The 2005 CA Quarter

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Garrett Burke.  Ever hear of him? Garrett Burke is the man who designed the 2005 California quarter as part of the  US Mint’s 50 state program.  The coin represents all of California to the world – John Muir, the condor and the signature landmark of Yosemite: Half Dome.  Muir was born in East Lothian, near Dunbar, Scotland and that town touts the John Muir Birthplace Trust Museum.  Mr. Burke is currently writing a book about the quarter dollars that were produced in 2005 – his one being the 31st in the series.
A graphic artist with film industry clients, Burke submitted 15 designs to then Gov. Gray Davis. This is is the one that made the semifinals in the quest for the best design. 

quarter 1

The Mint decided to clutter it up a bit by adding a tiny California condor, and flora in the Yosemite Valley as shown below.

quarter 2

The newly elected  governor, Arnold  Schwarzenegger had to choose.  He felt the Mint had made Burke’s image too busy by adding all the plant life and asked them to simplify it. The result was a triangular arrangement with Muir at left, Half Dome at right and a bigger condor at the top. Gone were El Capitan and  Bridal Veil fall.

quarter 3

These quarters now seem to be collector items. Check your change for the 2005 CA 25 cent piece. I used to give them out at talks … they are too hard to find now! The quarter program is a windfall for the government. Each  costs 7 cents to make, and they sell them for 25! Spurred on by the quarter program, the number of hobby numismatists has soared from 8 million 10 years ago to 140 million today!

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The power of imagination  makes us infinite.” – John Muir

*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –


4 Responses to “The 2005 CA Quarter”

  1. Dean Says:

    Another link between Yosemite and Scotland!

    Less than 4 weeks to our trip (sorry to keep going on about it). I’ve just realised we’re heading into Yosemite on Labor Day, though we are not travelling far, coming in from Oakhurst.

    I’m wondering if the roads into the valley will be busy that day or if most folk will be heading home after a long weekend in the park?

  2. Randy Says:

    I’m glad they didn’t use that second design. I would have never guessed that was supposed to be a condor. They don’t flap their wings high like that. That looks like some kind of dove or meadowlark.

  3. Kathy Says:

    Hi Dean,

    It is kind of hard to tell, but based on past experiences, things will start to slow down a bit, although you will get traffic until about mid sept. Kids start back to school in August, so Sept is a bit slower than now. Regarding Labor day weekend, Monday will be better than Friday or Saturday of that weekend. You should get too much traffic. If you go in early folk will already be were they are going and if you go in later traffic should be going out of the park not in… This is best guess. You will still find lots of people in the Valley especially those who don’t have far to drive home probably won’t cut out until later afternoon. Anyway, as I said, better Monday than Fri. or Sat. of Labor Day weekend. Whatever happens, you will have a great trip!

  4. Rick Deutsch Says:

    Many people take off the whole week, so it will be busy the days after Labor Day. But it is what it is.

    Rick D.

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