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Denver Coins --> United States Coins --> United State Quarters

Denver Gold and Silver
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Denver, Colorado 80246

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A quarter dollar, commonly shortened to quarter, is a coin worth ¼ of a United States dollar, or 25 cents. The quarter has been produced since 1796. The choice of 25¢ as a denomination, as opposed to 20¢ which is more common in other parts of the world, originated with the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge shaped segments. At one time "two bits", i.e. two pieces of eight, was a common nickname for a quarter, as in the jingle "Shave and a Haircut (Two Bits)", and the sports cheer "Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar ... all for (player's name), stand up and holler!"

Current design

For a list of Washington Quarter coins, see: Washington Quarter

The obverse prior to the State Quarter Program
The reverse prior to the State Quarter Program

The current clad version is nickel plated copper (8.33% Ni with the remainder Cu), weighs 5.670 grams (0.2000 avoirdupois oz, 0.1823 troy oz), diameter 0.955 inches (24.26 mm), width 1.75 millimeters (0.069 in) with a reeded edge. Owing to the introduction of the clad quarter in 1965, it was occasionally called a "Johnson Sandwich" after Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. President at the time. It currently costs 7.33 cents to produce each coin (as of 2004). Before 1965, quarters contained 90% silver, 10% copper. The U.S. Mint began producing silver quarters again in 1992 for inclusion in the annual Silver Proof set. Early quarters (before 1828) were slightly larger in diameter and thinner than the current coin.

The current regular issue coin is the George Washington quarter (showing George Washington) on the front. The reverse featured an eagle prior to the 1999 50 State Quarters Program. The Washington quarter was designed by John Flanagan. It was initially issued as a circulating commemorative, but was made a regular issue coin in 1934.

In 1999, the 50 State Quarters program of circulating commemorative quarters began; these have a modified Washington obverse and a different reverse for each state, ending the former Washington quarter's production completely. On January 23, 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 392 extending the state quarter program one year to 2009, to include the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories large enough to merit non-voting Congressional representatives: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill passed through the Senate and was signed into legislation by President Bush on December 27, 2007. The typeface used in the state quarter series varies a bit from one state to another, but is generally derived from Albertus.

On June 4, 2008, a bill titled America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 was introduced to the House of Representatives. On December 23, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the bill into law and a new, 12-year series of quarters will begin in 2010.

Rare Quaters:

  • Bust Quarters Draped Bust, Small Eagle Reverse (All are rare) 1796 $1,750.00-$10,000.00
  • Bust Quarters Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Reverse (Rare date: 1804) 1804-1807 $75.00-$750.00
  • Bust Quarters Capped Bust (Rare dates: 1823,1827) 1815-1838 $20.00-$100.00 $500.00-$2,500.00
  • Seated Quarters (Rare dates: 1849-O, 1860-S, 1864-S, 1866-1869, 1870-CC, 1871-CC, 1871-S, 1872-CC, 1872-S, 1873-CC, 1879-1889; Many scarce dates) 1838-1891 $5.00-$40.00 $150.00-$400.00
  • Barber Quarters (Rare dates: 1896-S, 1901-S, 1913-S; Scarce dates: 1892-S, 1897-O, 1899-S, 1901-O, 1902-S, 1903-S, 1908-S, 1909-O, 1913, 1914-S) 1892-1916 $5.00-$15.00 $100.00-$200.00
  • Standing Liberty Quarters (Rare dates: 1916, 1923-S; Scarce dates: 1917-1924) 1916-1930 $4.00-$10.00 $75.00-$175.00
  • Washington Quarters Silver (Scarce dates: 1932-D, 1932-S) 1932-1964 $4.00-$6.00 $5.00-$15.00
  • Washington Quarters Clad (No rare dates) 1965-Present Face Value Face Value
  • Washington Quarters Bicentennial (Dated 1776-1976)
    (Common date) 1975-1976 Face Value Face Value

List of designs: Silver quarters

  • Draped Bust 1796-1807
  • + Draped Bust, Small Eagle 1796
  • Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle 1804–1807
  • Capped Bust 1815-1838
  • Capped Bust (Large Size), With Motto 1815–1828
  • Capped Bust (Small Size), No Motto 1831–1838
  • Seated Liberty 1838-1891 Seated Liberty, No Motto 1838–1865
  • Seated Liberty, With Motto 1866–1891
  • Barber 1892–1916
  • Standing Liberty 1916-1930
  • Standing Liberty (Type 1) 1916–1917
  • Standing Liberty (Type 2) 1917–1930
  • Washington Quarter 1932–1964, 1992–1998 (Proof Only)
  • Washington Bicentennial 1975–1976 (all were dated 1776-1976) (40% Silver-clad Proof, not intended for circulation)
  • Washington statehood 1999–2008 (Proof Only)
  • Washington District of Columbia and U.S. territories 2009 (Proof Only)
  • Copper-nickel quarters
  • Washington Quarter 1965–1974, 1977–1998
  • Washington Bicentennial 1975–1976 (all were dated 1776-1976).
  • Washington statehood 1999–2008
  • Washington District of Columbia and U.S. territories 2009
  • Washington America the Beautiful Quarters 2010-2021

Silver series

Non-clad silver quarters weigh 6.25 grams and are composed of 90% silver, 10% copper, with a total silver weight of .18084 oz pure silver. They were issued from 1932 through 1964.

The current rarities for the Washington Quarter silver series are:

Branch Mintmarks are D = Denver, S = San Francisco. Coins without mintmarks are all made at the main Mint in Philadelphia. This listing is for Business strikes, not Proofs.

* 1932 D
* 1932 S
* 1934 - with Double Die Obverse (DDO)
* 1935 D
* 1936 D
* 1937 Die Holly (DH)
* 1937 S
* 1938 S
* 1939 S
* 1940 D
* 1942 D - with Double Die Obverse (DDO)
* 1942 D - with Double Die Reverse (DDR)
* 1943 - with Double Die ?
* 1943 S - with Double Die Obverse (DDO)
* 1950 D/S Over mintmark ( coin is a '50-D, with underlying S mintmark )
* 1950 S/D Over mintmark ( coin is a '50-S, with underlying D mintmark )
* 1955 D

The 1940 Denver Mint, 1936 Denver mint and the 1935 Denver Mint coins, as well as many others in the series, are considerably more valuable than other coins. This is not due to their mintages, but rather because they are harder to find in high grades. Many of these coins are worth only melt value in low grades. Other coins in the above list are expensive because of their extremely low mintages, such as the 1932 Denver and San Francisco issues. The overstruck mintmark issues are also scarce and expensive, especially in the higher grades; even so they may not have the same popularity as overdates found in pre-Washington quarter series.

The 1934 Philadelphia strike appears in two versions: one with a light motto [for "In God We Trust"], which is the same as that used on the 1932 strikings, and the other a heavy motto seen after the dies were reworked. Except in the highest grades, the difference in value between the two is minor.

The Silver Series of Washington Quarters spans from 1932 to 1964; during many years in the series it will appear that certain mints did not mint Washington Quarters for that year. No known examples of quarters were made in 1933, San Francisco abstained in 1934 and 1949, and stopped after 1955, until it resumed in 1968 by way of making proofs. Denver did not make quarters in 1938, and Philadelphia never stopped, except in 1933. Proof examples from 1936 to 1942 and 1950 to 1967 were struck at the Philadelphia Mint; in 1968 proof production was shifted to the San Francisco Mint.

The mint mark on the coin is located on the reverse beneath the wreath on which the eagle is perched, and will either carry the mint mark "D" for the Denver Mint, "S" for the San Francisco mint, or be blank if minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

Copper-nickel clad series

The copper-nickel clad series of Washington Quarters started in 1965, and as part of the switch Denver and San Francisco did not stamp their mint marks from 1965 to 1967 in any denomination. The switch from silver to copper-nickel clad occurred because the federal government was losing money because the silver value of U.S. coins had exceeded their face value and were being melted down by individuals for profit. For the first three years of clad production, in lieu of proof sets, specimen sets were specially sold as "Special Mint Sets" minted at the San Francisco mint in 1965, 1966, and 1967 (Deep Cameo versions of these spectacular coins are highly valued because of their rarity).

Currently, there are few examples in the clad series that are valued as highly as the silver series but there are certain extraordinary dates or variations. The Deep Cameo versions of proofs from 1965 to 1971 and 1981 Type Two are highly valued because of their scarcity, high grade examples of quarters from certain years of the 1980s (such as 1981-1986) because of scarcity in high grades due to high circulation and in 1982 and 1983 no mint sets were produced making it harder to find mint state examples, and any coin from 1981-1994 graded in MS67 is worth upwards of $1000.

The mint mark on the coin is located on the obverse at the bottom right hemisphere under the supposed date. In 1965-1967 cupro-nickel coins bore no mint mark; quarters minted in 1968-1979 were stamped with a "D" for the Denver mint, an "S" for the San Francisco mint (proof coins only), or blank for Philadelphia. Starting in 1980, the Philadelphia mint was allowed to add its mint mark to all coins except the one-cent piece. Twenty-five-cent pieces minted from 1980 onwards are stamped with "P" for the Philadelphia mint, "D" for the Denver mint, or "S" for San Francisco mint (proof coins only).

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