other favorite pastimes.

Why not combine your interest in birds with another favorite hobby? Coin collecting presents such a unique opportunity. Many beautiful coins are available that are graced with stunning depictions of our favorite birds.

You have probably noticed the newly-released Everglades quarter from the U.S. Mint’s 'America the Beautiful’ series. The design features an anhinga with outstretched wings on a willow tree along and a roseate spoonbill on the reverse, or “tails” side of the coin. (The “heads” side of a coin is the obverse.) Both birds are found throughout the Everglades.

Watch for the Kisatchie National Forest coin also scheduled for release in 2015. The coin features a wild turkey in flight over blue stem grass with long leaf pine in the background.

Quarters from the U.S. Mint’s ‘America the Beautiful’ series are also available in “jumbo” 5 ounce coins which are very popular with collectors. These “coins” (about $155 plus shipping) provide a much larger format, ideal for displaying their beautiful artwork.

There are two avenues to consider if you’re interested in bird coins. First, you can start your collection by watching your change for coins bearing birds or stop at your bank and ask about buying a new roll of a particular bird coin such as the new Everglades quarter. It’s a great way to get young people interested in coin collecting as well as birding. Plus, they make great gifts.

If you’re more serious consider bullion coins. Bird coins are available in .999 pure silver. And, if you are real serious, Gold Eagle coins are also available from the U.S. Mint and are priced based on the spot price of gold bullion, currently between $1,200 and $1,300 per ounce.

With silver bullion currently around $17 per ounce these coins provide a more affordable way to start your collection. For more information and ordering gold and silver bullion coins go to USmint.gov. We all know the thrill of birding. Collecting bird coins is a fun way to extend your interest in birds to a beautiful way to hold one in your hand!

By Rick Jordahl

Winter 2015