Evolution of the First Coin

in the Return of the Nightingale Project Commemorative Coin Series


The creation of this first coin in the Nightingale Series was influenced by multiple factors. As our experience evolved in the creation of these coins, so did the quality of the art, sculpting and engraving. As our resources evolved, so did the possibilities.

The first coin is entitled “Fierce Protectress” in acknowledgement of the attributes of the nightingale bird and nurses as the gentle nurturer/fierce protectress. The nightingale bird was an obvious choice based upon not only these attributes, but also the project theme of honoring nurses, nursing, and Florence Nightingale, Founder of Modern Nursing. When we were researching images of the nightingale bird, it was challenging to find photos or artistic renderings as this bird is relatively elusive. We asked a nurse artist to sketch the image that was used by the plaster sculpture artist. This sculpted form was then used by the engraver
to create the coin die.

This first die was two dimensional, determined by our financial limitations (aka shoe string budget). Eventually, a three dimensional coin die was made to replace the original using the same basic sketch design. One of our main goals was to create coins that were beautifully engraved with fine detail. So, when it was time to replace the second nightingale bird die with a new one, we decided to change the image. We were interested in a design that was much more detailed, realistic in bird flight; a design that extended beyond the boundary of the traditional outer coin circle. The third version of the first coin was created.

The first two dies have been retired and will no longer be used in production. This means that the first two versions are limited and their value has increased as collectibles. So, if you hold one of these first two designs in your collection, know that their inherent value has increased.


We celebrate this third version release, hoping that you find this coin as beautiful as we do. We are deeply grateful to the various artists who have participated in the creation of this coin and its evolution. We are also grateful to the ones who have purchased these coins that supported the project and the evolution of the coin design and creation. We are deeply humbled by this process.

Note: It is this first coin, “Fierce Protectress, in the Return of the Nightingale Coin Series that is used in the Flight Migration Program. For every bronze coin that is purchased, a sister bronze coin is given to a nurse in an impoverished area of the world as a token of appreciation for the essential work that they do in their communities.