Washington quarters have been a part of the United States currency since 1932.
They are the longest-running series in U.S. coinage history (with only one exception) and continue to be minted to this day.
This makes them truly an American classic. But how well do you know your Washington quarters? Are they worth collecting? Let’s find out!
What are Washington Quarters?
Washington Quarters are the quarter-dollar coins produced by the United States Mint since 1932.
They feature George Washington on the obverse (front) and an eagle on the reverse side.
Since their initial release in 1932, there have been two designs of Washington quarters.
One from 1932 to 1964 with a portrait of George Washington and another from 1965 to 1998 that depicts him standing next to a Liberty Bell.
In 1999, after it was discovered that people were using mercury fillings to melt down these “silver” coins into bars (allowing them to be sold for higher prices), they changed their design again so that only small amounts of real silver could be extracted from them.
History of Washington Quarters
The Washington quarter is the only U.S. coin minted every year since 1932.
It was initially introduced as part of an effort to encourage more people to save their change by making small coins more valuable than they would be if they were thrown away or wasted.
The first quarter was minted in 1932, and John Flanagan designed it.
It features George Washington on the front side, facing left with a laurel wreath around his head and thirteen stars above him.
On the reverse side is an eagle perched on a mountain and holding arrows in its talons while grasping branches of laurel above its head—the design was initially intended for use on U.S. gold coins issued between 1838–1839 but never saw use because Congress banned them before those coins could be made available for public purchase.
Characteristics of Washington Quarters
Washington Quarters are silver coins with a diameter of 39mm. They have a 25-cent denomination and are minted to commemorate specific events or people, such as the 1932 Washington quarter, commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth.
The obverse side depicts George Washington’s portrait on one side; on the other is his profile portrait with 13 stars around it (representing the 13 original colonies).
The reverse side shows an eagle flying over mountains with its wings spread wide. John Flanagan created this design, who engraved all three designs used in circulating quarters between 1932 and 1964.
The 1932 Washington quarter, the 1933 Buffalo Standing Quarter, and the 1934 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Coin.
Rare Washington Quarters
The most valuable Washington quarters were minted in 1932 and 1934, as they were part of a series called the “hoard coins.”
These quarters contain more silver than their more common counterparts, making them worth more if they’re in excellent condition.
Two other Washington quarter series are also considered very valuable: the 1948-1953 and the 1965-1970 quarters.
The former was released shortly after World War II when metal was scarce; as such, there weren’t enough coins to meet the demand for them, and many remain rare today.
In contrast with these earlier issues of the coin series are those from 1965 through 1970—these feature lower production numbers due to an increase in demand thanks to rising prices on metals like gold during that time.
Is it Worth it to Collect Washington Quarters?
This is a common question for coin collectors; the answer depends on you.
If you enjoy collecting coins and like the history behind each design, then it’s worth it to start your collection with Washington Quarters.
However, it may not be the best choice if you’re interested in collecting valuable coins or making money from your hobby.
Many other American coins have higher premiums than Washington Quarters do today—and these other coins might even give Washington Quarters a run for their money as far as quality goes!
On top of that, there are also plenty of foreign coins designed by famous artists that can be worth more than any years-old quarter could ever hope to achieve after they were minted and released into circulation (and even before).
Before you go…
In conclusion, Washington Quarters are a great way to get into coin collecting. They’re affordable and easy to find in circulation, making them accessible for beginners and experienced collectors. Plus, their history is fascinating!
Check my next article out: “What Quarters Are Worth Money? The List of 20 Quarters That Are Worth A Lot!“