The 2015 Bombay Hook America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coin marks the fourth of five 2015-dated strikes to be released by the United States Mint as part of its America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ series. A design on the reverse of the coin will be emblematic of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge located in the state of Delaware.
The US Mint will strike each Bombay Hook Silver Uncirculated Coin from five ounces of .999 fine silver. Each will also feature the extremely large diameter of three inches.
Those specifications are also used by the US Mint for the related America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins™ series. In fact, these silver uncirculated coins are struck as the numismatic versions of the silver bullion coins. This includes both series of coins containing the same imagery, which is actually created for the US Mint’s third America the Beautiful series – the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.
Congress authorized both the circulating quarter dollars and the silver bullion coins with the passage of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which became Public Law 110-456. This series of silver uncirculated coins was created by the US Mint under the authority granted the Secretary of the Treasury to "prepare and distribute numismatic items" in 31 U.S.C. §5111(a) (3).
As part of the original legislation for the bullion coins, Congress required each to feature a diameter of three inches which was duplicated for the silver uncirculated coins. However, it was not without issue as the Mint initially struggled with creating a three inch coin from only five ounces of silver while still making it feasible for an edge inscription of weight and fineness – a further Congressional stipulation.
Congress later amended the initial requirements allowing for a slightly smaller diameter. However, the US Mint opted to retain the original specifications as the difficulties had been overcome.
Struck to resemble the associated quarter dollars, the obverse of each America the Beautiful coin contains the same portrait of George Washington, by John Flanagan. The reverse of each coin contains the design emblematic of the selected site of national interest.
Design details for the Bombay Hook Silver Uncirculated Coin should be unveiled by the US Mint in late 2014.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located along the eastern Delaware Bay coast of Delaware. It was officially established on June 22, 1937.
The purpose of the refuge was to provide a breeding ground and protected area for birds utilizing the Atlantic Flyway. Over three hundred different species of birds have been documented within the boundaries of the refuge.
Of interest, the land for Bombay Hook was purchased from local landowners with funds from the Federal Duck Stamp program.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service describes Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge with:
"Stretching eight miles along Delaware Bay and covering 16,251 acres, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for wildlife. Four-fifths of the refuge is tidal salt marsh with a mix of cordgrass meadows, mud flats, tidal pools, rivers, creeks, and tidal streams. The upland area includes forests, freshwater impoundments, brushy and timbered swamps, and fields of herbaceous plants."
"This diversity of habitats is reflected in the diversity of animal life. The refuge is managed for large numbers of waterfowl arriving in the fall, for migrating songbirds and shorebirds in the spring, and provides habitat for tall wading birds in the summer. Deer, red foxes, and beavers are found on the refuge, as well as many species of turtles, insects, non-poisonous snakes, frogs, and salamanders."
"The refuge offers visitors a 12-mile auto tour, five walking trails (2 handicapped accessible), three observation towers, wildlife photography, hunting opportunities, a variety of nature and educational programs, and interpretative displays."