Although quarters have been around since the early years of our nation, they haven’t always been a staple of U.S. currency. The first quarter was produced in 1796, but the coin wasn’t consistently minted until 1831.
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Quarters have gone through many design changes over the years. For example, the familiar Washington-head design made its first appearance in 1932. With so many different versions, it’s not surprising that there are many silver quarters worth far more than 25 cents.
Let’s take a look at 30 quarters worth money — big money.
How Quarters Are Valued
Before we dive into specific quarters, it’s important to understand how quarters are valued and why some quarters are worth as much as they are.
Dealers typically use several factors when pricing coins, including:MintageSurviving populationDemandMelt valueCondition
Coins are primarily valued by the supply of a coin or its rarity. Thus, a coin’s supply is partially due to its original mintage — how many were initially produced. For instance, proof coinage, which refers to special early samples of a coin issue, is rarer because fewer coins were produced.
No matter the number of coins initially minted, many coins are lost once they enter circulation. Some become damaged, are reclaimed for metal, or are lost through other means. Thus, the number of surviving coins from a mintage also plays a role in their value. The rarer the coin is, the higher the value.
Several factors influence the demand for coins. The higher in demand a coin is, the more it will be worth.
Yet another factor influencing value is a coin melt value. This factor applies mostly to coins made of gold and silver. As precious metal values rise and fall, a coin’s value may be worth much more than its face value due to the precious metal it’s made of.
Of course, the condition of the coin also plays a role in its value. Except for the rarest of coins, many of the highest value coins will be uncirculated and, thus, in the best condition.
Top 30 Most Valuable Quarters
The five factors described above are considered when determining the value of coins. As a result, the quarters discussed below are worth money because they fall into most of these categories.
Here are 30 quarters worth money, presented in order by the year minted, along with a brief description and their potential value.
1796 Draped Bust Quarter
A fire in 1816 at the U.S. Mint led to changes in production, with the first proof quarters arriving in 1818. There were only a few made, and only two are known to exist.
Value: One of these quarters sold at auction for $381,875.
1823 3 Over 2 Capped Bust Quarter
This quarter from 1823 is unique because it has a re-punched date, known as an overdate. During this time, the dates were punched into the coin manually, and if the date were not appropriately struck, it would be done again. In this case, a 3 was punched over a 2.
Value: One of these coins sold at auction in 2014 for $396,562.50.
1827/3/2 Capped Bust Quarter
This quarter is another example of an overdate. However, in this case, an 1822 quarter had been re-punched to 1823, and then again for 1827.
Value: One of these quarters sold at auction in 2015 for $705,000.
This is yet another example of an overdated quarter, except in this case, the engraver made a mistake. The coin was originally punched with 50 C, which would have signified a half dollar, and re-punched with the proper denomination of 25 C.
Value: This error quarter was sold at auction in 2013 for $352,500.
1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter
In the 1800s, proof coins were made-to-order for collectors, and only 10 of these proof quarters were made.
Value: One of these proofs sold in 2015 for $329,000.
1838 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter
The Seated Liberty quarter was first produced in 1838 and initially had no ornamental drapery on the left arm of Lady Liberty. There was only one known proof of this quarter.
Value: This coin sold at auction in 2013 for $381,875.
1839 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter
This is another rare proof coin, and the highest value example has a steel blue tone.
Value: This coin sold at auction in 2008 for $517,500.
1840-O Seated Liberty No Drapery Quarter
The New Orleans Mint made 382,200 of these quarters before the design was changed so that extra drapery appeared on the left arm of Lady Liberty. Most of these quarters were heavily circulated, and few remain in good condition.
Value: One of these quarters in good condition sold at auction for $329,000.
1841 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
This is another proof coin, and only four were produced for this year.
Value: One of these proofs sold at auction in 2008 for $345,000.
1844 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
There is only one certified coin of this proof and year, although two others are believed to exist.
Value: This coin sold at auction for $322,000.
1850 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
Only three of these proofs were made, and one quarter remains almost flawless.
Value: This coin sold at auction in 2008 for $460,000.
1870-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
Coins from the Carson City Mint, marked as CC, are sought after because fewer coins were struck at this mint. There were only 8,340 of the 1870 quarters minted after the facility opened that year.
Value: Values range from about $10,500 for good condition up to the six figures for an uncirculated coin sold at auction.
1871-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
Like the 1870 mintage, only 8,340 of the 1871 mintage were produced, and only three survive in mint condition.
Value: The finest example sold at auction in 2014 for $352,500.
1872-CC Liberty Seated Quarter
More 1872 quarters were produced in Carson City to the tune of 22,850, but much less have survived. These are less valuable than many of the quarters on this list but far more affordable for the average collector.
Value: In good condition, these quarters run about $2,000.
1872-S Liberty Seated Quarter
There were many more of the 1872 Liberty Seated quarters made at the San Francisco Mint, but they are still desirable for collectors looking to own a coin from this date from all mints.
Value: A coin in good condition will run about $1,750.
1873-CC No Arrows Liberty Seated Quarter
More than a million quarters were minted in Carson City in 1873, but only five were made without arrows.
Value: One of these sold at auction in 2012 for $470,000.
1896-S Barber Quarter
The Barber quarter series is widely collected, with these quarters being known for several unique key and semi-key dates. The 1896-S is a popular semi-key coin, and 188,039 were minted this year.
Value: A quarter in good condition is worth about $850.
1901-S Barber Quarter
The 1901-S Barber quarter is one of the rarest and most expensive quarters.
Value: One of these quarters sold at auction in 1990 for $550,000, which was a record at the time. You could purchase one in good condition, starting at about $4,000.
1913-S Barber Quarter
This quarter saw the lowest mintage of the 20th century at only 40,000 coins. Despite the lower mintage, it’s not the most valuable quarter.
Value: A quarter in good condition will cost about $1,550.
1916 Standing Liberty Quarter
This first-year-issue quarter’s 1916 key date makes it one of the most sought-after quarters of the 20th century. It’s also prized by collectors because it displays Lady Liberty’s right breast.
Value: In good condition, this coin sells for $2,250.
1918-S 8 Over 7 Standing Liberty Quarter
Another example of an overdate quarter, a few thousand of these quarters are still in existence.
Value: One of these coins in good condition will cost about $1,800.
1919-S Full Head Standing Liberty Quarter
Although almost 2 million of these quarters were produced in San Francisco, the date has worn off many of them, and only four remain in mint condition.
Value: One of the four sold at auction for $235,000.
1927-S Full Head Standing Liberty Quarter
The 1927-S is one of the rarest of the Standing Liberty quarters due to weak strikes, and fewer were minted in San Francisco due to these issues. Only an estimated 1% of the mintage was struck well enough to show the details on Liberty’s head, giving these the “full head” designations.
Value: One of the two finest remaining quarters sold at auction for $258,500.
1932-D Washington Quarter
This was the first year that George Washington began being featured on the quarter. Just 436,800 of these were minted in Denver.
Value: In good condition, one of these quarters will run around $160.
1932-S Washington Quarter
Another 408,000 coins were minted in San Francisco for this date.
Value: In good condition, this quarter is worth about $150.
1937 Doubled Die Obverse Washington Quarter
The final quarter on this list is the 1937 Double Die Obverse Washington quarter. Although there are several double die varieties of the Washington series, the 1937 version is the rarest and most valuable.
Value: These quarters are valued at about $600 and up.
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The quarter has gone through many variations throughout the years, and there are many rare quarters worth money. From small mintages and proofs to overdates and one-of-a-kind errors, these 30 quarters are worth the most money.