WASHINGTON — The United States Mint released today the coin designs for the 2008 American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin Program. Public Law 108–486, the American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin Act, authorizes the United States Mint to mint and issue three commemorative coins in honor of the recovery of the Bald Eagle species, the 35th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Bald Eagle’s importance as a national symbol.
The United States Mint will mint and issue proof and uncirculated versions of the Bald Eagle Coins in a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin, and a half–dollar clad coin. The obverse of the $5 gold coin was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill. The design depicts young eaglets perched on a branch in their natural habitat. The coin’s reverse, sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart, depicts an image of the current Great Seal of the United States as engraved in 1903.
The obverse of the $1 silver coin, designed by AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart, depicts a mature eagle soaring majestically through the sky. The coin’s reverse, sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Jim Licaretz, is based on a replica of the first Great Seal of the United States used between 1782 and 1841.
The obverse of the half–dollar clad coin, designed by Susan Gamble and executed by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph Menna, depicts baby eaglets at about two to three days old, settled in a nest with an unhatched egg. AIP Associate Designer Donna Weaver designed the coin’s obverse, which features the legendary Bald Eagle “Challenger” with the American flag in the background. The design was executed by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Charles Vickers.
Mintage across each product option is limited to 100,000 for the $5 gold coin, 500,000 for the $1 silver coin and 750,000 for the clad half–dollar. Surcharges collected from 2008 American Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program sales, expected to begin on January 15, 2008, are authorized to be paid to the American Eagle Foundation of Tennessee to continue its works.
The Bald Eagle, unique to North America, was designated America’s national emblem by the Founding Fathers on June 20, 1782, at the Second Continental Congress. Once threatened with possible extinction in the lower 48 states, the Bald Eagle was classified as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Because of the success of numerous concerted recovery efforts, the Bald Eagle was removed from the Endangered Species List in 2007.
To view and download images of the Bald Eagle designs, see http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#2008BaldEagle.