The 1974 quarter is one of the most recognizable and widely distributed coins in the world. Since 1932, the Washington quarter has been minted by several U.S. Mints with a copper-nickel cladding.
Although it’s a high mintage coin, you can still find plenty of valuable 1974 quarters, depending on condition, mint marks, and errors.
History of the 1974 Washington Quarter
Sculptor John Flanagan designed the coin in 1932 as part of the bicentennial celebration of George Washington’s birth.
Flanagan designed both sides of the coin. He adapted the obverse side of Washington’s head from a bust by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.
His original design ran through 1998 and was replaced by the State Quarter series. Once the “America the Beautiful” National Park quarter series completes in 2021, Flanagan’s quarter design will return.
Mint marks can be found to the right of George Washington’s neck, on the obverse of the coin to the lower right.
On the reverse is the inscription LIBERTY, and the United States of America, with the spread wings of an eagle, olive branches, and the motto E Pluribus Unum.
One notable slight design change for the 1974 quarter was at the obverse, where the details of the bald eagle were slightly sharpened from previous years’ mintage.
How Much is a 1974 Quarter Worth?
Most 1974 quarters are worth 25 cents. In average circulated condition, it’s safe to assume the 1974 quarter will only be worth face value. In MS-60 condition, typical U.S. coins may be valued at 0.75 cents.
Because of the high mintages of the 1974 quarter, the most valuable will need to be certified with a high grade. Anything over an MS67 condition coin will be highly valuable and scarce.
Is a 1974 Quarter Silver?
No, the 1974 quarter does not contain silver. It has zero silver content. The clad quarters are composed of a nickel layer over a copper core with a reeded edge.
Value of the 1974 Quarter
1974 Quarter – No Mint Mark (Philadelphia)
Over 800 million quarters were struck at the Philadelphia Mint, so coins are generally at face value.
However, one of the most valuable quarters from this year was struck at the Philly mint, and in extremely fine condition its value is over $2,000.
What is the Most Valuable 1974 Quarter?
One of the most valuable 1974 quarters is pictured below. It’s a pristine example graded in MS67+ condition and noted as None Finer at PCGS. This coin is just one of two examples to exist in the world.
PCGS notes during the 1950s and 1960s, roll hoarding was popular in the coin collecting community. While collectors stored coins in rolls, the condition was preserved well during this time period.
The practice of roll hoarding ended by the 1970s, making coins from this time period relatively more difficult to find in flawless condition.
The coin sold at Legend Rare Coin Auctions in 2020 for $2,150.
How Much Does the 1974 Quarter Weigh?
The 1974 quarter weighs 5.67 grams with its layered nickel and copper core. The diameter of the reeded edges is 24.3mm.
How Many 1974 Quarters Were Made?
There were 353 million 1974 quarters minted at the Denver mint. Another 801 million Washington quarter dollar coins were minted at the Philadelphia Mint and 2.6 million coins at the San Francisco mint.
1974-D Washington Quarter
While 353 million quarters were struck at the Denver Mint, there are a few varieties worth several hundred dollars. Beautiful quarters graded in Mint state MS67+ condition are valued at $260, with the record on eBay landing $1,450.
MS66 graded coins will be valued somewhere in the $15 – $45 range. MS-65 condition coins will only be worth a few dollars.
1974-S Proof Washington Quarter
The 1974 proof quarter was minted at the U.S. San Francisco mint. More than 2.6 million coins were struck. Of the known sales in recent years, a PR69 coin traded hands for $100. PR67 has the quarter value of $8 to $10.
1974 Quarter Errors
Die cracks on the reverse of the quarter are the most common. Die crack errors are caused when the striking of the coin occurs with a worn-out, cracked die. These quarter-dollar errors can sell for $5 to $10 on eBay.
Larger die cracks can be more valuable, especially with the special error nicknames becoming popular.
“Spitting Horse” and “Scarface” are a few Morgan Dollars that became valuable error coins because of their nicknames. The “Spitting Eagle” has also gained recognition for the Washington quarter error.
Most Valuable 1974 Quarter Error Coins
Doubled Die Reverse quarters and reverse die cracks are valued between $2 – $50, depending on the type of crack and the location.
Much like silver dollars and half dollars, mint error coins are typically the most valuable coin.
If you’d like to have your error coin valued, take good pictures and attach them to the grading submission so your error coins can be evaluated properly.
The first President of the United States has been featured on the quarter since 1932, which marked the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Modern quarters include the Silver Proof set quarters, minted from 1992 to 1998. Other series of modern quarters are the US States and Territories quarters, America the Beautiful series, and American Women quarters.
Selling Coins Online
Coins minted with troy ounces of silver are valuable for their meld value. All quarters produced prior to 1964 are 10% copper and 90% pure silver, which equals .181 troy ounces.
Selling coins online through eBay is the most common, although dozens of top-rated online coin specialists will purchase coins through their websites.
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