1936 san francisco-oakland bay bridge Banner

1936 San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Half Dollar


 1936 BAYBRIDGE Obverse       1936 BAYBRIDGE Reverse

Click the images above for enhanced view.



To commemorate the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.


Maximum Number Authorized: 200,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.50




    Obverse – Jacques Schiner

A large grizzly bear, the emblem of the State of California. Four stars that have no historical significance appear in the lower field. The designer’s initials are located in the upper right field.


Online Resource: https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol/california/state-mammal/grizzly-bear


   Reverse – Jacques Schiner

The Bay Bridge as seen from San Francisco. The Ferry Building is in the foreground. Yerba Buena Island and the Berkeley Hills of the East Bay are in the distance. A ferry boat and an ocean liner sail through the water. The inscription “SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND BAY BRIDGE” surrounds the coin.


Online Resource: https://www.americanbridge.net/featured-projects/original-san-francisco-bay-bridge/




100,000 half dollars were produced at the San Francisco Mint to be sold to the public. In 1937, a total of 28,631 unsold pieces were returned to the Mint to be melted, leaving an official net mintage of 71,369.


San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Online Resource:  





  • Booths were erected near the bridge entrances that had the coins for sale. This was the first time that a commemorative coin was available through drive-ins. 

  • Treasure Island does not appear on the coin because it is an artificial island that had not been completed when the coin was minted.

  • Joshua Abraham Norton, known as Emperor Norton, is given credit for popularizing the idea of connecting San Francisco to Oakland. There have been several attempts to name the bridge after the “Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.”


For more information:


Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek 

KWS Publishers (2012)


Commemorative Coins of the United States Identification and Price Guide by Anthony J. Swiatek

Amos Press Publishers (2001)


The Bay Bridge by Paul C. Trimble & John C. Alioto

 Arcadia Publishing  (2009)




Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek

KWS Publishers (2012)


 The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen


Arco Publishing, Inc. (1981)

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