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 Ngc Ms63 Washington Quarter - Series Key!1x $10 Bu "p" Silver Quarter Roll Unknown Date 1932-1964 Washington Free Ship 101932 S Washington Quarter 90% Silver You Grade1x $10 Bu "p" Silver Quarter Roll Unknown Date 1932-1964 Washington Free Ship 091934-d Denver Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free Shipping1935-d Washington Quarter, Lustrous Choice Bu++ Better Date ** Free Shipping!1932-d & 1932-s 2 Pcs Trio Of Key Date Washington Quarters No Reserve 99c Start1932-d Washington Quarter, Avidly Pursued Key DateUncirculated 1932-d Washington Quarter Great Detail1932-s Washington Quarter, Super Sharp & Lustrous Superb Gem Bu++ Key Date!1940 Washington Quarter Proof, Superb Gem Pf, Lovely Toning! ** Free Shipping!Bag Of 200 25c Washington Silver Quarter Dollars141 Silver Washington Quarters1932-d Washington Quarter Good Condition Value $120.00 Washington Silver Quarter Mixed Roll Gem Bu1932-s Washington Quarter, Highly Desired Choice Bu++ Key Date ** Free Shipping!1966 Washington Ngc Sms 68 Cameo * No Price Guide - Rare! *1932-s Washington Silver Quarter #113671935 S Washington Quarter Uncirculated1967 Double Die Washington Pcgs Sp 68 Ddo Fs 101 (026.5) * Pg $750 - Pop 6/0 *1935-s Washington Quarter Pcgs Vf20 Rare Sample Of Official Pcgs Grading Set1x $10 Bu "p" Silver Quarter Roll Unknown Date 1932-1964 Washington Free Ship 11Nrfs! Roll 40 Bu Washington 90% Silver Bullion Quarter Dollar Coins 1932-19641934-d Washington Quarter, Tough Uncirculated Better Date ** Free Shipping!1939-d Washington Quarter Grade Gem Bu *as Pictured* Inv 216Uncirculated 1935 Philadelphia Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free S/h1938 S Washington Quarter 90% Silver You Grade1957 Us Washington Silver Quarter Proof 25c - Ngc Pf681958 P Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms66 Silver 25c Coin Auction Starts At 99 Cents!Roll Of 1963-d Washington Quarters Bu 90% Silver Uncirculated 25-cents Free ShipRoll Of 1962-p Washington Silver Quarters 40pc Gem-bu Uncirculated (40) Washington Silver Quarters -prior To 1965-*no-min-no-rsv* -- Free S/h1932-d Washington Quarter Key Date Beautiful Coin Wq-00021932 D Washington Quarter 90% Silver You Grade1962 Washington Silver 25 Cents -type B Reverse- Ngc Ms66 Scarce!1951 Washington Quarter Proof, Superb Gem Pf, Gorgeous Toning ** Free Shipping!1945-d Washington Quarter Grade Gem Bu *as Pictured* Inv 233Bag Of 200 25c Washington Silver Quarter DollarsSilver Washington Quarters Complete Set 1932 - 1945 Collection W/key 1932-d 32-sFull Roll (40) Washington Silver Quarters 1940's Au/bu10 Rolls $ 100 Washington Drummer Boy Bicentennial Quarters 1776-1976!Washington Silver Quarter Lot, 1 Roll, Pre 1960, 90% Silver, 8.6 Oz., Junk1932-s Washington Quarter Pcgs Graded Au 58 Rare Key Date1946-1959 Silver 25c Book Complete 36 Silver Coins Full Album Pds In All Years1934-d Washington Quarter, Lustrous Bu++ Beauty, Better Date, ** Free Shipping!1932-s Washington Quarter, Desired Choice Au++/unc Better Date, * Free Shipping!1967 Washington Ngc Sms 68 Cameo * No Price Guide - Rare! *Uncirculated 1934 1935 & 1937 Silver Washington Quarters**** 1983 Washington 25c Ngc Ms66 "spitting Eagle" Variety1941-1964 Washington Silver Coin Set. 61 Coins Total W/whitman Book1959 Silver Washington Quarters (1 Roll, 40 Coins) Proof Like Coins $10 Washington Quarters - 90% Silver 40-coin Roll Mixed DatesSilver Roll (40) 1963p - Washington Quarters -uncirculated - See Pics & CommentsWashington Silver Quarter Lot, 1 Roll, Pre 1960, 90% Silver, 8.6 Oz., JunkRoll Of 40 Washington Quarters Mixed Dates Circulated 90% SilverLot Of Four (4) Rolls 90% Silver Washington Quarters $40 Fv Mixed Dates Circ. I1878 S Morgan Silver Dollar Pcgs Ms 63Uncirculated 1934 Philadelphia Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free S/h1940 D Washington Quarter 90% Silver You Grade1953 Washington Quarter Cameo Proof, Superb Gem Pf Cam