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Jack Ahr founded Jack Ahr Design Inc. in 1972. Just one year later the U.S. Mint announced a national competition, open to all sculptors who were citizens of the United States, for special designs to appear on the reverse on the Quarter, Half-Dollar and Dollar coins in honor of our nations Bicentennial Celebration

Jack’s winning entry, shown here, was minted on over 1.4 billion quarters and put into general circulation over a two year time frame (1975-76).

Since then he has designed custom awards and recognition pieces for companies large and small. Why not have Jack Ahr Design do the same for you? We specialize in unique, custom-designed pieces not found in any catalog. Set yourself apart when recognizing employee achievement, a company milestone or other special occasion. Contact us and we’ll show you how to do it!

After the U.S. Mint selected his design for the quarter, in April of 1974 Jack was honored at the White House and toured the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia where he was presented with the first minted bicentennial quarter coin. In August of 1975, when the Federal Reserve in Chicago (his hometown) issued the initial release of the quarter he was again honored. A ceremony in Daley Plaza was followed by interviews with newspaper and television reporters. He signed autographs for coin collector fans and generally had a wonderful time! For many years it was common to have one of these quarters in your pocket or purse, but as collectors pulled the coins from general circulation its’ presence has become quite rare in public. If you do get one be sure to look under the drummers left elbow for the initials JLA.

Here’s more on the Bicentennial Quarter

The National Bicentennial Coin Design Competition was publicly announced on October 23rd, 1973 and drew nearly 1,000 design entries from throughout the nation. “This is the first time designs on circulating coins are to be changed in honor of an anniversary of American freedom,” Mint Director Mary Brooks said. “Each will place a bit of our history into the hands of every man, woman and child in the country.

The face of George Washington has appeared on the obverse of the quarter since 1932, the 200th anniversary of his birth. In 1975 and 1976, the standard eagle design on the reverse was temporarily replaced to honor the Nation’s Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. Interestingly, it is impossible to tell a quarter minted in 1975 from one minted in 1976 – as only Bicentennial Quarters were made for those two years, and all are marked with the same 200-year date range (1776–1976).

Excerpts from comments by the Director of the Mint, Mary Brooks, before the Subcommittee on Historic Preservation and Coinage of the House Committee on Banking, Currency and Housing September 23, 1975

“For the first time in our history, all our citizens were given a chance to submit proposed designs for these coins. In March 1974, after a nation-wide competition, we selected a colonial drummer design for the quarter, Independence Hall for the half-dollar and a Liberty Bell and moon combination for the dollar. Shortly thereafter, we started production of the new coins. The new Bicentennial half-dollar was the first coin to be released for circulation on July 7 of this year, and this was followed by the release of the Bicentennial quarters in the middle of August. The last denomination, the dollar, will be available to the public in mid-October. …I am very proud of our Bicentennial coins which will serve as a daily reminder of this historic occasion to our citizens.”

Full archive of United States Mint Press Releases relating to the Bicentennial Quarter can be found here: