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    

Complete Washington Silver Quarter Set 1932 - 1962 Including 1932-d & 1932-s Marvelous 1976 S Pcgs Ms66 Gem Rainbow Toned Silver Washington Quarter W Truevi1936 D Washington Silver Quarter Icg Au 581932-s 25c Washington Quarter Lustrous Blast White Key Beauty Unc Details Rare!1932-d 25c Washington Quarter Lustrous Blast White Bu+ Uncirculated Beauty Rare!1932-s Washington Quarter, Tough This Nice, Solid Choice Bu++ Lustrous Key Date!1932-d Washington Quarter, Highly Desired Choice Unc++/bu Key Date, ** Free S/h!1937 S Washington Silver Quarter Icg Ms 61 `1932-d Washington Quarter, Tough Choice Au++/unc Key Date, ** Free Shipping!170 Silver Washington Quarters1938 Washington Silver Quarter Icg Ms 65 `1932-d Washington Quarter, Sought After Near Gem Bu++ Key Date ** Free Shipping!One Roll, 40pc 90% Silver Bullion Washington Quarters 1932-1964 CirculatedKey Date 1932-s Washington Quarter -- Nice Ef1932-s Washington Quarter, Very Nice Choice Au++/unc Key Date, ** Free Shipping!1937-d Washington Quarter ** Free Shipping!Roll Of 1958-p Washington Silver Quarters 40pc Gem-bu Uncirculated 1935-d Washington Quarter, Very Nice Superb Gem Bu++, Tougher Date, ** Free S/h!1939-d Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 66 ** Rich Toning, Cac Certified, Free S/h!1938-s Washington Quarter, Tough This Nice, Superb Gem Bu++ ** Free Shipping!Series Key 1932-s Washington Silver Quarter Choice Bu++1932s San Francisco Mint Silver Washington Quarter Free Shipping1964-d Uncirculated Roll Washington Quarters Original 90% Silver $10 Face #1221932-d U.s. Washington Silver Quarter Dollar1937 Silver Washington Quarter - Ms66 Pcgs1937 D Washington Silver Quarter Icg Ms 63 `1951, 1951-d, 1951-s - Washington Quarters, UncBu Roll Of 1954d Silver Washington Quarters1932-d Washington Qtr (certified Ngc Xf45) Key Date Hi-res Images No Reserve1932-s Washington Quarter, Key Date ** Free Shipping!Lot Of 8 Unc Washington Silver Quarter 1944 1946 D P S 1945 P S D1940d Choice Au Washington Silver Quarter! Old Us Coins!1961 D Ngc Ms65 Gem Colorful Toned Washington QuarterBrilliant! Bu Roll(40) 1955-d Silver Washington Quarters....sparklers!400 Bicentennial Quarters Lot Of 10 Rolls 1976Roll Of 40 Washington Quarters Mixed Dates Circulated 90% Silver1932-s Silver Washington Quarter Vf 30 Pcgs1932-s Ngc Au55 Washington Quarter .99c No Reserve1932-s Washington Quarter, Scarce Key Date ** Free Shipping!1992-1998-s Silver Washington Quarter 4 Coin Set - All Are Ngc Pf 70 Uc #12Choice Uncirculated 1937-d Silver Washington Quarter 1936 Washington Quarter, Impressive Superb Gem Pf++, Tough Key Date Pr, Free S/hCirculated Roll Of 40 Silver Washington Quarters1938 -p Washington Silver Quarter Choice Bu1932-s 25c Washington Quarter Lustrous Uncirculated Near Blast White Key Rare!1934-d Washington Quarter, Choice Bu++ Tougher Date, ** Free Shipping!1936-s Washington Quarter (au 58) PcgsWashington Quarter Silver 1937 S. Au. Lot # 9011-225-013(40)1976 Bicentennial Quarters 1776-1976 Circulated Roll1944 Pcgs Washington Quarter Pcgs Ms 66 ** Free Shipping!Near Set 1932-1964 Washington Silver Quarters (83 Coins, Missing 1932 D & S) Bu Roll Of 1954s Silver Washington Quarters1947-s/s 25¢ Rpm Fs-502 Pcgs Ms-661947-s/s 25¢ Rpm Fs-501 Pcgs Ms-661939 Washington Quarter, Proof, Very Nice Superb Gem Pf++, ** Free Shipping!Roll Of 1954-p Washington Silver Quarters 40pc Gem-bu Uncirculated 1938 Washington Quarter (ms 63) Pcgs21 Washington 90% Silver Quarters 1932-19641937 D Washington Silver Quarter Icg Ms 634 Rolls 1776 - 1976 Bicentennial Washington Quarters