Washington quarters are the things that jingle in our pockets and purses, the coins that light up jukeboxes, feed parking meters, and cause bottles of Coca-Cola to drop from vending machines throughout the land. Billions have been struck and large numbers of post-1964 quarters remain in circulation.

As it turns out, the coin that is so familiar to us today was not the first choice of the commission that was formed to choose a design to honor the 1932 bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. That honor went to Laura Gardin Fraser, who had designed the Oregon Trail commemorative coin and whose husband designed the 1913 Buffalo nickel.

For some reason, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon was unimpressed by Fraser’s design or the commission’s unanimous support of it. He called for a second contest, which Fraser also won, then ignored all recommendations and gave the assignment to John Flanagan instead. (Fraser passed away in 1966; her design was finally put into production for a commemorative Washington coin in 1999.)

There are three basic types of Washington quarters. The first two types concern the composition of the coins. Coins minted from 1932 through 1964 contain 90-percent silver, but coins from 1965 through 1998 have no silver in them at all. These so-called sandwich coins have centers of pure copper and skins of 75-percent copper and 25-percent nickel.

The other exceptions to the rule are the coins minted in 1976, when the eagle on the quarter’s reverse took a year off for the country’s bicentennial. That year only, the great bird was replaced by an image of a colonial drummer, which was designed by Jack L. Ahr.

More than a billion and a half bicentennial quarters were struck, so they will never be considered rare. Less available, but only marginally more costly, are the nine million, 40-percent-silver bicentennial coins and proofs struck in San Francisco.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors

Home to the Society of U.S. Pattern collectors, this well-organized site provides in-depth information on pattern c… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1932-d Pcgs Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 64 ** Very Tough This Nice, Key Date!1932-s Washington Quarter, Super Nice Gem Bu++ Key Date, ** Free Shipping!1936 D Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 62 Blast White Uncirculated Gem Coin -9831932-98(p,d,s)*$19.50 Face In 90% Silver* Set Of Washington Quarters "au/gem Bu"1932-s Washington Quarter, Gorgeous Superb Gem Bu++ Key Date, * Lustrous Blazer!Lot Of (15) High Grade Washington Quarters 1932 1934 1935 1942 S 47 D Silver 25c1932-s Washington Quarter (au 58) Pcgs1976-s Pcgs Pr70dcam Silver Bicentennial Washington Quarter Proof1932 S Washington Quarter90% Silver Washington Quarters - $10 Face Value Roll - Avg CirculatedAlbum Of Washington Quarters 1946-1970 (35 Silver, 9 No Silver Content)1941 Proof Washington Quarter Pcgs Pr 65 Cac Gold Sticker Rattler HolderComplete Set Silver 1992-1998 90% Collection Proof Washington Quarters! 7 Coins!1936 D Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 63 Blast White Uncirculated Gem Coin -9761932-s "series Key Date" Washington Silver Quarter Better Grade++1932-s Washington Silver 25 Cents Near Gem Uncirculated1935-d Washington Quarter, Lustrous Choice Bu++ Better Date, ** Free Shipping!1958-d Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms66 Beautiful Rainbow Toning From Mint Set 25c1932-s 25c Washington Quarter Lustrous Blast White Key Beauty Unc Details Rare!Key Date 1932-s Washington Quarter -- Nice Ef1934-d Denver Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free Shipping1934-d/d (double D) Washington Quarter Ms Silver1932s San Francisco Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free Shipping170 Silver Washington QuartersLot Of 80 Washington Quarters - Whitman Album - Key Dates+ - Scrap Silver+++Washington Quarter Set, 1932-1964, G-au (missing Only 3 Coins)Complete Washington Silver Quarter Set 1932 - 1962 Including 1932-d & 1932-s Original Roll Of 1964-p Washington Silver Quarters 40pc Gem-bu Uncirculated Roll Of 1958-p Washington Silver Quarters 40pc Gem-bu Uncirculated 1939-s Washington Quarter, Gorgeous Solid Gem Bu++, Tougher Date, ** Free S/h!1937 D Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 66 White1940-d Washington Quarter 25¢- Key Date- BuUncirculated 1937 Philadelphia Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free S/hPage Of Ten Washington Quarters: 1932p, 1934 P/d, 1935 P/d/s, 1936 P/d/s, 1937p1932-s Washington Quarter ** Free Shipping!1936 S Washington Quarter - Au+ Condition - 130saRoll 40 Washington Quarters 90% Silver Coins Mixed Dates 1962-19641932-d Washington Quarter, Highly Desired Choice Unc++/bu Key Date, ** Free S/h!Pcgs Ms-67 1947-s Washington Silver Quarter. No Reserve1932-s Silver Washington Quarter (xf45) Pcgs1932-s Silver Washington Quarter (vf 20) Pcgs1935-d Washington Quarter, Scarce Choice Bu++ Better Date, ** Free Shipping!Page Of 20 Silver Washington Quarters (pre-1965) Lot # 2/18Pcgs Ms-66 1940-p Washington Silver Quarter. No Reserve1934-d Washington Silver 25 Cents Near Gem Uncirculated Rare This Nice!!1938 Washington Quarter (pr 64) PcgsLot Of 70 Silver Washington Quarters 1932-1964 No DupesLot Of 8 Different Pieces Washington Quarter Dollar Pcgs Ms 65Washington 90% Silver Quarter Roll $10 Face Value 40 Coins - Nice Mix 1940 -19641934-d Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 63 ** Gorgeous Better Date, Tougher This Nice!Lot Of 37 Washington Silver Quarters Dates Between 1937-19645 Rolls 1976 Washington Bicentennial Quarters - $50 Face Value - 200 Quarters1932-s Washington Quarter Extra Fine Condition Value $275.00One Roll, 40pc 90% Silver Bullion Washington Quarters 1932-1964 Circulated1961 Us Washington Quarter Proof 25c - Ngc Pf69* Star Cameo1932-s Washington Quarter, Tough Key Date ** Free Shipping!1993-s Silver Washington Quarter (25¢) - Ngc Pf 70 Uc - Rare - Pop = 1421992-1998-s Silver Washington Quarter 4 Coin Set - All Are Ngc Pf 70 Uc #121960 Washington Silver 25 Cents With Type B Reverse Ngc Ms66Washington Quarters 1934,1936-s,1939-s,1940d - Lot Of 4 F/vf Silver Coins, Nr!