The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 38, September 20, 2015, Article 25


I feel it's important to document the launch ceremonies for today's new U.S. coins. Luckily these are usually covered well by local newspapers. Here's an article from the Delaware News Journal about this week's launch of the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarters. That's Mike Castle at the podium. -Editor

Mike Castle at Bombay Quarter launch Delaware’s newest specialty quarter showcases Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and two wading birds that are often spotted there and at other coastal wetland habitats throughout the state.

The refuge quarter, launched Friday, at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna, is the 29th of 56 released as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

The quarters are released in the order that properties became national parks or holdings. The refuge, established in 1937, includes one of the largest tidal salt marshes in the region. It attracts millions of migratory ducks and geese in the fall. But it is also an important stopover for shorebirds, neo-tropical songbirds and wading birds like great blue herons and great egrets – the two birds featured on the reverse of the coin. In the fall, alone, more than a million visitors come to the refuge to see the massive assemblage of snow geese, Canada geese and ducks.

“It really is a tremendous honor for the Fish & Wildlife Service to have a national wildlife refuge in this America the Beautiful quarter series,” said Jim Kurth, deputy director for operations for the Fish & Wildlife Service. “Bombay Hook is a great national wildlife refuge.”

While the quarter features the great blue heron and great egret, “those are only two of the 276 other species of birds that come to this national wildlife refuge,” Kurth said. “That’s why its an internationally important birding site.”

Al Rizzo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife project leader for the Coastal Delaware national refuge complex in Delaware that includes both Bombay Hook and Prime Hook refuge, said he hoped that the launch of the new quarter would spark people’s interest in the refuge and give them “an appreciation for the jewels that we have in the state of Delaware.”

J. Marc Landry, plant manager at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, said that along with the quarters, lesson plans for each coin release in this program and others are available to help teach “a new generation” about national sites. The America the Beautiful quarter plans, depending on the location, provide lessons in history, geography, habitat and natural resources, he said.

The Bombay Hook quarter is special for mint employees in Philadelphia, Landry said. The first of the coins were struck at the Philadelphia site on July 28, he said. The mint is 67 miles north of Bombay Hook so many of the employees who work there are familiar with the refuge and some live in Delaware, Landry said. The Denver mint struck its first Bombay Hook quarters on Aug. 10.

“This quarter carries a special beauty to us,” he said.

People buying Bombay quarters
People lined up to purchase Bombay Hook quarters

The article overlooked the coin's designers, but the Mint's Press Release didn't. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

2015_ATB_Bombay-Hook_Unc_2000 The quarter's reverse (tails side) design features a great blue heron in the foreground and a great egret in the background. The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Joel Iskowitz and engraved by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

Local school-aged children attended the ceremony, which took place at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Additional participants included U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Jim Kurth; Coastal Delaware National Wildlife Refuge Complex Project Leader Al Rizzo; Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Manager Oscar Reed; and former Governor and U.S. Representative for Delaware Michael Castle. The event culminated in the Mint’s United States Mint – Connecting America through Coins traditional coin exchange of newly-minted rolls of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarters.

Kudos to Joel and Phebe for a wonderful coin. Joel's design was one of my faves back in February when the candidates were released. I think the perspective is wonderful; it's amazing how much acreage is depicted cleanly on such a small coin. I think it works very well. Collectors of classic U.S. coins shouldn't overlook today's issues - many of these are first-rate examples of the coining art and should be greatly appreciated by collectors of the future. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
New Delaware quarter showcases Bombay Hook, birds (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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