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El Capitan Gets Nod To Showcase Yosemite National Park on Commemorative Quarter


Come July you'll be able to hold El Capitan in the palm of your hand. U.S. Mint image.

Would you have put Half Dome, Yosemite Fall, or El Capitan on a commemorative 25-cent piece honoring Yosemite National Park?

I probably would have gone with Half Dome, but the folks at the U.S. Mint decided to go with El Cap on the quarter that will be minted this July.

The Yosemite coin is the third of 2010 and the third overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program. While Yosemite is best known for its waterfalls, the Mint notes, "within its nearly 1,200 square miles are deep valleys, grand meadows and ancient giant sequoias."

While the coin's face still shows George Washington, the flip side is a relief of El Capitan, a granite rampart that rises more than 3,000 feet from the floor of the Yosemite Valley.

Come July you'll be able to hold this coin in the palm of your hand for ... 25 cents.


Half Dome was on the 2005 California State Quarter, so I understand why they choose El Capitan this time.

Actually, since Yosemite was represented on the California quarter, the mint should have gone with a giant redwood or some other representation of nature in California. IMHO.

For anyone interested, here are the design choices that were submitted:

One of the review bodies, the Commission of Fine Arts, liked Half Dome: "The Commission recommended alternative #4 depicting the Half Dome rock formation, with the comment that the artwork appears unfinished and should be further developed. The Commission suggested that other historic sources, such as the photographs of Ansel Adams, be considered in refining this image."

The other review body, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, preferred the El Capitan design: "For the coin portraying Yosemite National Park in California, the Committee prefers design 3, featuring a view of El Capitan. Members praised the simplicity and ruggedness of the design, and its effective composition."

Designwise, I guess I would agree that the El Capitan design is the strongest. I also like that the Merced River is in the foreground.

(quotes are from other posts on Coin Update News)

(also, captcha is so weird: "tremble fiscal")

Ranger, thank you for commenting and giving us the link to the finalist prototypes for the Yosemite quarter. I personally would have selected the first candidate. It's the one which featured Yosemite Falls and the north granite wall with a bear in the foreground. I would have preferred Half Dome to El Capitan, but as you implied, the artwork on the image of Half Dome was clearly inferior.

I do digital work for the US Mint and wanted to let those interested know about the Yosemite coin launch event. The Yosemite National Park Quarter event is Thursday, July 29th at Yosemite National Park at 11:00 am (PT). The general public is invited to gather at the Yosemite Valley Visitor's Center where the launch will take place. If you can't make it to the event, you can check out the live webcast at The webcast starts at 10:55 am PT.

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