1936 Bay Bridge Half Dollar

Mintage 71,424

Congress authorized the 1936 Bay Bridge to commemorate the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, an 8 1/4 mile span on San Francisco Bay. The bridge was opened in 1936 and cost nearly $80 million.The more famous Golden Gate Bridge never received a similar tribute. San Francisco artist Jacques Schnier designed the coin. The obverse of the coin displays California's state symbol, a grizzly bear. The reverse of the coin shows the subject bridge stretching across the bay and the old Ferry Building in the foreground. Congress authorized 200,000 Bay Bridge half dollars. As the bridge's fame was largely unknown outside the area The market could never absorb that quantity and only half were struck. There were nearly 20,000 melted. The grizzly bear depicted is one of many animals featured in this series. The California Half of 1925 also portrays a grizzly. This only adds to the coin's popularity, as many collectors focus on the animal themes. Surviving specimens are represented in all grades although coins with superb luster and strike are difficult to locate.

Value $190 - $505