Garrett Burke designed the reverse image of this coin, and it was engraved by Don Everhart. The image depicts John Muir who is looking over at the “Half Dome,” depicted in the image. This granite structure is located in Yosemite Valley and is one of the most prominent features in Yosemite National Park. Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist and one of the early advocates who believed that certain areas of wilderness in the United States should be preserved and kept in their natural state. He helped establish Yosemite National Park and the club that protects it. A California condor is also seen in the image. Near extinction, this bird’s population was rejuvenated and successfully repopulated.
Also seen on the reverse side of the coin is the date of statehood at the top and mintage date at the bottom. Inscriptions include, “John Muir,” “E Pluribus Unum” and “Yosemite Valley.”
To choose the image on the reverse side of the California State Quarter, a 20 member commission was formed. 20 finalists were selected, and the governor of the state reducet the number down to five. The United States Mint reviewed the five finalists, and the governor chose the winner. Other submissions included a rendition of the Golden Gate Bridge, an image depicting the Giant Sequoia tree, which later fell in a Northern California storm, a gold miner, an image of the waves and sun.
Coin Specifications for the California State quarter:
- Mintage: 257,200,000 Philadelphia, 263,200,000 Denver, 3,262,960 (San Francisco Clad Proof), 1,678,649 (San Francisco Silver Proof)
- Coin Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel (clad), 90% silver, 10% copper (silver proof)
- Diameter: 24.26 mm
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Thickness: 1.75 mm
- Edge: Reeded
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