Quarter (United States coin)
Overview
 
A quarter dollar, commonly shortened to quarter, is a coin worth ¼ of a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

, or 25 cents
Cent (currency)
In many national currencies, the cent is a monetary unit that equals 1⁄100 of the basic monetary unit. Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word "centum" meaning hundred. Cent also refers to a coin which is worth one cent....

. The quarter has been produced since 1796. The choice of 25¢ as a denomination, as opposed to 20¢ which is more common in other parts of the world, originated with the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge shaped segments; at one time "two bits
Two Bits
Two Bits is an American drama film. It was directed by James Foley, and stars Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Jerry Barone. It was released on November 22, 1995.The title refers to the American slang term two bits for a quarter dollar....

", i.e. two pieces of eight, was a common nickname for a quarter.
For a list of Washington Quarter coins, see: Washington Quarter
Washington Quarter (U.S.)
The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The original coin began to be struck in 1932, and was designed by sculptor John Flanagan....


The current clad version is two layers of cupronickel
Cupronickel
Cupronickel or copper-nickel or "cupernickel" is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. Cupronickel is highly resistant to corrosion in seawater, because its electrode potential is adjusted to be neutral with regard to seawater...

 (75% Copper, 25% Nickel) on a core of pure copper giving a total composition of 8.33% Ni
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 with the remainder Cu
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, weighs 5.670 grams (0.2000 avoirdupois oz, 0.1823 troy oz), diameter 0.955 inches (24.26 mm), width 1.75 millimeters (0.069 in) with a reeded
Reeding
-Numismatics:In numismatics, reeded edges are often referred to as "ridged" or "grooved". Some coins, such as United States quarters and dimes, have reeded edges. One reason for having reeded edges was to prevent counterfeiting...

 edge.
Encyclopedia
A quarter dollar, commonly shortened to quarter, is a coin worth ¼ of a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

, or 25 cents
Cent (currency)
In many national currencies, the cent is a monetary unit that equals 1⁄100 of the basic monetary unit. Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word "centum" meaning hundred. Cent also refers to a coin which is worth one cent....

. The quarter has been produced since 1796. The choice of 25¢ as a denomination, as opposed to 20¢ which is more common in other parts of the world, originated with the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge shaped segments; at one time "two bits
Two Bits
Two Bits is an American drama film. It was directed by James Foley, and stars Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Jerry Barone. It was released on November 22, 1995.The title refers to the American slang term two bits for a quarter dollar....

", i.e. two pieces of eight, was a common nickname for a quarter.

Current design

For a list of Washington Quarter coins, see: Washington Quarter
Washington Quarter (U.S.)
The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The original coin began to be struck in 1932, and was designed by sculptor John Flanagan....


The current clad version is two layers of cupronickel
Cupronickel
Cupronickel or copper-nickel or "cupernickel" is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. Cupronickel is highly resistant to corrosion in seawater, because its electrode potential is adjusted to be neutral with regard to seawater...

 (75% Copper, 25% Nickel) on a core of pure copper giving a total composition of 8.33% Ni
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 with the remainder Cu
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, weighs 5.670 grams (0.2000 avoirdupois oz, 0.1823 troy oz), diameter 0.955 inches (24.26 mm), width 1.75 millimeters (0.069 in) with a reeded
Reeding
-Numismatics:In numismatics, reeded edges are often referred to as "ridged" or "grooved". Some coins, such as United States quarters and dimes, have reeded edges. One reason for having reeded edges was to prevent counterfeiting...

 edge. Owing to the introduction of the clad quarter in 1965, it was occasionally called a "Johnson Sandwich" after Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

, the U.S. President at the time. It currently costs 7.33 cents to produce each coin (as of 2004). Before 1965, quarters contained 90% silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, 10% copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

. The U.S. Mint began producing silver quarters again in 1992 for inclusion in the annual Silver Proof set. Early quarters (before 1828) were slightly larger in diameter and thinner than the current coin.

The current regular issue
Regular issue coinage
Business strike is a term that distinguishes coins created for commerce from commemorative coins and proof coins. Regular issue coins are normally produced in relatively large numbers, and are primarily meant to be used as pocket change, not collected...

 coin is the George Washington quarter (showing George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

) on the front. The reverse featured an eagle prior to the 1999 50 State Quarters Program
50 State Quarters
The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

. The Washington quarter was designed by John Flanagan. It was initially issued as a circulating commemorative, but was made a regular issue coin in 1934.

In 1999, the 50 State Quarters
50 State Quarters
The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

 program of circulating commemorative quarters began; these have a modified Washington obverse and a different reverse for each state, ending the former Washington quarter's production completely. On January 23, 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 392 extending the state quarter program one year to 2009, to include the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories large enough to merit non-voting Congressional representatives: Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, American Samoa
American Samoa
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

, the United States Virgin Islands
United States Virgin Islands
The Virgin Islands of the United States are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.The U.S...

, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill passed through the Senate and was signed into legislation by President Bush on December 27, 2007.
The typeface used in the state quarter series varies a bit from one state to another, but is generally derived from Albertus
Albertus (typeface)
Albertus is a glyphic, serif typeface designed by Berthold Wolpe in the period 1932 to 1940 for the Monotype Corporation type foundry. Wolpe named the font after Albertus Magnus, the thirteenth-century German philosopher and theologian....

.

On June 7th, 2006, a bill titled America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 was introduced to the House of Representatives. On December 23, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the bill into law. The America the Beautiful quarters program began in 2010 and will continue for 12 years.

List of designs

  • Silver quarters
    • Draped Bust 1796-1807
      • Draped Bust, Small Eagle 1796
      • Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle 1804–1807
    • Capped Bust 1815-1838
      • Capped Bust (Large Size), With Motto 1815–1828
      • Capped Bust (Small Size), No Motto 1831–1838
    • Seated Liberty 1838-1891
      • Seated Liberty
        United States Seated Liberty coinage
        The Seated Liberty designs appeared on most regular-issue silver United States coinage during the mid- and late-nineteenth century, from 1836 through 1891. The denominations which featured the Seated Liberty design included the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, and until 1873 the...

        , No Motto 1838–1865
      • Seated Liberty
        United States Seated Liberty coinage
        The Seated Liberty designs appeared on most regular-issue silver United States coinage during the mid- and late-nineteenth century, from 1836 through 1891. The denominations which featured the Seated Liberty design included the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, and until 1873 the...

        , With Motto 1866–1891
    • Barber
      United States Barber coinage
      Liberty Head designs appeared on United States minor silver coinage from 1892 to 1916. They derive their common name from their designer, Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber.-Origins:...

       1892–1916
    • Standing Liberty
      Standing Liberty Quarter
      The Standing Liberty quarter was a 25-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1930. It succeeded the Barber quarter, which had been minted since 1892. Featuring the goddess of Liberty on one side and an eagle in flight on the other, the coin was designed by sculptor Hermon Atkins...

       1916-1930
      • Standing Liberty
        Standing Liberty Quarter
        The Standing Liberty quarter was a 25-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1930. It succeeded the Barber quarter, which had been minted since 1892. Featuring the goddess of Liberty on one side and an eagle in flight on the other, the coin was designed by sculptor Hermon Atkins...

         (Type 1) 1916–1917
      • Standing Liberty
        Standing Liberty Quarter
        The Standing Liberty quarter was a 25-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1930. It succeeded the Barber quarter, which had been minted since 1892. Featuring the goddess of Liberty on one side and an eagle in flight on the other, the coin was designed by sculptor Hermon Atkins...

         (Type 2) 1917–1930
    • Washington Quarter 1931–1964, 1992–1998 (Proof Only)
      • Washington Bicentennial
        United States bicentennial coinage
        The United States Bicentennial coinage was a set of circulating commemorative coins, consisting of a quarter, half dollar and dollar struck by the United States Mint in 1975 and 1976...

         1975–1976 (all were dated 1776-1976) (40% Silver-clad Proof, not intended for circulation)
      • Washington statehood
        50 State Quarters
        The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

         1999–2008 (Proof Only)
      • Washington District of Columbia and U.S. territories
        District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program
        The District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program was a one-year coin program of the United States Mint that saw quarters being minted in 2009 to honor the District of Columbia and the unincorporated United States insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, United States Virgin...

         2009 (Proof Only)
  • Copper-nickel quarters
    • Washington Quarter 1965–1974, 1977–1998
      • Washington Bicentennial
        United States bicentennial coinage
        The United States Bicentennial coinage was a set of circulating commemorative coins, consisting of a quarter, half dollar and dollar struck by the United States Mint in 1975 and 1976...

         1975–1976 (all were dated 1776-1976).
      • Washington statehood
        50 State Quarters
        The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

         1999–2008
      • Washington District of Columbia and U.S. territories
        District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program
        The District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program was a one-year coin program of the United States Mint that saw quarters being minted in 2009 to honor the District of Columbia and the unincorporated United States insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, United States Virgin...

         2009
      • Washington America the Beautiful Quarters 2010-2021

Silver series

Non-clad silver quarters weigh 6.25 grams and are composed of 90% silver, 10% copper, with a total silver weight of 0.1808479 troy ounce pure silver. They were issued from 1932 through 1964.

The current rarities for the Washington Quarter silver series are:

Branch Mintmarks are D = Denver, S = San Francisco.
Coins without mintmarks are all made at the main Mint in Philadelphia\
This listing is for Business strikes, not Proofs
  • 1932 D
  • 1932 S
  • 1934 - with Double Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1935 D
  • 1936 D
  • 1937 Die Holly (DH)
  • 1937 S
  • 1938 S
  • 1939 S
  • 1940 D
  • 1942 D - with Double Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1942 D - with Double Die Reverse (DDR)
  • 1943 - with Double Die ?
  • 1943 S - with Double Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1950 D/S Over mintmark ( coin is a '50-D, with underlying S mintmark )
  • 1950 S/D Over mintmark ( coin is a '50-S, with underlying D mintmark )
  • 1955 D


The 1940 Denver Mint, 1936 Denver mint and the 1935 Denver Mint coins, as well as many others in the series, are considerably more valuable than other coins. This is not due to their mintages, but rather because they are harder to find in high grades. Many of these coins are worth only melt value in low grades. Other coins in the above list are expensive because of their extremely low mintages, such as the 1932 Denver and San Francisco issues. The overstruck mintmark issues are also scarce and expensive, especially in the higher grades; even so they may not have the same popularity as overdates found in pre-Washington quarter series.

The 1934 Philadelphia strike appears in two versions: one with a light motto [for "In God We Trust"], which is the same as that used on the 1932 strikings, and the other a heavy motto seen after the dies were reworked. Except in the highest grades, the difference in value between the two is minor.

The Silver Series of Washington Quarters spans from 1932 to 1964; during many years in the series it will appear that certain mints did not mint Washington Quarters for that year. No known examples of quarters were made in 1933, San Francisco abstained in 1934 and 1949, and stopped after 1955, until it resumed in 1968 by way of making proofs. Denver did not make quarters in 1938, and Philadelphia never stopped, except in 1933. Proof examples from 1936 to 1942 and 1950 to 1967 were struck at the Philadelphia Mint; in 1968 proof production was shifted to the San Francisco Mint.

The mint mark on the coin is located on the reverse beneath the wreath on which the eagle is
perched, and will either carry the mint mark "D" for the Denver Mint, "S" for the San Francisco mint, or be blank if minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

Copper-nickel clad series

The copper-nickel clad series of Washington Quarters started in 1965, and as part of the switch Denver and San Francisco did not stamp their mint marks from 1965 to 1967 in any denomination. The switch from silver to copper-nickel clad occurred because the federal government was losing money because the silver value of U.S. coins had exceeded their face value and were being melted down by individuals for profit (see Fiat money
Fiat money
Fiat money is money that has value only because of government regulation or law. The term derives from the Latin fiat, meaning "let it be done", as such money is established by government decree. Where fiat money is used as currency, the term fiat currency is used.Fiat money originated in 11th...

). For the first three years of clad production, in lieu of proof sets, specimen sets were specially sold as "Special Mint Sets" minted at the San Francisco mint in 1965, 1966, and 1967 (Deep Cameo versions of these spectacular coins are highly valued because of their rarity).

Currently, there are few examples in the clad series that are valued as highly as the silver series but there are certain extraordinary dates or variations. The Deep Cameo versions of proofs from 1965 to 1971 and 1981 Type Two are highly valued because of their scarcity, high grade examples of quarters from certain years of the 1980s (such as 1981-1987) because of scarcity in high grades due to high circulation and in 1982 and 1983 no mint sets were produced making it harder to find mint state
Mint state
Mint State refers to a grade used in numismatics. It is given to a coin which was not used in circulation, and thus can be described "as new"....

 examples, and any coin from 1981-1994 graded in MS67 is worth upwards of $1000.

The mint mark on the coin is located on the obverse at the bottom right hemisphere under the supposed date. In 1965-1967 cupro-nickel coins bore no mint mark; quarters minted in 1968-1979 were stamped with a "D" for the Denver mint, an "S" for the San Francisco mint (proof coins only), or blank for Philadelphia. Starting in 1980, the Philadelphia mint was allowed to add its mint mark to all coins except the one-cent piece. Twenty-five-cent pieces minted from 1980 onwards are stamped with "P" for the Philadelphia mint, "D" for the Denver mint, or "S" for San Francisco mint (proof coins only).

See also

  • Other countries
    • 25 cent WWII (Dutch coin)
      25 Cent WWII (Dutch coin)
      The 25 cent coin struck during the World War II German occupation was the highest-denomination coin in the Netherlands during World War II.It was made entirely of zinc. The coin was designed by the Dutch national-socialist Nico de Haas and minted between 1941 and 1944....

    • Quarter (Canadian coin)
      Quarter (Canadian coin)
      The quarter is a Canadian coin, valued at 25 cents or one-fourth of a Canadian dollar. It is a small, circular coin of silver colour. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the official name for the coin is the 25-cent piece, but in practice it is simply called a quarter.-History of...

  • 50 State Quarters
    50 State Quarters
    The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. Between 1999 and 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter....

     (1999–2008)
  • DC & US Territories Quarters
    District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program
    The District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program was a one-year coin program of the United States Mint that saw quarters being minted in 2009 to honor the District of Columbia and the unincorporated United States insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, United States Virgin...

     (2009)
  • America the Beautiful Quarters (Current release, started in 2010)
  • United States bicentennial coinage
    United States bicentennial coinage
    The United States Bicentennial coinage was a set of circulating commemorative coins, consisting of a quarter, half dollar and dollar struck by the United States Mint in 1975 and 1976...

     (1975–1976)
  • United States Mint coin production
    United States Mint coin production
    * In 1916, both the Mercury and Barber designs were used for the 10¢ coins.* In 1916, both the Standing Liberty and Barber designs were used for the 25¢ coins.* In 1921, both the Peace and Morgan designs were used for the $1 coins....

  • Washington Quarter (U.S.)
    Washington Quarter (U.S.)
    The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The original coin began to be struck in 1932, and was designed by sculptor John Flanagan....


External links

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