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    

1940 D Washington Quarter Ms1935-s Gem High Grade Key Date Washington Quarter From Big CollectionOriginal Roll 1959 Washington Silver Quarters.. Gem Bu1940 D Washington Quarter About UncirculatedToned Ngc Ms-66 1942-d Washington Silver Quarter Dollar ~ Beautiful Coin1932-d Key Date Washington Quarter From Big Collection1932 - 1998 U.s. Washington Quarter Complete Set In Dansco Album W/key Dates Nr!1936 Silver Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms-651947 Washington Qtr Ngc Ms67 Rainbow Mint Set Toned ~colorful Toning~super Gem1940-d Washington Quarter Certified Pcgs Ms64Roll Of 40 Bu 1964 Washington 90% Silver Quarters Philadelphia Mint69 Silver Washington Quarters1932-s Washington Quarter Near Gem Bu Choice Uncirculated Unc 25c1932-d Washington Quarter 251982 25Original Obw Slq / Washington Quarter Roll Gem Bu D-mint "frb Of Denver"1935 D Washington Quarter About Uncirculated1938-s 25c Washington Quarter1955 Washington Qtr Ngc Ms66 Rainbow Mint Set Toned ~colorful Toning~gem Mint1976 Washington Qtr Pcgs Ms66+ Rainbow Album Toned~colorful Toning~ Color1934 D Washington Quarter About Uncirculated1932-d Washington QuarterRare 1932-d Silver Washington Head Quarter Grades - "very Fine" 1932-s Washington Silver Quarter-key Date! Cleaned*key Date* 1932 S Washington Quarter , Low Mintage 408,000 Nice Coin!!!!!!!1932-d Washington Quarter- Anacs Slabbed Au55 Details- Cleaned 1958 25c Ms66+ Pcgs May Be Best Rainbow In Existance For The Grade1942 Ngc Pf 65 Proof Washington Quarter!!1964 Washington Qtr Pcgs Ms66 Super Rainbow Mint Set Toned ~colorful Toning~Roll 1964 Washington Silver Quarters.. Gem Proofs1941-s Pcgs Ms66 Superb Gem Silver Washington Quarter - With Truview Images!1943 Ddo Washington Quarter Fs-102 25c - Ngc Au 55 *no Reserve! 1953 Washington Silver Proof Ngc Pf-67* Star Cameo!! Exceptional BeautyRare 1932-s Silver Washington Head Quarter - Grades "very Fine"1958 Pcgs Pr68cam Cameo Silver Proof Washington Quarter - 99c No Reserve!1940 Ngc Pf 66 Proof Washington Quarter!!1932-d Washington Quarter 25c - Pcgs Xf45 - No Reserve!1956-p Washington Quarter In Ngc Ms67 High Grade Beauty!Twenty (20) 1963 D Washington 25c 90% Silver Quarter Coin Roll Lot Us Mint Cello1938-s Silver Washington 25c Pcgs Ms 65Lot Of 10 Circulated 1960's Washington Silver Quarters (90% Silver) Lot Of 8 Washington Quarter Dollars, Junk Box Silver Coins, $2 Face1964 Type B Rev Washington Quarter 25c Ngc Ms65 *no Reserve!1932 S Washington Silver 251961 Pcgs Pr67 Deep Cameo Proof Silver Washington Quarter - - Nice Pf67Ngc Ms-66 1942-d Washington Silver Quarter Dollar ~ No Reserve!1934-d, 1936-d, 1937-s Silver Washington Quarters Nice Concition Semi Key DatesUncirculated 1943-d Washington Quarter Free Shipping1954-s Washington Qtr Ngc Ms66 Rainbow Mint Set Toned ~colorful Toning~gem Mint1937 D Washington Quarter About UncirculatedNgc Ms 65 1932 P Washington Quarter .!!! Gem Unc.!!! Nr.!!!Choice Bu Roll Of 40 1959 Washington Quarter Dollars 90% Silver~ Roll Of 40 1960 Proof Washington 90% Silver Quarters1939 Pcgs Ms67 Superb Gem Silver Washington Quarter - 99c No Reserve!36 90% Silver Liberty Washington Quarters 1964 To 1940s In Collection Coin Book1932 Washington Quarter Ngc Ms 64 Ngc Ms-66 1943-s. Washington Silver Quarter Dollar ~ No Reserve!Ngc Ms-66 1941-d Washington Silver Quarter Dollar ~ No Reserve!1935-d Washington Quarter Free ShippingLot Of 6 Washington Quarter Dollars, Junk Box Silver Coins, $1.50 Face