In the world of coin collecting, few denominations capture the fascination of collectors quite like the unassuming quarter. These seemingly ordinary coins, often overlooked in daily transactions, harbor hidden treasures that can far surpass their modest face value. In this comprehensive guide, we embark on a journey through the realms of rare quarters, each with its own unique story and potential worth.
From the silver quarters of yesteryears to the iconic State Quarters program, intriguing error coins, and the inspiring American Women Quarters Program, prepare to uncover the valuable secrets hidden within these small but remarkable pieces of currency.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Makes a Quarter Valuable?
- 2 What Are Quarters Made of?
- 3 What Quarters Are Worth Money?
- 3.1 Most Valuable Quarters
- 3.2 State Quarters Worth Money
- 3.2.1 1999-P Connecticut Broadstruck Quarter
- 3.2.2 1999-P Delaware Spitting Horse Quarter
- 3.2.3 2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf High Quarter
- 3.2.4 2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf Low Quarter
- 3.2.5 2005-P Minnesota Extra Tree Quarter
- 3.2.6 2005-P Kansas “In God We Rust” Quarter
- 3.2.7 2007-P Wyoming Double Die Reverse (DDR)
- 3.2.8 2008-P Arizona Extra Cactus Quarter
- 3.2.9 2008-P Alaska Extra Claw Quarter
- 3.2.10 2008 Hawaii-Double Die Reverse (DDR)
- 3.3 Rare & Valuable Error Quarters
- 3.3.1 1965 Washington Quarter Struck on a 90% Silver Planchet
- 3.3.2 1983-P Washington Quarter Struck on a Copper Planchet
- 3.3.3 2000-P South Carolina Off-Center Quarter
- 3.3.4 1970-S Washington Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO)
- 3.3.5 1995-P Washington Quarter Double Die Obverse (DDO)
- 3.3.6 1982-P Washington Quarter Missing Mint Mark
- 3.3.7 1950-D Washington Quarter Over Mint Mark
- 3.3.8 Other Error Quarters Worth Money Include:
- 4 Valuable Quarters After 1965
- 5 Valuable Quarters After 2000
- 6 Are Bicentennial Quarters Worth Anything?
- 7 Valuable Quarters from the American Women Quarters Program
- 8 Conclusion
What Makes a Quarter Valuable?
When it comes to coin collecting, dealers use several factors to price coins. Some of the factors that contribute to the value of a quarter include:
The age of a quarter can significantly affect its value. Older quarters, especially those produced before 1965, are more valuable and, hence, highly sought after by collectors.
Quarters minted between 1932 and 1964 have silver content, while those produced between 1965 and 1998 comprised copper-nickel clad. Silver coins have more intrinsic value than copper-nickel clad, meaning those minted in silver over the years are valuable.
The condition of the coin, assessed by trusted grading companies like PCGS, ANACs, or NGC, can significantly affect its worth. Coins in uncirculated mint condition fetch premium prices, while those in low mint state attract lower profits.
Production errors can turn an ordinary quarter into a rare and highly valuable collectible. These errors can take various forms, such as double dies, broad strikes, or overstrikes, and they are highly sought after by collectors due to their scarcity. The rarity and value of an error coin depend on the nature and severity of the error.
For collectors, error quarters are like hidden gems waiting to be discovered. A minor error might add a slight premium to the coin’s value, while a significant or well-documented error can significantly increase its worth. These errors can range from subtle variations in design to more dramatic and easily recognizable mistakes.
The value of coins is frequently determined by their availability, which is influenced by their initial production quantity, known as mintage. For instance, proof coinage, representing early and exceptional specimens of a particular coin issue, holds rarity and increased value due to the limited number produced. Conversely, coins minted in large quantities often possess lower intrinsic value, making them less valuable in the eyes of collectors and numismatists.
Several factors determine a coin’s demand. For instance, it may contain a specific mintmark (such as “S” for the San Francisco Mint or “D” for the Denver Mint, an iconic design that’s no longer in use, or a rare mint error. If a quarter is in high demand, it will be precious and likely among the most popular collectible coins today.
What Are Quarters Made of?
The composition of quarters has undergone changes over the years, shifting from silver to clad materials. When U.S. quarters were first minted in 1796, they consisted of 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper. This composition remained unchanged until 1837 when the silver content increased to 90% while the copper content decreased to 10%.
This composition persisted until 1963, when rising silver prices made the intrinsic value of silver exceed the coin’s face value. Consequently, in 1965, the U.S. Mint adopted a new composition for quarters consisting of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel. This composition remains consistent with the metallic profile of modern quarters.
Silver quarters are a category of U.S. quarters primarily composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. This silver alloy was utilized in the production of quarters from 1796 to 1964. During this era, each quarter contained approximately 0.18084 troy ounces of pure silver.
Collectors and investors hold a keen interest in these silver quarters due to their precious metal content, which surpasses their nominal face value. However, in 1965, the U.S. Mint made a pivotal transition, shifting away from silver composition and adopting clad materials for the production of quarters for general circulation.
What Year Quarters Are Silver and Last Year of Silver Quarters
Quarters turned silver in 1796 and remained so until 1964. The 1964-D quarter was the last minted with silver composition.
What Quarters Are Worth Money?
There are plenty of quarters that are worth a fortune in mint condition or a couple of hundred dollars even in circulation. As such, I have identified and grouped the most valuable quarters into three main categories:
Most Valuable Quarters
The U.S. quarters value varies depending on year, condition, mintage, and other alluring features. Here are the top quarters that can fetch premium prices:
1804 Draped Bust Quarter
The 1804 Draped Bust Quarter is renowned as one of the rarest and most valuable U.S. quarters. With a limited mintage of just 6,738 coins, experts estimate that fewer than 200 of these quarters are still in existence, and a mere eight remain in original mint condition. As a result, it holds a position of great prestige among collectors, making it a prized addition to any coin collection.
An 1804 Draped Bust Quarter in average condition carries an estimated value of $7,878. However, when found in pristine, uncirculated mint condition, its worth can soar between $110,969 and $207,211 or even higher. Notably, a PCGS-graded MS64 specimen from the Joseph C. Thomas Collection fetched an astonishing $345,000 in a 2011 sale.
1932-D Washington Quarter
The 1932-D Washington Quarter holds significant value, especially when found in mint condition, as it marks the inaugural year of the George Washington Quarter Series. Only 436,800 quarters were minted in Denver during that year, adding to its historical significance and desirability among collectors.
According to the USA Coin Book, an average-condition 1932-D Washington Quarter carries an estimated value of $124. However, for quarters in uncirculated mint condition, their worth can range from $1,163 to an impressive $11,357 or more. Notably, this coin reached its highest recorded auction price of $143,750 in 2008.
1896-S Barber Quarter
Marked with an “S” mintmark, indicating its origin in San Francisco, this quarter is considered rare and valuable, especially in higher grades. The 1896-S is a famous semi-key date, and 188,039 pieces were struck that year.
The estimated value of an 1896-S Barber Quarter, as provided by USA Coin Book, is $1,495 in average condition. However, for specimens preserved in uncirculated (MS+) mint condition, their worth significantly increases to a range of $16,288 to $24,561 or even more. It’s worth noting that an MS66 PCGS-graded 1896-S Barber Quarter achieved an impressive sale price of $96,000 at Stack’s Bowers in 2020.
1916 Standing Liberty Quarter
The 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter stands out for its exquisite design, making it one of the most highly sought-after issues of the 20th century. In 1916, a total of 52,000 of these quarters were minted, each featuring an exposed right breast of Lady Liberty, adding to its allure among collectors and enthusiasts.
An average-condition 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter holds an impressive estimated value of $5,344. However, for specimens preserved in uncirculated mint condition, their worth can range from $14,624 to an even higher $17,468 or more. Notably, a specimen in GEM BU (Brilliant Uncirculated) condition achieved an outstanding sale price of $48,300 in 2005.
1950-D Washington Quarter
While not as old as some other quarters on the list, the 1950-D Washington Quarter is valuable due to its lower mintage of 21,075,600. This makes it a sought-after treasure for collectors.
In good condition, the 1950-D Washington Quarter holds an estimated value of $8.87. However, if you come across one in uncirculated mint condition, anticipate values ranging from $12 to $41 or possibly even higher. Notably, an NGC-graded MS68 1950-D Washington Quarter is estimated to be worth $8,000.
State Quarters Worth Money
State quarters comprise a special series of commemorative quarters introduced by the U.S. Mint from 1999 to 2008. These quarters feature distinctive designs representing each of the 50 states. They hold significant value for collectors, driven by their limited production, diverse designs, and the potential for errors or variations. This unique combination makes specific state quarters exceptionally rare and greatly desired, resulting in a notable increase in their market value. Here are some of the most valuable state quarters in this captivating collection:
1999-P Connecticut Broadstruck Quarter
This intriguing error quarter originates from an off-center strike during the minting process, resulting in a coin that is slightly larger and misshapen. This distinctive error makes it a highly sought-after collectible among numismatists. A quarter with a 30% off-center misalignment, graded as MS65, commands a value of $975. Similarly, a quarter with a more pronounced 65% off-center misalignment, also graded as MS65, is valued at $195.
1999-P Delaware Spitting Horse Quarter
Some Delaware State Quarters have a die-cash error resembling a “spitting horse.” This Delaware State Quarter variation captures the attention of collectors due to its unique and intriguing flaw. Expect to pay $5.84 or more for a specimen in uncirculated mint condition.
2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf High Quarter
Among the Wisconsin State Quarter varieties, the Extra Leaf High version is valuable due to its scarcity, making it a prized addition to any collection. In mint condition, a 2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf Quarter is worth $193 to $263 or more. One specimen graded MS66 by PCGS sold for $2,530 at Heritage Auctions in 2006.
2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf Low Quarter
Similar to the Extra Leaf High variety, the Extra Leaf Low variety of the Wisconsin State Quarter is one of the most exciting and famous pieces in the entire Statehood Quarter series. This quarter is valuable and, hence, highly sought after by collectors.
NGC Price Guide estimates the value of a 2004-D Extra Leaf Low State Quarter to be between $45 and $85 as of November 2023. Units in pristine, uncirculated condition can fetch up to $1,200 on the open market.
2005-P Minnesota Extra Tree Quarter
An error known as the “Extra Tree” variety, where an additional tree appears on the design, adds to the appeal of a 2005-P Minnesota State Quarter among collectors. Specimens of this variety have sold for between $100 to $200.
2005-P Kansas “In God We Rust” Quarter
Among Kansas State Quarters, a rare die error led to the phrase “In God We Trust” appearing as “In God We Rust.” This unique misprint has captured collectors’ attention due to its distinctive nature, making it a sought-after piece.
Depending on its condition and rarity, this error quarter can command a substantial market value, appealing to numismatists and enthusiasts alike. One can fetch $50 or more in uncirculated condition.
2007-P Wyoming Double Die Reverse (DDR)
The 2007-P Wyoming State Quarter showcases a fascinating error with a noticeable doubling in the design elements on the reverse side. This striking double-die reverse (DDR) error enhances the quarter’s visual appeal, making it a valuable addition to any collection.
Collectors sought after this error for its rarity and the intricacy of the doubled design elements, contributing to its potential market value. These coins are worth $3 to $7 in average condition and can fetch up to $422.99 in MS69 condition.
2008-P Arizona Extra Cactus Quarter
A captivating anomaly within the Arizona State Quarter series, the “Extra Cactus” variety features an additional saguaro cactus on the design. This error, caused during the minting process, renders the quarter distinctive and highly desirable among collectors.
Due to its scarcity and the appeal of the extra cactus, this error quarter can fetch a significant price, attracting enthusiasts keen on expanding their collections.
2008-P Alaska Extra Claw Quarter
The 2008-P Alaska State Quarter boasts a unique error known as the “Extra Claw” variety, where an additional claw appears on the design. This intriguing misprint adds to the quarter’s allure, making it a sought-after piece for collectors fascinated by minting anomalies.
Given its scarcity and the demand from collectors, the Alaska Extra Claw Quarter holds substantial potential value in the numismatic market. Such a coin costs $5.99 on eBay.
2008 Hawaii-Double Die Reverse (DDR)
The 2008 Hawaii State Quarter exhibits a compelling error with a noticeable doubling in the design elements on the reverse side. This doubled die reverse (DDR) error enhances the quarter’s visual depth and complexity, making it an attractive choice for collectors. Due to its rarity and the intricate nature of the doubling, the 2008 Hawaii-Doubled Die Reverse Quarter commands a considerable market value, appealing to enthusiasts eager to acquire distinctive and valuable coins for their collections.
Rare & Valuable Error Quarters
Some quarters with errors, such as double dies or off-center strikes, can also be valuable to collectors. The specific value depends on the nature and severity of the error. Here are some of the rare and valuable error quarters to look out for:
1965 Washington Quarter Struck on a 90% Silver Planchet
During the transition from 90% silver to clad composition in 1965, some quarters were struck on old silver planchets. These 1965 quarters are rare and valuable, allowing collectors to own a piece of history and a valuable addition to their collections. One specimen graded AU53 fetched $7,050 at an auction held by Stark’s Bowers.
1983-P Washington Quarter Struck on a Copper Planchet
This intriguing error arose when a quarter was mistakenly struck on a planchet intended for a dime, resulting in a quarter of smaller dimensions. This distinctive size anomaly renders it a coveted treasure among error coin enthusiasts. According to the NGC Price Guide, a 1983-P Washington Quarter in pristine, uncirculated condition is estimated to be valued at $1,300 as of November 2023.
2000-P South Carolina Off-Center Quarter
Certain South Carolina State Quarters exhibit a captivating off-center strike, resulting in a portion of the design being absent. These error coins are highly prized for their distinctive misalignment, and their rarity further elevates their value. Notably, a 2000-P 25C South Carolina Quarter, graded as MS69, achieved a remarkable sale price of $3,525 at Heritage Auctions in 2017.
1970-S Washington Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO)
The 1970-S DDO error is a popular and valuable anomaly known for doubling in the inscriptions and images on the obverse side. Collectors are drawn to its distinct doubled features, making it a sought-after addition to coin collections. A specimen in brilliant uncirculated MS65 condition can fetch $14,247 or more.
1995-P Washington Quarter Double Die Obverse (DDO)
Like the 1970-S DDO, this coin exhibits a noticeable doubling on the obverse side, enhancing its visual appeal. Its clear doubled elements make it highly sought after among numismatic enthusiasts. The auction price record for a 1995-P Washington Quarter in MS68 condition is $3,600.
1982-P Washington Quarter Missing Mint Mark
In 1982, the Philadelphia Mint overlooked adding mint marks to some quarters, creating the “No-P” quarters. These error quarters are sought after for their historical significance and rarity, making them valuable collectibles. The NGC Price Guide estimates the value of a 1982-P Washington Quarter in uncirculated condition to be $1,700 as of November 2023.
1950-D Washington Quarter Over Mint Mark
Some 1950-D quarters were struck over D/S (Denver over San Francisco) mint marks from previous dimes, resulting in a distinctive error variety. This intriguing overlap of mint marks adds to its appeal among error coin collectors. One example rated MS67 sold for $29,375 at the Heritage Auctions in 2013.
Other Error Quarters Worth Money Include:
- 1999 Delaware Spitting Horse Quarter
- 2004-D Wisconsin Extra Leaf High Quarter
- 2005-P Kansas “In God We Rust” Quarter
Valuable Quarters After 1965
Here are some of the most valuable quarters struck after 1965 and their estimated values:
- 1966 Washington Modern Quarter: An MS67 PCGS-graded DCAM specimen is worth $3,738
- 1967 SMS Modern Quarter: An SP68 PCGS-graded DCAM is worth $4,465
- 1968-S Washington Quarter: A PR69 PCGS-graded DCAM coin costs $2,875
- 1969-S Washington Quarter: A PR69 PCGS-graded DCAM specimen sells for $1,410
- 1971-S Washington Modern Quarter: A PR69 PCGS-graded example is worth $7,475
- 1983-D Washington Modern Quarter: An MS67 PCGS-graded coin is worth $1,410
- 1984-P Washington Modern Quarter: An MS67 PCGS-rated specimen is worth $1,293
Valuable Quarters After 2000
The table below shows some of the most recent quarters and their potential values in the coin market:
|2001-P New York Quarter||MS69||$2,585|
|2006-D North Dakota||MS68||$3,760|
Are Bicentennial Quarters Worth Anything?
Indeed, bicentennial quarters hold value beyond their 25-cent face value, with their worth varying based on condition and demand within the collector’s market. These distinctive quarters, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence in 1976, are sought after for their historical significance and unique design.
In circulated condition, bicentennial quarters often command a modest premium above their 25-cent face value. However, their value can significantly increase when they are in uncirculated or proof condition. For example, a 40% silver bicentennial quarter struck in San Francisco, graded at MS68, fetched an impressive $19,000 at an auction in 2019, and seven others have realized values exceeding $1,000 for their fortunate owners.
Valuable Quarters from the American Women Quarters Program
The American Women Quarters Program is a series of coins initiated by the United States Mint to honor outstanding women in American history. These quarters celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of various notable women, ranging from activists and artists to scientists and suffragists.
Since the program’s launch in 2022, several designs have been released, and some of these coins have gained recognition for their value among collectors. Here are a few valuable quarters from the American Women Quarters Program:
The 2022 Quarters
Maya Angelou Quarter
Honoring the renowned poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, this quarter features her portrait. While it’s a relatively recent release, its significance and popularity may contribute to its future value among collectors.
Dr. Sally Ride Quarter
In tribute to Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel to space, this quarter showcases her pioneering spirit and contributions to space exploration. Dr. Ride’s historic journey aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983 made her an iconic figure in science. The Dr. Sally Ride quarter’s design captures her determination and the groundbreaking achievement that inspired generations of young scientists and women aspiring for excellence.
Anna May Wong Quarter
This quarter pays homage to Anna May Wong, a trailblazing actress who broke barriers for Asian Americans in the entertainment industry. Known for her talent and resilience, Wong became the first Chinese-American film star during the silent film era and made significant contributions to cinema throughout her career. The quarter’s design commemorates her cultural impact and lasting legacy in Hollywood film and television.
Wilma Mankiller Quarter
Recognizing Wilma Mankiller, the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, this quarter honors her leadership, advocacy, and dedication to Native American rights and social progress. Mankiller’s impactful work transformed her community, leaving an indelible mark on Native American history. The Wilma Mankiller quarter’s design captures her strength and determination, symbolizing her enduring legacy as a pioneering leader and champion for equality.
Adelina Otero-Warren Quarter
The 2022 Adelina Otero-Warren quarter honors the legacy of a prominent Hispanic suffragist and educator. Adelina Otero-Warren was vital in advocating women’s voting rights and promoting education for Hispanic communities in the early 20th century.
As a leader and activist, her contributions paved the way for social change. The quarter’s design captures her determination and influence, making it a significant addition to the American Women Quarters Program, commemorating her impact on the suffrage movement and education reform.
- Bessie Coleman Quarter: Designed to commemorate Bessie Coleman, the first African American and Native American woman pilot.
- Edith Kanaka’ole Quarter: This issue showcases a striking profile of Edith Kanaka’ole, the custodian of native traditions and culture and indigenous Hawaiian composer.
- Jovita Idar Quarter: It commemorates Jovita Idar, a Mexican-American teacher, activist, journalist, and suffragist.
- Eleanor Roosevelt Quarter: This quarter recognizes Eleanor Roosevelt, an author, first lady, and civil liberties advocate.
- Maria Tallchief Quarter: Designed to honor Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina.
- Celia Cruz Quarter
- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Quarter
- Patsy Takemoto Mink Quarter
- Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray Quarter
- Zitkala-Sa Quarter
Quarters are not just pocket change in the coin-collecting realm – they are windows into history, artistry, and rarity. Whether you’re delving into the realm of silver quarters, exploring state quarters with unique errors, or celebrating the achievements of remarkable women through the American Women Quarters Program, each quarter has a story to tell and value to offer. So, as you sift through your spare change, keep an eye out for these rare and valuable quarters that could elevate your coin collection to new heights.