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Bald Eagles of American Coinage In Real Life: My Summer Trip to Alaska (Lots of photos!)

airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 21, 2021 4:13PM in U.S. Coin Forum

After wanting to go for years, this past summer I finally made the trek up to Alaska, exploring the areas around Homer and Anchorage for a week. One of my primary goals of the trip was to see some bald eagles. They're simply incredible birds, amazingly engineered, graceful, and visually stunning. Every so often I'll see one high above here in Seattle, but I wanted to see them up close. I bought a super zoom lens (200-500mm) and hoped for the best. It was my first time shooting birds (usually I stick to coins, airplanes, and landscapes) but I think I did okay.

It took me a little while, but I finally finished going through and editing all of my photos from the trip (I took 1726 shots and kept/edited 354, so cut me some slack that it took a while :)). Yes indeed I saw bald eagles, and I loved it. I saw them in great weather, I saw them while getting rained on, and I was impressed the whole time. On American coinage, bald eagles have been represented both in cartoonish fashion (where at best they're symbols, not accurate portrayals) and with extremely detailed renderings. I thought it would be a fun side project to match some of the shots I took with some of the great eagles that have graced our coinage. Where possible I've shown a photo I've taken of the coin in question, but otherwise I've used Wikipedia, the Mint, and PCGS Coinfacts for quick access to photos. Some of the matches aren't perfect, but hey, I think they're at least close.
I allowed for mirror poses and also juveniles, which don't have the brown body and white head/tail we associate with bald eagles.

There are many more photos where these came from, but they didn't match anything on a coin... time for the Mint to get to work!

Enjoy!

Flying Eagle Cent & Gobrecht Dollar


Bust/Seated Quarter

Standing Liberty Quarter (one of my favorite coin eagles)

Walking Liberty Half

Flowing Hair Dollar (so the real ones has its wings down, but hey, it still kind of looks like a chicken)

Ike & the new Silver Eagle


Sacagawea Dollar

Indian Gold


Saint Gaudens

Pan Pac $2.50 Gold, Illinois & Alabama Half Dollars



Connecticut Half Dollar

Arkansas Half Dollar

LA Olympics Discus Dollar

1984 Olympics Dollar

Statue of Liberty gold $5

POW Silver Dollar

First Flight/Wright Brothers $10 Gold

Bald Eagle $1 (would have been a shame if I couldn't match this one)

Bald Eagle $5

Platinum Eagle Standard Reverse

1998 $100 Platinum Eagle Proof

1999 $100 Platinum Eagle Proof

New Gold Eagle Reverse

Grease-filled die

JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research

Comments

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,901 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great images and terrific grease-filled die, but I went through all of that and there wasn't an image of the Flying Eagle Cent?!?! :o

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    Great images and terrific grease-filled die, but I went through all of that and there wasn't an image of the Flying Eagle Cent?!?! :o

    That’s because I’m stupid. I started in large copper and then remembered that there are no coins with eagles until you get to silver denominations, so I just passed that right by. Please hold.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @airplanenut said:

    @TomB said:
    Great images and terrific grease-filled die, but I went through all of that and there wasn't an image of the Flying Eagle Cent?!?! :o

    That’s because I’m stupid. I started in large copper and then remembered that there are no coins with eagles until you get to silver denominations, so I just passed that right by. Please hold.

    I'd like to edit my answer to say, what do you mean no Flying Eagle cent? Of course it's there. What kind of idiot would forget THAT coin in a post about coins on eagles? It's not like eagle is right there in the name.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,901 ✭✭✭✭✭

    D'OH! Silly me! Right at the top... ;)

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    ɹoʇɔǝlloɔɹoʇɔǝlloɔ Posts: 1,436 ✭✭✭✭✭

    great photos, and super cool idea to match em up w us coins w similar eagle poses

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    koynekwestkoynekwest Posts: 10,048 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice pics! We have several nesting pairs here in Northeast Ohio. I see 'em occasionally. It's not a great big deal anymore to see a couple. And that is a GOOD thing!

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    3stars3stars Posts: 2,284 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 21, 2021 4:36PM

    Next time visit the real Alaska (interior).😉. Great pics!

    Previous transactions: Wondercoin, goldman86, dmarks, Type2
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    kazkaz Posts: 9,094 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great photos and numismatic pairings, Jeremy, thanks for providing a fun end to the weekend. Must have been a memorable trip!

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    goldengolden Posts: 9,181 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Super pictures! I am so jealous. I had planned to drive to Alaska last Summer before Covid shut down everything and closed the border. It was to be a 35 day trip and cover about 9500 miles. It is not looking very good for this year either. Maybe next year.

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    KurisuKurisu Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fa-an-tastic!!! Great shots! Great coins!

    Coins are Neato!

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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    Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great photos. I enjoyed how you paired them up with the coins. I'm still snickering over the grease filled die!

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    LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 17,324 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice! Interesting idea to match them up with coin designs. Beautiful part of the world, especially Homer. While I love interior Alaska, the coastal areas are far more beautiful.

    When Boiler78 and I flew from Seattle to Anchorage several years ago, it was amazing the number of eagles between Juneau and Yakutat, just standing near the shore - there had to have been a thousand of them - it was like they were too stuffed with salmon to fly! :D

    "My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17) Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ, TahoeDale, Dahlonega, Astrorat, Stewart Blay, Oldhoopster, Broadstruck, Ricko.
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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @kaz said:
    Great photos and numismatic pairings, Jeremy, thanks for providing a fun end to the weekend. Must have been a memorable trip!

    It was superb. Much as I hate editing pictures, getting through it means getting to relive the trip, and that's something I really enjoyed.

    @3stars said:
    Next time visit the real Alaska (interior).😉. Great pics!

    I'd love to see more of AK for sure. I did think about going a bit north of Anchorage (to the Denali area), but I didn't have the time to make that feasible. Next time :)

    @1northcoin said:
    Very impressive project. Just what you already have already could be made into an attractive photo book. I'm sure a number of us here on the forum would be interested in a copy. (Too bad Costco discontinued their in store photo service but should still be be able to order online.)

    Here is the cover and some pages from one I had made on the subject of bridges that I have photographed. If you follow 3Stars suggestion to make a trip to interior Alaska you will likely encounter the Hurricane Gulch Bridge here in Alaska as pictured in the final photo below.

    That's a great looking book! When I went to Hawaii in 2019, I made a photo book that came out really well, and now that I'm done with this set of pictures, I'm going to do the exact same thing. That said, from what I've seen of different printers, while I think Costco is good for a lot of projects, I went high-end with the printer for the Hawaii book and it was far above what other more common printers produce--it's basically a photo album where the pictures are printed on the paper--none of the little ink dots if you look close. It might cost me another $100, but relative to the cost of the trip and the joy it'll bring, I have to go that route again. I hadn't thought about doing the coin version, though it's an interesting idea. I'd have to get all the coins and photograph nice examples first, which could be a bit tricky (photographing is easy... getting nice examples of some of them not so much).

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    dbldie55dbldie55 Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice pictures. We have had a lot of Bald Eagles around this winter. Don't realize just how big they are until you see them up close (the Golden eagles are truly amazing, but I see a lot more Bald than Golden)

    Collector and Researcher of Liberty Head Nickels. ANA LM-6053
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    Pnies20Pnies20 Posts: 2,121 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome pics! Great thread. Thanks for taking the time. Eagles are so majestic.

    BHNC #248 … 121 and counting.

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    RB1026RB1026 Posts: 1,469 ✭✭✭✭

    Outstanding work! LOVE this post. You have a great eye and your images are stunning. REALLY enjoyed the way you matched up your pics with the corresponding likenesses found on our coins. This would be a marvelous show or museum exhibit. Thanks for sharing here.

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    mannie graymannie gray Posts: 7,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm fortunate enough to be able to take a 3-5 minute walk from my house to be able to (usually) see an eagle or two.
    When I first started watching birds 50 years ago, it was a momentous sighting (for me) to see any bird of prey.
    DDT really did a number on them.
    I am thrilled to see them back.
    Great pictures @airplanenut . B)

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @airplanenut .... What great pictures and such a unique combination of coins and eagles - which, IMO, go together naturally due to the long history of eagles on coins. You need to get a nesting picture like the AGE to add to the series as well..... When I lived in WA state, I once saw over 50 Bald Eagles in a field up near Monroe. What a sight.
    Thank you for a great post. Cheers, RickO

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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    @airplanenut .... What great pictures and such a unique combination of coins and eagles - which, IMO, go together naturally due to the long history of eagles on coins. You need to get a nesting picture like the AGE to add to the series as well..... When I lived in WA state, I once saw over 50 Bald Eagles in a field up near Monroe. What a sight.
    Thank you for a great post. Cheers, RickO

    The only nest I could get close enough to see was at the top of a cell phone tower, and it's not that exciting a shot. I had to make do with what I had, especially since it was somewhat off-season except for the few year-round locals. I also need one crashing into a window and going splat so I can get the Heraldic eagle design covered.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nicely done.

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    SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,901 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 22, 2021 10:10AM

    Great great post Jeremy

    I can't wait to se an aurora again.

    Your wonderful bald eagle pics are timely for me since my wife and I had a once in a lifetime experience last week when a bald eagle dove down from it's perch in a tree across the street here in Kenmore above the AIr Harbor. It was making a racket up there and when it dove down it suddenly swooped over and down our driveway straight at us. We felt like prey for an instant and we jumped back in the house and slammed the front door behind us.

    The entertainment can never be overdressed....except in burlesque

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    crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 13,898 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Boy oh boy did I enjoy that.
    Thank Jeremy you for sharing a beautiful barrage of photos.
    Very impressive, Joe

    The bitterness of "Poor Quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
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    SkyManSkyMan Posts: 9,493 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Crackout said:
    Great presentation airplanenut! I see them here in Colorado but my cell phone camera doesn't do them any justice.

    My daughter moved to Fairbanks last year, so hopefully I'll be able to visit her this summer. She has moose in her yard and has seen some bears, but she has't told me about any eagles yet. She also has had incredible views of the aurora borealis this winter!

    Saw mooses, too! (These in a park in Anchorage)

    ...and with her calf

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Swampboy said:
    Great great post Jeremy

    I can't wait to se an aurora again.

    Your wonderful bald eagle pics are timely for me since my wife and I had a once in a lifetime experience last week when a bald eagle dove down from it's perch in a tree across the street here in Kenmore above the AIr Harbor. It was making a racket up there and when it dove down it suddenly swooped over and down our driveway straight at us. We felt like prey for an instant and we jumped back in the house and slammed the front door behind us.

    Oh, a local! I have a photo for you, too!

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,901 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @airplanenut said:

    Oh, a local! I have a photo for you, too!

    Holy Carp!
    That's my Hood!
    Outstanding imaging.

    The old seminary there on Finn Hill above Arrowhead Point is being remodeled into a destination resort.
    (it's halfway down the pic under Mt. Rainier)

    Thanks so much for posting that Jeremy.
    I'll need to buy a print.

    The entertainment can never be overdressed....except in burlesque

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    airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Swampboy said:

    @airplanenut said:

    Oh, a local! I have a photo for you, too!

    Holy Carp!
    That's my Hood!
    Outstanding imaging.

    The old seminary there on Finn Hill above Arrowhead Point is being remodeled into a destination resort.
    (it's halfway down the pic under Mt. Rainier)

    Thanks so much for posting that Jeremy.
    I'll need to buy a print.

    I need to start selling prints... it's on my list of things to do, but if you want one, we can work something out before I figure it out for real :)

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
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    HigashiyamaHigashiyama Posts: 2,177 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This definitely deserves a nomination for “post of the year”

    @airplanenut - you could turn this initial work into an article for a widely distributed magazine (Smithsonian, etc)

    Higashiyama
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    1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,774 ✭✭✭✭✭

    WOW

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    Glen2022Glen2022 Posts: 874 ✭✭✭✭

    If the plural of mouse is mice, is the plural of moose, meese??

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    joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 15,080 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful photos, dude!
    How wonderful to have the Bald Eagle for our symbol of America! He shows the true essence of everything the U.S. stands for.
    Thanks for sharing.
    You must of had the BEST time?
    Congratulations
    B)
    <3

    "Jesus died for you and for me, Thank you,Jesus"!!!

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