US Mint taking orders for special eagle coins
PIGEON FORGE (AP) — The U.S. Mint is taking orders for collector coins marking the dramatic comeback of the American bald eagle.
The not-for-profit American Eagle Foundation at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge lobbied for the commemorative coins to support continuing restoration activities following the bald eagle’s removal last year from the Endangered Species List.
Foundation president Al Cecere said the project could raise as much as $10 million for eagle preservation. Proceeds will go to an endowment managed by the foundation.
The U.S. Mint has been authorized to issue up to nearly $1.4 million in limited-edition $5 gold coins, silver dollars and silver-clad 50-cent pieces under a law signed by President Bush in 2004. The legislation had 300 co-sponsors in the House and 70 in the Senate.
“The amazing groundswell of support this coin program received from Republicans and Democrats was a real blessing for our national bird,” Cecere said.
The half dollars target young collectors with the image of the foundation’s non-releaseable eagle “Challenger” on one side and baby eaglets in their nest on the other. It’s the first time the likeness “of a specific famous bald eagle” appeared on a U.S. coin, Cecere said.
The coins will be sold individually and in sets until Dec. 31. Discounts will be available for orders placed by Feb. 14 at http://www.usmint.gov or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
American Eagle Foundation: http://www.eagles.org
Published in The Messenger 1.23.08