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Washington Quarters: History, Composition, Errors, and Value

Author:

Zach has been coin collecting since childhood. He loves all coins, but Lincoln pennies and Jefferson nickels are his favorites to collect.

This 1961 Silver composed quarter is worth $7.28 in melt value.

This 1961 Silver composed quarter is worth $7.28 in melt value.

Although the last twelve years have marked great change for the Washington quarter, many people are still surprised to hear that the design is the second longest continuously minted denomination. In fact, the Washington quarter is second only to the Lincoln penny.

This long history is good for collectors and coin enthusiasts, as there are many key date Washington quarters of great value! Covered in this article is a brief history of the quarter, a breakdown of its metal compositions, and a list of valuable Washington quarters. Whip out your coin collection, sit back, and learn more about this quarter. You never know what you might have!

Regular Eagle Reverse. Used from 1932–1975 and 1977–1998.

Regular Eagle Reverse. Used from 1932–1975 and 1977–1998.

History of the Washington Quarter

  • As a replacement for the Standing Liberty Quarter and to celebrate George Washington’s 200th anniversary of birth, the Washington Quarter made its circulation debut in 1932.
  • Originally, the quarters were minted with a 90% Silver composition and a mint mark that could be found on the reverse below the eagle and wreaths. The silver coinage continued for thirty two years before the composition was changed to a Copper/Nickel clad.
  • In 1968, the mintmark was moved to the obverse, appearing to the right of Washington’s ribbon.
  • From 1965–1998, there were rather few changes to the quarter’s design with the exception of a few die modifications and the 1976 Bicentennial design. As with the Kennedy Half Dollar and the Eisenhower Dollar, the Washington Quarter was also used to celebrate the bicentennial year of the United States in 1976. The bicentennial design featured a Colonial Drummer on the reverse and dual 1776-1976 dating on the obverse.
  • After the bicentennial year, the regular eagle reverse resumed. It paused again in 1999 when the Statehood Quarter program began production. With the completion of the state quarters in 2009, the US Mint began work on its current “America the Beautiful” Washington quarters.

Composition and Melt Values

1932–1964:

  • · Weight: 6.25 Grams
  • · Metal Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
  • · Melt Value: $7.28

1965–Present:

  • · Weight: 5.67 Grams
  • · Metal Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
  • · Melt Value: $0.06
1932D Quarter, one of the rarest and most prized Quarters of the Washington Collection. Courtesy Coinpage.com

1932D Quarter, one of the rarest and most prized Quarters of the Washington Collection. Courtesy Coinpage.com

Value of Washington Quarters

Unlike the Roosevelt Dime and Jefferson Nickel mintages, there are many key date Washington quarters of great value. Since this quarter was struck in 90% Silver for over 30 years, it has gained much popularity with coin collectors. For this reason, it’s becoming ever hard to find these Silver quarter specimens in circulation, but you never know when you’ll be graced to find one in your pocket!

High Grading 1932S Washington Quarter. Easily valued well over $500. Photo Courtesy Coinpage.com

High Grading 1932S Washington Quarter. Easily valued well over $500. Photo Courtesy Coinpage.com

Key Date Washington Quarters

  • 1932D: Known as the ultimate Key Date Washington Quarter. Values can range from $100 in G-4 condition to thousands of dollars in Mint State conditions.
  • 1932S: Key Date with only 408,000 minted. Values can range from $75 in G-4 condition to thousands in Mint State.
  • 1934D: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in G-4 condition to several hundred dollars in higher conditions.
  • 1935D: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in VG-8 to several hundred dollars in higher conditions.
  • 1935S: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in VG-8 to a few hundred dollars in high grades.
  • 1936D: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in VG-8 to around $200 in high grades.
  • 1937S: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in F-12 condition to around $200 in Mint State.
  • 1938S: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in VF condition to around $200 in Mint State.
  • 1939S: Semi key date. Values range from $10 in VF condition to around $100 for a Mint State specimen.
1943 DDO. Also known as the Goiter Neck Washington Quarter Variety. Photo Courtesy Coinpage.com

1943 DDO. Also known as the Goiter Neck Washington Quarter Variety. Photo Courtesy Coinpage.com

Washington Quarter Errors

  • 1934: Double Die Error. Values range from $75 in G-4 condition up to thousands in Mint State.
  • 1937: Double Die Obverse. Values range from $100 in VF to a couple thousand in Mint State.
  • 1942D: Double Die Obverse. Values range from $400 in EF-40 condition to a couple thousand.
  • 1943: Double Die Obverse. Values range $100 in VF condition to around $1000 in Mint State.
  • 1943S: Double Die Obverse. Values range from $50 in VF condition up to over $1000 in Mint State.
  • 1950D: D over S mintmark. Values range from $50 in VF condition up to a couple thousand in Mint State.
  • 1950S: S over D mintmark. Values range from $50 in VF condition up to a $1000 in Mint State.

There's a lot of value locked away in the history of the Washington quarter—that is, if you can get your hands on one. Thank you for reading my article on Washington quarter values. If you've thoroughly enjoyed this article, please have a look through some of my other articles about quarters:

Comments

Sergio Martinez on August 11, 2020:

I have a 1966 black beauty type quarter with many errors. One is the edge being that all you see is a layer of copper between two thin planchets of metal

Nancy Colon on February 18, 2020:

Hi I have a 2008 Alaska quarter, and it doesn't have the ridges on the end of the quarter as quartes do want to know if it's worth anything

Gary faucett on February 18, 2020:

I also have a 2000 Massachusetts quarter that has a gold tint to it ,vert different than any one i have seen

Gary faucett on January 13, 2020:

That has a rust color, in the words in god we trust the in are what looks to be double dyed, the in the we ,also double dye, but the e can barely be seen,trust is double dye

Carmella on December 28, 2019:

I have a 1912 wheat penny. In very good condition. Which surprises me to say the least. However, is it worth any value . I'd like to send you a photo if I may.

Kelley Tullier on December 13, 2019:

I have a copper colored quarter can barley see the date sounds like silver and lots of errors confused

Mr.Vann on November 13, 2019:

I have two silling 1956 ...how much its worth.tq

Gary Green on July 10, 2019:

I have a 1959 washington qt that has copper in the middle, i thought that they were only minted from 1965 to date that way. ????

kataleigha on June 09, 2019:

i have a 1993 penny that has a lower case o in of is it worth anything

ruby deobridge on May 07, 2019:

I have a quarter mis-minted in 1999. when the coin is turned over it is opposite to what it should be. Is it of any value.?

Kimberly Williams on April 01, 2019:

I have a 2001 north carolina state quarter made from manganese

Zach (author) from Colorado on February 08, 2019:

Hi Mike,

The value of your quarter greatly depends on the mint that it was produced at and its condition. It could be worth $40+ if its in uncirculated condition and minted at the San Francisco mint. Any way, it's a silver quarter, so hang onto it!

Mike on February 07, 2019:

How much would a 1942 Washington quarter worth.

Krystal on February 02, 2019:

I have a 2000P Massachusetts quarter with the tails side dull with no shine and kinda hard to read. What's it worth?

De on October 07, 2018:

I have a 1976 no "s" Bicentennial Quarter weight 5.80 grams this coin worth anything

Simeon Thompson on June 02, 2018:

I have 2015 Washington quarter with mint mark D on one side p on the other side can someone tell me if it worth anything thanks

edwin on March 10, 2018:

so ive been going to coin collectors around my city and some of the coins I see listed on here as rare and worth money they just consider pocket change. they say things like we don't specialize in that or that they don't care to look through it where exactly can you sell these coins then?

Heatherzgarden on December 01, 2017:

I'm new to coin collecting. I have collected fossils, arrowheads, rocks and artifacts. I want you to know that this is the most informative site I have ever been to, and I pride myself on my search capabilities, so thank you Zach and Hobby Lark

Sipra Banerjee on September 10, 2017:

I want to sell Washington quarter dollars in 1978 & 1983 made of copper. How much these coins worth today? Please let me know through my e mail. siprabanerjeemonday43@gmail.com

SHIRLEY on April 15, 2017:

SUPPOSE IT IS MISSING THE BACK , THE FRONT IS STAMPED BUT THE BACK IS ALL COPPER SHOWING

Blackspaniel1 on February 27, 2015:

Melt value has dropped, but the older quarters are still worth a nice premium.

Dian L. Kefalas-Duran on April 24, 2014:

My son has a 1994 goiter neck quarter which is more apparent than the 1943 that was recently auctioned. He is not sure how to proceed with this maybe someone out there can give him some direction.

anonymous on August 31, 2012:

How do you tell if it is a double die?