What are the most valuable rare quarters of all time? We have the answer for you. What makes a quarter rare, and why is it so valuable? We answer that question as well. Let’s dig right in, and learn about quarters worth serious money.
The average George Washington quarter mixed with the rest of your pocket change might only be worth $0.25. However, some rare quarters are worth a little more money — while others are worth quite a bit!
Before the rise of the internet, you would have to become an expert in numismatics (the study of rare coins) to cash in on a rare quarter’s worth. The good news is that this is no longer the case.
If you’re new to coin collecting or have been in the game for years, this guide will help you better understand what makes a quarter valuable. In addition to providing some insights into these value factors, we’ll reveal a few of the most valuable quarters.
Who knows, you may already have a few of these ultra-rare coins in your collection!
Valuable Rare Quarters Worth Money
1932-S Washington Quarter – $45,000
1932-D Washington Quarter – $143,700
1932 – 1964 Washington Quarter
1982 and 1983 Washington Quarters
Most Valuable Rare Quarters
You should watch several high-value quarter series if you want to cash in on your coin collection. To keep things simple, we highlight only a few quarter series. Keep in mind that the value of your coin will vary based on factors such as:
- Mint mark
- Production year
- Whether errors are present
- Coin condition
Still, if you come across any of the following coin series, chances are that you probably have a high-value quarter on your hands:
Seated Liberty Quarter
The Seated Liberty Quarter was produced from 1838-1891. Although this quarter was a long-running series, many variations and rare dates drive up the value of select coins in this mintage.
Grading is critical to the value of the Seated Liberty Quarter, which means you must have your coin graded by skilled numismatists should you be lucky enough to come across one.
Standing Liberty Quarter
The Standing Liberty Quarter had a limited production run, unlike the Seated Liberty Quarter. The Standing Liberty Quarter was only minted from 1916-1930.
In addition to being incredibly rare, the coin’s obverse and reverse faces are quite beautiful. As such, the Standing Liberty Quarter is in high demand amongst collectors, which drives up its price.
Early Bust Quarter
Early Bust quarters were manufactured from 1796-1838. These quarters are devoid of mint marks and are minted using rudimentary processes. These coins are by far the rarest of the various collectible quarters and are incredibly valuable.
Barber Quarters were minted between 1892-1916. These quarters can be valuable, especially if they bear sought-after mint marks or production dates.
Silver Washington Quarters
The value of silver Washington Quarters fluctuates with the price of silver. Still, these silver coins are quite valuable, even when silver prices are on the lower end, provided that you can find one in excellent condition.
Most Valuable Silver Quarters
1776-1976 Bicentennial Washington Quarters
State Quarters Worth Money
Most state quarters are a dime a dozen, or, more accurately, about $3 a dozen, and worth not much more than their melt value. However, a handful of state quarters are pretty rare. Four of the rarest and most valuable state quarters include the following:
1999 Delaware Spitting Horse Quarter with “P” mint mark
2004 Extra Leaf Wisconsin Quarter with “D” mint mark
2005 Minnesota Doubled Dies Quarter with “P” mint mark
2009 District of Columbia Doubled Die Quarter with “D” mint mark
2000 New Hampshire Quarter
But this is a partial list. Of the 50 state quarters out there, some can fetch anywhere from a couple of bucks to a few hundred dollars each.
Most Valuable Quarters of All Time
#1 – 1796 Draped Bust Quarter – $1,740,000
#2 – 1827 Capped Bust Quarter – $705,000
#3 – 1807 Draped Bust Quarter – $630,000
#4 – 1805 Draped Bust Quarter – $402,500
#5 – 1920-D Standing Liberty Quarter – $372,000
#6 – 1828 Capped Bust Quarter – $352,500
#7 – 1804 Draped Bust Quarter – $345,000
#8 – 1840 Seated Liberty Quarter – $329,000
#9 – 1806 Draped Bust Quarter – $188,000
#10 – 1913-S Barber Quarter – $172,500
Categories of Rare Quarters Worth Money
The United States Mint has been producing quarters since 1887. Each mintage (production run) varies in terms of length and the total volume of coins made. As you might expect, coins produced during limited-run mintages have a higher rarity than the average quarter bearing George Washington’s image.
However, mintage length is far from the only factor influencing a coins worth and monetary value. There are many other categories of rare quarters. Some of the most notable include the following:
Valuable Quarters with Unique Mint Marks
Mint marks are a series of letters that identify which mint produces a coin. The U.S. Mint began requiring minters to incorporate mint marks into their production process so that the government could determine which facility struck each coin.
The U.S. government created a commission to evaluate the quality and metal composition of coinage from various mints to ensure that the coins placed in circulation exhibited a consistent appearance.
Mint marks first hit the scene in 1838 when three new mints began producing quarters and other coins in New Orleans, Dahlonega, and Charlotte. Before 1838, the Philadelphia mint was the only place quarters were struck.
Today, four mint marks are still in use. They are as follows:
- D — Denver Mint
- P — Philadelphia Mint
- S — San Francisco Mint
- W — West Point Mint
Every coin produced since 1838 features a mint mark, except for coins struck between the key dates of 1965, 1966, and 1967. During these three years, mint marks were temporarily discontinued to discourage coin collecting.
Rare mint marks include Carson City, Charlotte, and New Orleans. The “CC” mint mark indicates Carson City, which was only in operation from 1870-1893.
The “C” mint mark indicates the coin minted at the Charlotte, NC mint in operation from 1838-1861.
The “O” mint mark was used at the New Orleans mint, which also operated from 1838-1861. However, the New Orleans mint reopened between 1879-1909.
Error quarters are precisely what they sound like — they were not made correctly during the minting process. Coins that fall outside the U.S. Mint’s quality tolerance thresholds are also classified as mint error coins.
Many different errors can occur in the minting process. However, all error coins are grouped into one of three categories, which include:
1. Planchet Errors
A planchet is a blank piece of metal that coins are minted on. To be considered a planchet, the metal must be cylindrical and have raised edges. Some examples of potential planchet errors include:
- Surface imperfections
- Incorrect thickness
- Wrong material
If you have a quarter that exhibits any of the above problems, it is an error coin. Blank planchets are also considered to be error coins.
2. Die Errors
A quarter die is an extremely hard piece of metal that mints use to create coins. Coin dies that do not adhere to the U.S. Mint’s stringent standards will produce error coins.
Dies out of spec can damage the planchet or incorrectly print the desired image onto the coin’s face.
3. Strike Errors
Strike errors occur when the coining press does not correctly strike the planchet with the die. The typical strike error classifications include:
- Multiple strikes
- Off-center strikes
- Rotated die strikes
- Weak strikes
Each type of strike error will yield a unique imprint on the planchet face. Strike errors are one of the most obvious types of minting imperfections.
Coins with Limited Production Obverse Images
The obverse image on a quarter is the primary design face. The secondary design face is known as the reverse image or reverse side.
The rarity of an obverse image directly impacts the coin’s value. As you might expect, an obverse image only featured on quarters for a few years will be more valuable than an obverse image minted on planchets for decades.
Uncirculated Coins Worth Money
The term “uncirculated” does not refer to a specific class of the rare quarter. Instead, it indicates that the coin is in superior condition because it never entered into circulation as part of the nation’s money supply.
An uncirculated coin that features the standard eagle and bust of George Washington might be worth a few dollars among coin collectors.
However, rare, commemorative, or limited production coins, also in uncirculated condition, are worth substantially more.
You can obtain uncirculated coins in one of several ways. You can purchase them directly from your financial institution and pay the face value of the coins. Alternatively, you can buy special collector quarters from the U.S. Mint.
How to Build Your Collection of Rare Quarters Worth Money
The quickest way to get your hands on specific rare coins, quarters, half dollars, or silver dollars, or dollar coins is to purchase them from a collector. However, this is also the most expensive approach. Therefore, we suggest using several other strategies to build out your collection.
First, start by paying closer attention to your pocket change. While the chances of coming across a scarce coin are slim, you can find some mid-value quarters this way.
Additionally, visit eBay, local pawn shops, and consignment stores. These shops often sell coin collections or individual quarters. However, if the shop owner is unfamiliar with rare and valuable coins, you can get some collectible quarters for pennies on the dollar.
Now that you know the basics of rare quarters get out there and start growing your collection. Remember, if you ever have questions about a quarter’s value, bring it to a reputable numismatics expert, such as PCGS, to get it graded and assessed!
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