Although quarters have been around since the early years of our nation, they haven't always been a staple of U.S. currency. The first quarter was produced in 1796, but the coin wasn't consistently minted until 1831.
Quarters have gone through many design changes over the years. For example, the familiar Washington Quarter design made its first appearance in 1932. With so many different versions, it's not surprising that there are many silver quarters worth far more than 25 cents.
Let's take a look at 30 quarters worth money — big money.
Before we dive into specific quarters and you start looking at your spare change, it's important to understand how coin values are determined and why some quarters are worth as much as they are.
When it comes to coin collecting, dealers typically use several factors when pricing coins, including:
- Surviving population
- Melt value
Coins are primarily valued by the supply of a coin or how rare it is. Thus, a coin's supply is partially due to its original mintage — how many were initially produced. For instance, proof coinage, which refers to special early samples of a coin issue, is rarer because fewer coins were produced.
No matter the number of coins initially minted, many coins are lost once they enter circulation. Some become damaged, are reclaimed for metal, or are lost through other means. Thus, the number of surviving coins from a mintage also plays a role in their value. The rarer the coin is, the higher the value to coin collectors.
Several factors influence the demand for coins. For instance, it might display an iconic design that is no longer in use, it might contain a specific mint mark from a branch of the United States Mint (such as the San Francisco, or the Philadelphia Mint), or a mint error. The higher in demand a coin is, the more it will be worth and likely to be one of the most popular collectible coins today.
Yet another factor influencing value is a coin melt value. This factor applies mostly to coins made of gold and silver. As precious metal values rise and fall, a coin's value may be worth much more than its face value due to the precious metal it's made of. Thus, it is safe to assume that silver quarters, minted prior to the ending of the silver standard in the U.S., are worth far more than newer quarters made of copper and nickel.
Of course, the condition of the coin also plays a significant role in its value when it comes to coin collecting. Except for the rarest of coins, many of the most valuable coins will be uncirculated and, thus, in the best condition. High graded coins will always be worth more than an average condition coin.
The five factors described above are considered when determining the value of coins. As a result, the quarters discussed below are worth money because they fall into most of these categories.
Here are 30 quarters worth money, presented in order by the year minted, along with a brief description and their potential value.
1796 Draped Bust Quarter
The 1796 Draped Bust quarter was the first edition of the U.S. quarter. It's estimated that fewer than 700 of these extremely rare coins have survived to modern times.
Value: One of these rare quarters sold at auction in 2022 for $1,740,000, making it the most valuable U.S. quarter.
1804 Draped Bust Quarter
Quarters were first minted in 1796 but were not minted again until 1804. There were only 6,738 of the 1804 Draped Bust quarters produced, and experts think there are less than 200 left and only about 8 in original mint condition.
Value: A 1804 Draped Bust Quarter is worth around $300,000 according to PCGS Price Guide.
1805 B-2 Draped Bust Quarter
Although relatively few coins were produced during the first two iterations of the quarter, 121,394 of the 1805 Draped Bust quarter were produced. There were five die varieties to this beautiful coin called Browning quarters. Browning-2 is the most valuable because of its “mint frost” luster. Other quarters of this year had a satin finish.
Value: One of these B-2 quarters sold at auction in 2008 for $402,500.
1807 B-2 Draped Bust Quarter
The 1807 B-2 Draped Bust quarter had obverse and reverse dies that were not used in other quarters of the time.
Value: According to PCGS Pricing Guide, a sample of this coin in mint state can be worth up to $750,000.
1818 B-8 Proof Capped Bust Quarter
A fire in 1816 at the U.S. Mint led to changes in production, with the first proof quarters arriving in 1818. There were only a few made, and only two are known to exist.
Value: One of these quarters sold at auction for $288,000 in 2019.
1823 3 Over 2 Capped Bust Quarter
This quarter from 1823 is unique because it has a re-punched date, known as an overdate. During this time, the dates were punched into the coin manually, and if the date were not appropriately struck, it would be done again. In this case, a 3 was punched over a 2.
Value: One of these coins sold at auction in 2014 for $396,562.50.
1827/3 Proof Capped Bust Quarter
This quarter is another example of an overdate. However, in this case, an 1823 quarter had was re-punched to 1827.
Value: One of these valuable quarters sold at auction in 2019 for $444,000.
1828 B-3 25/5/50 Error Reverse Capped Bust Quarter
This is yet another example of error quarters, except in this case, the coin was originally punched with a 50 C for a Half-Dollar on the coin's reverse. It was re-punched with the proper denomination of 25 C.
Value: This error quarter was sold at auction in 2015 for $282,000.
1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter
In the 1800s, proof coins were made-to-order for collectors, and only 10 of these proof quarters were made.
Value: One of these proofs sold in 2015 for $329,000.
1838 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter
The Seated Liberty quarter was first produced in 1838 and initially had no ornamental drapery on the left arm of Lady Liberty. Three samples of this coin in proof was made, but only one is known to have survived.
Value: This coin sold at auction in 2013 for $381,875.
1839 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter
This is another unique proof coin. This one has a steel blue tone.
Value: This coin sold at auction in 2008 for $517,500.
1840-O Seated Liberty No Drapery Quarter
The New Orleans Mint made 382,200 of these quarters before the design was changed so that extra drapery appeared on the left arm of Lady Liberty. Most of these quarters were heavily circulated, and few remain in good condition.
Value: One of these quarters in good condition sold at auction for $329,000.
1841 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
This is another proof coin, and only four were produced for this year.
Value: One of these proofs sold at auction in 2008 for $345,000.
1844 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
Another proof coin from the Seated Liberty series that is highly coveted in coin collections across the country. There is only one certified coin of this proof and year, although two others are believed to exist.
Value: This coin sold at auction for $322,000.
1850 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
Only three of these proofs were made, and one quarter remains almost flawless.
Value: This coin sold at auction in 2008 for $460,000.
1870-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
Coins from the Carson City Mint, marked as CC, are sought after because fewer coins were struck at this mint which is now discontinued. The CC Mint struck only 8,340 of the circulating quarters that year.
Value: The auction record for this coin is $188,00 for an AU55-certified coin in 2015, which is quite high for an About Uncirculated sample.
1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
Another one from the Carson City Mint. 1871 saw a slightly larger mintage, with 10,890 coins struck. Only three survive in mint condition.
Value: The finest example sold at auction in 2022 for $456,000.
1872-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
More 1872 quarters were produced in Carson City to the tune of 22,850, but much less have survived. These are less valuable than many of the quarters on this list but far more affordable for the average collector.
Value: This coin, graded MS65, can be worth up to $225,000.
1872-S Liberty Seated Quarter
There were many more of the 1872 Liberty Seated quarters made at the San Francisco Mint, but they are still desirable for collectors looking to own a coin from this date from all mints.
Value: The record value at an auction was $86,250 in 2008.
1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated Quarter
4,000 of theses quarters were minted in Carson City in 1873, but only five were made without arrows surrounding the date on the obverse.
Value: One of these sold at auction in 2012 for $460,000, but according to PCGS pricing guide, a sample graded at least MS66 can be worth up to $1,250,000, with a potential of being one of the most valuable quarters in this list, especially among the seated liberty quarters.
1896-S Barber Quarter
The Barber quarters series is widely collected, with these quarters being known for several unique key and semi-key dates. The 1896-S is a popular semi-key date, and 188,039 were minted this year.
Value: The auction record for this coin was $96,000 in 2020.
1901-S Barber Quarter
The 1901-S Barber quarter is one of the rarest and most expensive quarters.
Value: One of these quarters sold at auction in 1990 for $550,000, which was a record at the time. You could purchase one in good condition, starting at about $4,000.
1913-S Barber Quarter
This quarter saw the lowest mintage of the 20th century at only 40,000 coins. Despite the lower mintage, it's not the most valuable quarter.
Value: The auction record is from 2005 of $172,500.
1916 Standing Liberty Quarter
This first-year-issue quarter's 1916 key date makes it one of the most sought-after quarters of the 20th century. It's also prized by collectors because it displays Lady Liberty's right breast.
Value: Record price is $48,300 in 2005. A specimen in GEM BU condition.
1918-S 8 Over 7 Standing Liberty Quarter
Another example of an overdate quarter, a few thousand of these quarters are still in existence.
Value: One of these coins in high mint state grade sold for $109,250 at an auction in 2011.
1919-S Full Head Standing Liberty Quarter
Although almost 2 million of these quarters were produced in San Francisco, the date has worn off many of them, and the ones in higher grades can be worth quite a sum.
Value: One sold at auction for $258,500.
1927-S Full Head Standing Liberty Quarter
The 1927-S is one of the rarest of the Standing Liberty quarters due to weak strikes, and fewer were minted in San Francisco due to these issues. Only an estimated 1% of the mintage was struck well enough to show the details on Liberty's head, giving these the “full head” designations.
Value: One of the two finest remaining quarters sold at auction for $258,500.
1932-D Washington Quarter
This was the first year of the George Washington Quarters Series. Just 436,800 Washington Quarters were minted in Denver that year.
Value: The highest price at an auction was $143,750 in 2008.
1932-S Washington Quarter
Though not one of the most valuable quarters in this list, still quite expensive if you consider it is from 1932 and not so old as the previous ones. The San Francisco Mint produced 408,000 coins for this date.
Value: Auction record is at $45,500 from 2020.
1937 Doubled Die Obverse Washington Quarter
The final quarter on this list is the 1937 Double Die Obverse Washington quarter. Although there are several double die varieties of the Washington series, the 1937 version is the rarest and most valuable.
Value: The auction record sits at $22,250 from 2020.
The quarter has gone through many variations throughout the years, and there are many rare quarters worth money. From small mintages and proofs to overdates and one-of-a-kind errors, these 30 quarters are worth the most money.
Which quarter will you look to add to your collection? Will you be looking at your pocket change in search for a hidden treasure?
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What quarters are worth money in 2023?
Quarters minted before 1965 are made of 90% silver and are worth their bullion value. Certain quarters from 1970 and earlier that have rare errors or were produced in limited quantities can also be worth more than their face value. For example, the 1932-D and 1932-S Washington quarters, the 1955 doubled-die error quarter, and the 2004 Wisconsin state quarter with an extra leaf are all highly sought after by collectors.
What are the 10 rarest state quarters?
While there are no state quarters, or other modern quarters, that are truly rare or worth significant amounts of money, there are some with lower mintages that are sought after by collectors. Here are 10 state quarters with the lowest mintages, according to the United States Mint:
- 2008-D Oklahoma state quarter
- 2004-D Wisconsin state quarter (Extra Leaf Low)
- 2004-D Iowa state quarter (Extra Leaf)
- 2009-D District of Columbia quarter
- 2009-P Puerto Rico quarter
- 2009-D Guam quarter
- 2009-D American Samoa quarter
- 2009-D Virgin Islands quarter
- 2009-P Northern Mariana Islands quarter
- 2002-P Ohio state quarter (Extra Leaf)
Which quarter is worth $35000?
The 1970-S Washington Quarter struck over a 1941 Canadian quarter is a rare and highly sought-after error coin that has sold on eBay for $35,000. Very few examples of this coin are believed to have been created when some 1941 Canadian quarters were accidentally fed into a coin press at the San Francisco Mint and struck with a 1970-S Washington Quarter die.
What letter of quarters are worth money?
The letters on the quarters are called mint marks and they are an indication of the Mint that struck them. For instance, a quarter with a "D" mint mark is from the Denver Mint and "S" stands for the San Francisco Mint. Until 1979, Philadelphia Mint quarters had no mint marks, but since 1980 you will be able to spot the "P" indicating their work.
There is not specific mark that makes valuable quarters overall. However, quarters from specific mints can be more valuable than from others on some key dates simply because they are rarer or contain a mint error. For instance, a 1932 Washington Quarter from Philadelphia in mint condition can be worth up to $15,000. The same mint year from the San Francisco Mint is valued at $47,500, while one from Denver can reach $85,000, the most valuable quarter of the set.
Are 1965 quarters worth anything?
1965 quarters in circulated condition are not typically worth more than their face value. This is because quarters minted in 1965 and later are made of copper-nickel clad rather than silver. However, if the coin is in pristine condition, it may be worth it to a collector. It's always a good idea to consult with a reputable coin dealer or a professional appraiser to determine the value of a specific coin.