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Collect the Birds of Canada Coins

Updated on January 11, 2015
11 of the 14 Birds Of Canada coins
11 of the 14 Birds Of Canada coins
Scarlet Tanager (2014)
Scarlet Tanager (2014)
Barn Owl (2013)
Barn Owl (2013)

Good Things Happen When Hobbies Collide!

I have been an avid bird watcher and photographer for many years but recently found myself drawn towards another hobby - Coin Collecting.

Initially looking for a sound investment opportunity, I was drawn by the shiny allure of silver bullion coins. However, as I delved deeper into the world of coin collecting, I discovered that birds feature prominently on many of the world's most beautiful coins.

Discovering the Birds of Canada coin series was a very pleasant surprise for me and I want to share this discovery with my fellow bird watchers who might be looking to expand their love of birds into other hobbies. Not only does coin collecting provide a whole new outlet for our love of birds, but it potentially creates an investment opportunity that we can pass on to our children.

Evening Grosbeak (2012)
Evening Grosbeak (2012)
Obverse designed by Susanna Blunt
Obverse designed by Susanna Blunt

The Birds of Canada Series

As a nature lover and keen bird watcher, I was excited to recently discover that the Royal Canadian Mint has produced an exceptionally beautiful collection of oversized 25-cent coloured coins depicting the Birds of Canada.

This series features popular Canadian birds as depicted by artists Arnold Nogy, Trevor Tennant and Tony Bianco. The obverse side shows the Queen's head designed by Susanna Blunt

The composition of the coins from 2007 to 2011 is nickel plated steel, switching to cupronickel from 2012 to 2014.


 Black-Capped Chickadee (2011) with original RCM packaging
Black-Capped Chickadee (2011) with original RCM packaging

Special Features

  • Colored coins combined with a specimen finish creates a unique and valuable collectible.
  • Birds have universal appeal that comes alive in vibrant colour on this extra-large 25-cent coin. It measures a full 35 mm across - plenty of room to display its detailed design.
  • Limited edition mintage worldwide makes this a highly sought after collectible.
  • Each coin is encapsulated with a certificate of authenticity and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) maroon leatherette clamshell case protected by a black sleeve.

Certificate of Authenticity

The Certificate of Authenticity (COA) is included with each coin and typically contains the following information in both official languages of Canada (English and French):

  • Photo of the bird with a description of its characteristics and habitat
  • Details of the design and composition of the coin
  • An attestation that the coin is "specimen quality and authorized by the Government of Canada. The coin has been expertly struck by the Royal Canadian Mint and has a limited mintage worldwide"
  • The number of the coin and the total mintage.

The Birds of Canada 25-Cent Colored Coin Series

11 of the 14 Birds of Canada coins
11 of the 14 Birds of Canada coins

The first 25-cent coloured coin was the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. It was introduced by the Royal Canadian Mint, in conjunction with the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Environment Canada, to celebrate National Wildlife Week 2007.

The outstanding reaction to this first coloured coin led the Mint to develop the Birds Of Canada series, producing two coins each year from 2007 until the final (13th and 14th) coins in 2014 although, inexplicably, no new coins were introduced in 2009!

The following table shows the year if issue of each coin and the limited worldwide mintage for each. Actual production figures for the earlier issues were somewhat less than the stated mintage, contributing to their rarity.

Year
Bird
Mintage
2007
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
20,000
2007
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
20,000
2008
Downy Woodpecker
25,000
2008
Northern Cardinal
25,000
2010
Goldfinch
14,000
2010
Blue Jay
14,000
2011
Black-Capped Chickadee
14,000
2011
Barn Swallow
14,000
2012
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
20,000
2012
Evening Grosbeak
20,000
2013
American Robin
17,500
2013
Barn Owl
17,500
2014
Eastern Meadowlark
17,500
2014
Scarlet Tanager
17,500

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Issued in 2007)

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird enjoying nectar
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird enjoying nectar | Source
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (2007)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (2007)

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird was the first coin issued in the Birds of Canada 25-cent colored coin series in 2007.

There are 5 different hummingbird species in Canada, this being the most common and only one found in Eastern Canada. Only the male has the signature red throat and, after many hours watching and photographing these fascinating birds, I was finally able to get this elusive shot of the male ruby-throated hummingbird at my garden feeder.

If you want to attract these amazing birds into your garden, check out How To Create A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Habitat.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch (Issued in 2007)

Red-Breasted Nuthatch on peanut feeder
Red-Breasted Nuthatch on peanut feeder | Source
Red-Breasted Nuthatch (2007)
Red-Breasted Nuthatch (2007)

The second coin in the Birds Of Canada series, also issued in 2007, was the Red-Breasted Nuthatch. It is the rarest and most valuable of the entire series. Originally issued for $24.95, it currently commands a market price in the region of $450!

As you can see, the coin does a great job in capturing the most familiar feature of this feathered tree-climber - its trait of feeding head down.

Blue Jay (Issued in 2010)

Blue Jay at feeder
Blue Jay at feeder | Source
Blue Jay (2010)
Blue Jay (2010)

The Blue Jay coin was issued in 2010 and provides a great example of the exquisite detail depicted by these Birds of Canada coins. Take a look at the above photo taken at my feeder and the close-up of the actual coin below.

This quality and attention to detail is present in all coins in the series. Note that the designer's initials, Arnold Nogy (AN) are incorporated into the design.

Detail of Blue Jay (2010)
Detail of Blue Jay (2010)

Which is Your Favourite Birds Of Canada Coin?

See results
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak | Source

Birds of Canada Coins : An Exceptional Gift for Bird Lovers ...

The Birds of Canada coins show some of my favourite Canadian birds and, with limited mintage and exceptional detail, they make a great gift for any bird lover. In fact, most of these birds are common across the whole of North America, making this series equally attractive to any one who enjoys seeing these wonderful birds in their back garden.


Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (2012)
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (2012)

... and a Great Investment Too!

In the short time since I've become aware of these coins, it has become clear that they are highly collectible and, with limited mintage, they are rapidly increasing in value.

Even though all coins were originally sold by the Mint for $29.95 or less, the oldest coins now fetch considerably more in the secondary market.

For example, the 2010 Blue Jay currently sells for about C$130, the 2008 Cardinal fetches $360 and the 2007 Red-Breasted Nuthatch goes for over C$450!

Assuming that this trend continues, purchasing the more recent issues would appear to be a good investment.

Collect the Birds Of Canada Coins While You Still Can!

At the time of writing, the Royal Canadian Mint (www.mint.ca) still has the 14th coin, the Scarlet Tanager in stock. But it won't be long before these coins will only be available in the secondary market.

Many coin shops stock these coins, either in bricks and mortar stores or online. However, as time progresses, the older issues are becoming more expensive and harder to come by.

The other source of coins is, of course, through auctions and online sites such as eBay. This adds an extra dimension to this fascinating hobby - the opportunity, or challenge, to obtain coins at a price you're willing to pay.

Search Tip: When searching in eBay, I look for "Canada 25 cents coloured birds"

But don't wait too long - if history is any indication, these coins will continue to appreciate in value. Collectors will snap them up, removing them from the secondary market and making them increasingly rare as time marches on.

I hope you found this article on the Birds of Canada coin series interesting and I would love to hear about your favourite bird coins from around the world.

Happy collecting!

Geoff

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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice article. Geoff. The coins are beautiful, and will bring more people to the sport of birdwatching, just by seeing the beauty of the birds up close.

    • geoffclarke profile image
      Author

      geoffclarke 2 years ago from Canada

      Hi Deb - nice to hear from you again. I still follow your hubs and your photos are awesome - you'll soon have to change your handle to get rid of the 'novice'! Thanks for stopping by - Geoff

    • profile image

      Carole Palmer 19 months ago

      I've been looking to buy a chickadee coin for my husband for Christmas.

      Can you help me. I desperate. Thank You and take care.

    • geoffclarke profile image
      Author

      geoffclarke 19 months ago from Canada

      Hi Carole

      There are some for sale on eBay. You could follow the Blue Jay link in my article and then search for '2011 chickadee'. Hope this helps. Good luck. Geoff

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