New Calif. Quarter Design Unveiled

Two San Diegans Finalists In Design Contest

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria, unveiled California's new quarter, which shows conservationist John Muir, a California condor and Yosemite National Park's Half Dome mountain on the coin's traditional tails side.

The quarter commemorates California's Sept. 9, 1850 entry into the United States. It's the 31st 25-cent coin to be unveiled as part of a 10-year 50-state quarters program conducted by the US Mint.

California's design, like other states, replaces the traditional eagle that has long graced the side of the quarter.

Californians were invited to submit designs for the new coin. Of the five finalists, two San Diegans, Sarah Bailey and Jonathan Louie, submitted designs. Baily submitted a design called "Golden Gate Bridge Collage" and Louie submitted "The Giant Sequoia - 'The Largest Living Thing on Earth.'"

The heads side of the coin continues to bear the likeness of George Washington, the nation's first president.

The 10-year US Mint project is changing the quarter's design five times yearly between 1999 and 2008. It's the first change to the 25-cent coin since the Bicentennial quarter of 1975 and 1976.

The commemorative quarter will be released in January 2005.

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