The quarter is the 25 cent piece that has been around for almost as long as the mint itself. The silver quarter was composed of 90% silver until 1965 when it no longer contained any silver. The U.S. chose the quarter dollar as opposed to having a coin with a face value of ⅕ of a dollar which is common in other places around the world.
The first quarter minted in the U.S. was the Bust quarter. It was first mined in 1796 and was minted for 42 years. The Bust Quarter was the predecessor of the Seated Liberty quarter. This quarter was one of the most popular quarters minted. The quarter that was next in line was the Barber Quarter that came out in 1892 and was a part of the famous Barber coinage. Thereafter came the Standing Liberty Quarter, it had one of the most intricate designs that have ever been put on a quarter. Lastly what followed was the Washington quarter, our current U.S. quarter.
Here are all the U.S. quarters and their mintage periods:
Bust quarter: 1796-1838
Seated Liberty Quarter: 1838-1891
Barber quarter: 1892-1916
Standing Liberty quarter: 1916-1930
Washington quarter: 1932-1964