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  • Item Category: Coins & Currency
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Feb 21, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

How many coins are a complete set? My old Franklin Mint catalog circa 1979-1980 says the collection “will eventually contain 30 issues,” but the correct answer is definitely 31 unique coins. The price is less than one dollar per circulated coin for a complete bound set of 31 coins from around the world that feature birds. It was done by the Franklin Mint for the International Council for Bird Preservation – ICBP - entitled Bird Coins of the World. Each coin is mounted inside of a plastic capsule and then to a paper card so that the back and front show. The card has a color illustration of the bird, along with bird name and "A Mint Quality Coin" and country name. The reverse of the card gives a detailed text of the bird.

This is one of the more popular Franklin Mint coin collections because it is eagerly sought out by world coin enthusiasts, bird watchers, and collectors of all things FM.

The present and future value lies in some of the incredibly low mintages. In the late seventies, the Franklin Mint was striking coins for many of the countries represented in this collection. A few of these coins are quite rare with fewer than one thousand minted. Here are examples of some of the better types, followed by their 2006 world coin catalog values:

1980 Rufous-vented Chachalaca - One Dollar – Trinidad – mintage = 796, $10.00,

Bahamas 1975 Flamingo Two Dollars – m = 8,810, $9.00,

1980 Scarlet Macaw - One Dollar – Belize- mintage = 761, $9.00,

1980 Brown Pelican- BVI – m = 1,007 - $4.00,

1979 Papua New Guinea Dwarf Cassowary- m = 1,366- $2.25,

and 1977 Botswana Fish Eagle is valued at $2.75 with mintage of 250,000.

A few of the coins with mintages in the millions have healthy values, too. For example, the 1979 Irish 50 pence Woodcock is valued at $4.00 even though 4,000,000 were made, the 1980 Jamaican Hummingbird quarter is worth $1.50 with a mintage just under 4 million, and the 1978 NZ Brown Kiwi is valued at $2.00 with a mintage of 2 ½ million.

CONDITION OF THIS SET: The coins are beautiful and uncirculated having been protected for the last 30 years in plastic capsules and sealed inside of information cards. The ostrich coin from Tanzania has something that looks like black grease on its surface. I don’t know what this is but I did attempt to take a photo of it. Photos show actual item, of course.

The album is scratched and nicked a bit but fully functional. There is a bit of residue on the spine from an old sticker. The vinyl pocket pages have yellowed with age and some of the cards have a few small brown spots on them. The Certificate of Authenticity is a color copy I made from another set as this set was missing its COA. The completion letter from the Franklin Mint is also a photocopy. One of the cards is torn and taped on the reverse but the coin inside is clean and uncirculated.

If you want a date on any specific coin, please email before bidding. The coins are listed as below:

1. Brown Kiwi - New Zealand 20 cent coin.

2. Greater Bird of Paradise - 50 Rupiah - Indonesia.

3. Rufous-vented Chachalaca - One Dollar - Trinidad.

4. Andean Condor - 10 centavos - Chile

5. Gannet - One Penny – Guernsey

6. Streamertail Hummingbird - 25 cents - Jamaica

7. Manx Shearwater - Two pence - Isle of Man.

8. Stock Dove - 10 Filler - Hungary

9. Dwarf Cassowary - 20 toea - Papua New Guinea

10.Ostrich - 20 cents - Tanzania

11. Red Jungle Fowl - 5 Seniti - Tonga

12. Fish Eagle - 50 Thebe - Botswana

13. Resplendent Quetzal – cent- Guatemala

14. Bald Eagle - Quarter Dollar - USA

15. Scarlet Macaw - One Dollar - Belize.

16. Common Tern - Ten Cents - Barbados

17. Brown Pelican - 50 cents - British Virgin Islands

18. Gentoo Penguin - 1 cents - Falkland Islands

19. European Woodcock - 50 pence...