Washington Quarters

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The Washington Quarter stands as a cornerstone of American numismatics, embodying over eight decades of history, artistry, and patriotism. First minted in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth, this iconic coin replaced the Standing Liberty quarter and has since been a staple in pockets, collections, and transactions across the United States.

Washington Quarter Design and Evolution

The obverse of the Washington Quarter features the dignified bust of George Washington, a design originally created by sculptor John Flanagan. This depiction of the first U.S. President has undergone subtle changes over the years but remains a constant symbol of the nation's enduring respect for its founding father. The reverse initially showcased an eagle clutching a bundle of arrows with two olive branches, a design that has evolved significantly, especially with the introduction of the 50 State Quarters Program in 1999 and subsequent America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

Washington Quarter Numismatic Journey

The Washington Quarter's journey through American history is marked by several key milestones:

  • 1932-1964 Silver Era: Originally composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, these early quarters are particularly sought after by collectors for their silver content and historical value.
  • 1965-Present Clad Composition: In response to the rising cost of silver, the U.S. Mint shifted to a copper-nickel clad composition, marking a new era for the quarter.
  • 50 State Quarters Program (1999-2008): This innovative program featured unique designs for each state, revitalizing interest in quarter collecting and celebrating the diverse heritage of the nation.
  • America the Beautiful Quarters Program (2010-2021): Continuing the trend of commemorative designs, this series highlighted national parks and sites, showcasing the natural and historical treasures of the United States.

Rare Washington Quarter Value

Rare Washington Quarters are sought after by collectors for their numismatic value, historical significance, and sometimes for their silver content. The value of these quarters can vary widely based on their condition, rarity, and demand among collectors. Here's a list of some of the rarest Washington Quarters and their approximate values. Please note, values can fluctuate based on the coin market and the grade of the coin:

One of the two key dates in the Washington Quarter series, with a mintage of only 436,800. In MS-60 condition, it can be worth around $500, and prices can exceed $10,000 in MS-65.
The other key date with a similar low mintage of 408,000. Its values are comparable to the 1932-D, with MS-60 examples around $400 and MS-65 examples reaching $8,000 or more.
1937 proof
Early proof Washington Quarters are rare, with the 1937 being particularly sought after. In PR-65, it can fetch around $1,500.
While not as rare as the 1932-D or S, the 1942-S in high grades (MS-67 and above) can be quite valuable, potentially reaching $2,000 or more.
1950-D/S Overmintmark
A notable variety where a D mintmark was struck over an S. In MS-65, it can be worth over $1,000.
1950-S/D Overmintmark
The reverse scenario of the D/S, with similar values in high grades.
1936 Doubled Die Obverse
A rare variety with noticeable doubling on the obverse. In MS-65, it can command prices of $5,000 or more.
1943-S Doubled Die Obverse
Another doubled die variety, with MS-65 examples potentially reaching $1,500.
1983-P Spitting Eagle
A die clash error that appears as if the eagle is spitting. In MS-65, it can be worth around $100, but the novelty increases its demand.
1934 Doubled Die Obverse
Featuring doubling on "IN GOD WE TRUST" and "LIBERTY." In MS-65, it can fetch upwards of $1,000.

It's important to note that the condition of the coin significantly affects its value. Coins graded by reputable services like PCGS or NGC tend to fetch higher prices due to the reliability of their grading. Additionally, market demand and the presence of original mint luster can also influence the final selling price of these rare quarters.

Collectibility and Legacy

The Washington Quarter's long-standing production and variety of designs have made it a favorite among collectors. Key dates, low-mintage issues, and special commemorative editions are particularly prized. Collectors also seek out high-grade examples and error coins, which add intrigue and value to their collections. 

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 Washington Quarter Coins FAQs:

1932- present.
6.25 grams of 90% silver and 10% copper (1932-1964).
Silver was no longer used in the production of the Washington Quarter starting in 1965. Prior to that, from 1932 to 1964, the Washington Quarter was composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. However, due to rising silver prices and a coin shortage, the U.S. Mint changed the composition in 1965 to a clad composition of copper-nickel: 75% copper and 25% nickel, with a pure copper core. This change was made to reduce production costs and to keep coins in circulation. The silver quarters were subsequently hoarded by the public, making them less common in circulation today.


The key date for the Washington Quarter series, in terms of rarity and value, is the 1932-D (Denver Mint) and the 1932-S (San Francisco Mint) Washington Quarters. Both of these quarters had low mintages and are considered the key dates for the series. Of the two, the 1932-D is often considered slightly rarer and more valuable, but both are highly sought after by collectors, especially in higher grades.

It's important to note that while these are the key dates for the series, the value of any specific coin can vary based on its condition, grade, and other factors. Always consult a reputable coin dealer or pricing guide for the most current values.

Yes, there have been different designs of the Washington Quarter over the years. Here's a brief overview:

Original Design (1932-1998): The original design featured a bust of George Washington on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. This design was introduced in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. The obverse was designed by John Flanagan, and it remained largely unchanged until 1999.

50 State Quarters Program (1999-2008): In 1999, the U.S. Mint began the 50 State Quarters Program, which featured a unique design for each of the 50 U.S. states on the reverse of the quarter. The obverse continued to feature George Washington, but with a slightly modified design. A new state design was released every 10 weeks in the order that the states joined the Union.

District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program (2009): After the completion of the 50 State Quarters Program, the U.S. Mint released six additional quarters in 2009 to honor the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

America the Beautiful Quarters Program (2010-2021): This program featured 56 unique designs showcasing national parks and other national sites from each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. Five new designs were released each year.

General George Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter (2022): This design was introduced in 2022 and features a depiction of General George Washington crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolutionary War on the obverse. The reverse returns to the original eagle design but with modifications.

Future designs may continue to be introduced as part of new programs or initiatives by the U.S. Mint. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on announcements from the Mint for any updates or changes to coin designs.

The value of a Washington Quarter depends on its year, mint mark, condition, and rarity. Common circulated quarters from after 1965 are worth their face value, while older, rarer, or uncirculated coins can be worth more.

John Flanagan.

The Washington Quarter is a U.S. coin that was first minted in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. It features the profile of George Washington on the obverse and has undergone various design changes on the reverse over the years.

Yes, some rare Washington Quarters include the 1932-D, 1932-S, and certain error coins and varieties like the 1982 and 1983 no mint mark quarters, as well as the 1943 doubled die obverse quarter.