All You Need to Know About the Most Valuable and Collectable U.S Quarter
Whether as a hobby or vocation, collecting coins can be a very rewarding exercise. Though coins have existed as far back as biblical times, the way they are minted have evolved over the years. While discovering a coin that dates back to the Roman empire under Julius Caesar would be a one-of-kind find, coins minted as recently as the 19th century are also worth a lot of money in today’s market.
One of the most highly collectable and valuable 19th century coins are the United States (U.S) Quarters. In this post, you will get to broaden your knowledge base on the most collectable and valuable U.S quarters out there. So as a collector of valuable coins, you will know when you have come across a true gem.
What Make Quarters Worth Money?
The value attached to Quarters is dependent on several factors. Before the 1980s, sellers and buyers of coins had difficulty agreeing on the value of a coin because they would often disagree on the condition or grade of the coin.
However, with the emergence of various coin certification services, such as; the American Numismatic Association Certification Service or ANACS, the Independent Coin Graders (ICG), the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading service (PCGS), coins can now be authenticated, graded, and encapsulated (placed in transparent plastic coin holders) for a tiered fee.
Typically, coin certification services like PCGS, NGC and ICG grade coins based on five determining factors and these are;
- the strike,
- color, and
While the grading of coins by experts helps to improve their market value, there are other factors that can either increase or diminish the value of a coin and these include;
- the rarity of the coin or the year it was minted, and
- the coin series.
Top U.S Quarters and their Current Value
As mentioned before, the rarity of a coin can helps shoot up its value. If you are a collector of rare U.S Quarters, you would be interested in checking out the list of rare quarters and their Mint State 60 (MS-60) current valuation below;
Note: the MS-60 valuation stated below is as of December 2020.
(From most valuable)
|YEAR OF MINTAGE||PLACE OF MINTAGE||VALUATION (MS-60)
|Seated Liberty||1872||Carson City||$60,500|
|Barber Quarter||1901||San Francisco||$39,500|
|Seated Liberty||1858||San Francisco||$21,800|
|Standing Liberty||1918/7||San Francisco||$19,000|
|Seated Liberty||1849||New Orleans||$18,200|
|Seated Liberty||1872||San Francisco||$17,500|
|Barber Quarter||1896||San Francisco||$17,000|
The Most Valuable U.S Quarter
#1: Seated Liberty (1872, Carson City) $60.500
When it comes to U.S Quarters, the 1872 Carson City minted Seated Liberty Quarter is the most valuable. This coin is currently worth USD $60,500 and this price is due to the rarity of the quarter with just 22,850 minted coins circulated at the time. It is even rarer to find a MS-60 graded Seated Liberty Quarter and collectors are ready to pay top-dollar for a well-preserved coin.
#2: Seated Liberty (1858, San Francisco)
The 1858, San Francisco minted Seated Liberty Quarter is worth USD $21,800 and it is the second most valuable Seated Liberty Quarter out there especially if you can get a MS-60 graded coin.
#3: Seated Liberty (1849, New Orleans)
A MS-60 graded 1849, New Orleans minted Seated Liberty is valued at USD $18,200. This 25-cent coin is pretty rare as you cannot find an official record that validates the circulation of this U.S quarter. However, what is known about this coin is that approximately 16,000 units were minted in 1849 and then this number of units were subsequently recalled in 1850.
#4: Seated Liberty (1872, San Francisco)
While the 1872 Seated Liberty Quarter initially had many units in circulation, the standard of minting changed in 1873 which led to the destruction of a majority of the units in circulation. Finding a MS-60 graded specimen is a rarity, but you can easily sell one for about USD $17,500 if you do.
Other Seated Liberty Quarters worth mentioning
Seated Liberty (1852, New Orleans)
This coin had as much as 100,000 units in circulation. However, most of the units were destroyed with just a few salvaged. This U.S Quarter is high in demand and collectors would pay as much as USD $17,000 for a MS-60 graded coin.
Seated Liberty (1864, San Francisco)
Unlike the 1852 and 1872 Seated Liberty Quarters that had many units in circulation, the 1864 Seated Liberty coin had only 20,000 units minted. The rarity of this 25-cent has made it one of the most sought after by collectors. This coin is valued at USD $14,500 if it is MS-60 graded.
Seated Liberty (1867, San Francisco)
This coin had a comparatively high circulation as the time it was minted, but today it is rare and in high demand by collectors. Well preserved 1867, Seated Liberty 25-cent coins with good quality are worth about USD $14,000 per unit.
The Most Expensive Barber Quarter
Barber Quarter (1901, San Francisco):
The 1901, San Francisco minted Barber Quarter is as rare as they come for collectors. Only 72,664 units were minted and today finding a well-preserved coin is quite difficult, but for collectors lucky enough to get one in good condition, the price of this coin is just short of forty grand with coins going for up to USD $39,500 per unit.
The Big Three-Quarter Dollars
#1: Barber Quarter (1896, San Francisco):
A total of 188,039 units of the 1896, Barber Quarter were minted. However, finding a specimen in very good condition is indeed a rarity. The 1896 Barber Quarter is the first of the “Big Three-Quarter Dollars” series which includes the 1901 and 1913 issued coins and this 25-cent is valued at USD $17,000 per coin.
#2: Barber Quarter (1901, New Orleans):
The second in the “Big Three-Quarter Dollars” series is the 1901, New Orleans minted Barber Quarter. Even though 1,612,000 units of this 25-cent coin were circulated, finding one in very good condition may prove a bit difficult. However, because of the large number of coins minted, the value of this quarter is the least of the “Big Three-Quarter Dollars”. The 1901 Barber Quarter is worth just USD $1,900.
#3: Barber Quarter (1913, San Francisco):
The third 25-cent in the “Big Three-Quarter Dollars” series is the Barber Quarter of 1913. This U.S quarter had just 40,000 units minted and its rarity has contributed to the rise in its value which is now around USD $16,000 per unit.
Other Collectable Barber Quarters:
Barber Quarter (1897, San Francisco)
The 1897, San Francisco minted Barber Quarter had 542,000 units produced and this 25-cent is currently valued at USD $1,900 per coin.
Barber Quarter (1909, San Francisco)
With the minting of up to 712,000 copies back in 1909, this 20th century Barber Quarter is by no means rare. However, it may be hard to find a well-preserved specimen and this coin is currently worth USD $4,000 per unit.
Barber Quarter (1914, San Francisco)
The 1914, San Francisco minted Barber Quarter had a total of 264,000 coins in circulation. It is a collectible 25-cent and valued at USD $1,800.
Standing Liberty Quarters:
Standing Liberty (1918/7, San Francisco):
This is a rare, collectible 25-cent coin that is valued at USD $19,000. An error from the San Francisco mint would see the 1917 year stamped on this coin changed to 1918 with the last digit – “7” changed to “8”.
Standing Liberty (1916, 1923 and 1927, San Francisco):
This is a rare and highly collectable Standing Liberty Quarter minted in 1916. This 25-cent with an eye-catching design is currently valued at USD $13,800. The 1923, San Francisco minted Standing Liberty coin is scarce, but that does not always mean expensive.
This coin is worth USD $2,650 in today’s collectors market. Ranked at third place on the list of the most valuable Standing Liberty Quarter, the 1927, San Francisco minted 25-cent coin is presently worth USD $5,300.
Standing Liberty (1919, Denver and the 1921, Philadelphia Mint):
World War I had an adverse effect on the world economy. In the U.S, many sectors were hit with recession and none more so than the agricultural industry which took a hammering. The poor economy subsequently led to a drop in the minting of this 25-cent coin. Also, the scarcity of the 1919, Denver minted Standing Liberty quarter makes it a highly collectable coin and currently worth USD $2,050.
The 1921, Philadelphia mint Standing Liberty Quarter was also hit pretty hard by the economic recession that followed after the first World War. This quarter had just below 2 million copies in circulation. Today this rare coin is valued at USD $1,560.
Worthy Mentions Washington Quarters for their Numismatic Value:
Washington Quarter (1932, Denver)
This coin was minted in Denver as well as San Francisco and was first made available for collectors rather than for regular circulation. The U.S Mint would eventually have this coin minted by all the country’s mints, but nevertheless, the 1932, Washington Quarter is still a collector’s item valued at a price of USD $950.
Washington Quarter (1936, Denver)
Despite the high circulation of this quarter, it remains a scarce coin and one that collectors would like to add to their Washington Quarter collection. This coin is worth USD $575 in today’s market.
Washington Quarter (1932, San Francisco)
Valued at USD $450, the 1932, San Francisco minted Washington Quarter was initially issued exclusively as a collector’s item which led to speculators acquiring large portions of the minted copies.
Washington Quarter (1934 and 1935, Denver)
The 1934, Washington Quarter is widely available and coins in very good grades can be easily obtained for USD $175. However, the 1935, Denver minted Washington Quarter is difficult to find, especially one in MS-60 grade. This quarter can be purchased for just USD $250.
Washington Quarter (1970, Denver)
This is a relatively recent coin first minted in Denver with about 417 million copies made and then in the Philadelphia Mint with about 136 million issued in circulation. Even though this 25-cent coin is not rare, it is still a collectors item provided it is available in excellent condition with a MS-60 grading and it is TPG encapsulated.
This coin is currently only worth 50 cents, but speculators believe that its value is expected to rise in time.
If you have an old coin that you think may be of value, you should first get it elated and appraised by a professional who will give you a vivid idea of the value of the coin in addition to grading it. By doing so, you would know if encapsulating your coin would be a wise decision or not.
Where your coin has significant sell-on value, then appraising and encapsulating it would be a worthwhile investment indeed.