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    

1939-d Washington Quarter Ngc Au53+ Obw Half Roll Gem 1878 Seated / 1917 Walking1932-1998 Pds Complete 174 Coin Washington Set 1932-1964 Silver In Nice Dansco1932 S Washington Quarter Bu-1932-d Washington Quarter, Stunning Solid Gem Bu++ Key Date, Rare This Nice!1932-s Washington Quarter, Outstanding Solid Gem Bu++ Key Date ** Free Shipping!2 Original Bank Wrapped Rolls -- $10 Quarter 1956 & $5 Dimes 1956Vtg Silver 1949 Us Quarter Band Ring 6.51959-d Obw Original Bank Wrapped Roll Gem Bu Washington Quarters 40pcs1932-s Washington Quarter, Xf Details, Harshly Cleaned, Scratched1964-p Obw Original Bank Wrapped Roll Gem Bu Washington Quarters 40pcs1947 S Ngc Ms67 Superb Gem Stack's W 57th St. Collection Washington Quarter1937-d Washington Quarter ~ M64 ~ Blast White & Lustrous!!!1934-d Washington Quarter CoinOriginal Bu Roll Of 1958 Washington Quarters, These Have Stunning Luster !!1957 Ngc Ms67 Superb Gem Stack's W 57th St. Collection Washington Quarter1932-s Key Date Washington 25 Cent Piece, Lightly Circulated, Gc9439.nel1932-s 25c Washington QuarterLot Of 76 90% Washington Silver Quarters - $19.00 Face ValueJunk U.s. Circulated 90% Mixed Silver Scrap Morgan & Washington CoinsRoll Of 40 1932-1964 Silver Washington Quarters 1932-d Washington Silver Quarter Key Date 25 Cents #271932-d Denver Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free Shipping1932-d Key Date Washington 25 Cent Piece, Circulated, Gc9433.iel1940-s Washington Quarter ~ M62~ Lustrous!!!1962 Washington Quarter Roll 90% Silver Gem Proof 40 Us CoinsOriginal Obw Washington Slq Quarter Roll Gem Bu 1936 & 1937 "frb Denver"1932-s Washington Silver Quarter Key Date 25 Cents #231932-d Denver Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free ShippingRare-date, "1932-d", Washington Quarter, "ngc",,"ag-3".1932-d Washington Quarter (vg-f) On Silver-copper " Nice Big Key-date "1937-d Washington Quarter, Choice Bu Better Date, ** Free Shipping!1937-s San Francisco Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free ShippingRoll (40) Us Silver Proof Washington Quarters. 1961 - 1964. Gem Uncirulated.1935-s Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms65 No Reserve! 1932-d Washington Quarter, Pcgs Au Details - Genuine Cleaning1934-d Washington Quarter, Very Nice Choice Bu++ Better Date, ** Free Shipping!1940-d Washington Quarter Ngc Ms-64 *choice Semi-key Silver Quarter*1932-s 25c Washington Silver Quarter Ngc Vf 301950 Ngc Pf 67 Washington Quarter1954 S Ch Bu Washington Quarter Half Roll / 20 Bu 1954 S Quarters1961 Pcgs Ms65 Gem Colorful Eor Toned Washington Quarter1951 Ngc Pf 67 Washington Quarter2 Rolls Of 1964-d Washington Silver Quarters 40 Coins Each Bu Uncirculated Obw Roll Of 1964-p Washington Silver Quarters 40pc Brilliant Uncirculated 40 Washington 90% Silver Quarters RollRoll Of 40 Pcs ($10 Face) - 90% Silver Us Washington Quarters (random Years)Roll Of 40 Washington 90% Silver Quarters 1939 Through 1964 -see Details-1941 Pcgs Washington Quarter, Proof, Pcgs Pr 64 ** Great Deep Mirrors!1932-d Washington Quarter, Key Date ** Free Shipping!1932-d Key Date Washington 25 Cent Piece, Circulated, Gc9432.sele1942-d Ngc Washington Quarter Ngc Ms 66 Cac Certified ** Free Shipping!1940-s Pcgs Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 65 ** Free Shipping!1940-d Washington Quarter- Semi-key !! Better Date !! #e5841"rare", 1932-d", Washington Quarter, The First Year Of This Issue.1936 Washington QuarterUncirculated 1940-s San Francisco Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free Shipping1939-s & 1936-s Washington Quarters: Better Year/mint "no Reserve"1937-s Washington Quarter-90% Silver-shipping Discounts-l@@k!!1936 25c Washington Quarter Us Silver Coin High Grade See Pics - 90%$10 Roll Washington Silver Quarters Lot 4