Quarter (United States coin)

Last updated
Quarter dollar
United States
Value0.25 U.S. Dollar
Mass6.25(Ag); 5.67 (Cu-Ni) g
Diameter24.26 mm (0.955 in)
Thickness1.75 mm (0.069 in)
Edge119 reeds
Composition90% Ag 10% Cu; 91.67% Cu
8.33% Ni
Years of minting1796, 1804–1807, 1815–1828, 1831–1932, 1934-present.
Wikipedia Washington Quarters Obverse Designs.jpg
Design George Washington
Designer John Flanagan (1932 version) from a 1786 bust by Houdon / William Cousins (modification to Flanagan's design)
Design date1999
Designvarious; five designs per year
Design date1999–present

The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-fourth of a dollar. It has a diameter of .955 inch (24.26 mm) and a thickness of .069 inch (1.75 mm). The coin sports the profile of George Washington on its obverse, and its reverse design has changed frequently. It has been produced on and off since 1796 and consistently since 1831. [1]

In linguistics, clipping is the word formation process which consists in the reduction of a word to one of its parts. Clipping is also known as "truncation" or "shortening".

Coins of the United States dollar were first minted in 1792. New coins have been produced annually since then and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today, circulating coins exist in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion and commemorative coins. All of these are produced by the United States Mint. The coins are then sold to Federal Reserve Banks which in turn are responsible for putting coins into circulation and withdrawing them as demanded by the country's economy.

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.


The choice of 14 as a denomination—as opposed to the 15 more common elsewhere—originated with the practice of dividing Spanish milled dollars into eight wedge-shaped segments. "Two bits" (that is, two "pieces of eight") is a common nickname for a quarter.

The word bit is a colloquial expression referring to specific coins in various coinages throughout the world.

Current design

The reverse prior to the State Quarter Program COBREcentavosecuador2000-2.png
The reverse prior to the State Quarter Program

The current clad version is two layers of cupronickel, 75% copper and 25% nickel, on a core of pure copper. [2] The total composition of the coin is 8.33% nickel, with the remainder copper. It weighs 0.2000 avoirdupois oz, 1/80th of a pound, 0.1823 troy oz, (5.670 grams). The diameter is 0.955 inches (24.26 mm), and the width of 0.069 inches (1.75 mm). The coin has a 0.069-inch (1.75-mm) reeded (or milled) edge. [3] Owing to the introduction of the clad quarter in 1965, it was occasionally called a "Johnson Sandwich" after Lyndon B. Johnson, the US President at the time. [4] As of 2011, it cost 11.14 cents to produce each coin. [5] 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.

Cupronickel or copper-nickel (CuNi) is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese. The copper contents typically varies from 60 to 90 percent.

Copper Chemical element with atomic number 29

Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement.

Nickel Chemical element with atomic number 28

Nickel is a chemical element with the symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile. Pure nickel, powdered to maximize the reactive surface area, shows a significant chemical activity, but larger pieces are slow to react with air under standard conditions because an oxide layer forms on the surface and prevents further corrosion (passivation). Even so, pure native nickel is found in Earth's crust only in tiny amounts, usually in ultramafic rocks, and in the interiors of larger nickel–iron meteorites that were not exposed to oxygen when outside Earth's atmosphere.

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.

George Washington 1st president of the United States

George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who also served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War for Independence. He presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the U.S. Constitution and a federal government. Washington has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation.

50 State Quarters Series of US coins

The 50 State Quarters Program was the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. From 1999 through 2008, it featured unique designs for each of the 50 US states on the reverse of the quarter.

John Flanagan (sculptor) American artist

John Flanagan (1865–1952) was a sculptor who was known for his designs for coins and medals.

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. [6] 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 inhabited US territories: 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 George W. Bush as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Pub.L.   110–161, on December 27, 2007. [7] [8] The typeface used in the state quarter series varies a bit from one state to another, but is generally derived from Albertus.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the Lower House of the United States Congress, the Senate being the Upper House. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

Puerto Rico Unincorporated territory of the United States

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.

Guam Island territory of the United States of America

Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the westernmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands. The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983.

On June 4, 2008, a bill titled America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, H.R. 6184, was introduced to the House of Representatives. On December 23, 2008, President Bush signed the bill into law as Pub.L.   110–456. The America the Beautiful Quarters program began in 2010 and will continue for 12 years. [9]

An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by the United States Congress. It can either be a Public Law, relating to the general public, or a Private Law, relating to specific institutions or individuals.

America the Beautiful Quarters Series of U.S. coins

The America the Beautiful Quarters are a series of 25-cent pieces (quarters) issued by the United States Mint starting in 2010 and scheduled to continue until at least 2021. The series may be extended at the option of the Secretary of the Treasury, potentially to 2032. The obverse (front) of all the coins depicts George Washington in a modified version of the portrait used for the original 1932 Washington quarter. There will be five new reverse (back) designs each year, each depicting a national park or national site – one from each state, the federal district, and each territory. The program is authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.

List of designs

Silver quarters
Copper-nickel quarters
Copper-nickel Washington quarter
United States Quarter.jpg
Obverse: Portrait of George Washington, year and United States national motto (In God we trust).Reverse: Bald eagle with wings spread and standing on a shaft of arrows with two olive sprays. Face-value, the motto "E pluribus unum" (Out of many, one) and country name.
Total 35,924,089,384 coins minted from 1965 to 1998.

Silver series

Non-clad silver quarters weigh 6.25 grams and are composed of 90% silver, 10% copper, with a total silver weight of 0.1808479 troy ounce pure silver. [20] 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

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 (a situation referred to as "condition rarity"). 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. 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 Washington Quarter was first issued in 1965 and as part of the switch, the Denver mintmark was added in 1968, which did not reappear on any US coin denomination until 1968. During the early 1960s, the Federal government had been flooding the market with silver to keep the price down, and therefore keep US coins' intrinsic values from exceeding their face values. This was causing the level of silver in the US Reserves to reach dangerously low levels. Silver was estimated to only last another 3–5 years at the rate the Mint was manufacturing coins, so the US Congress authorized the Mint to research alternative materials for the silver denominations (dime, quarter dollar, half dollar, and dollar). The material chosen was a 75% copper/ 25% nickel cupronickel alloy (identical to that in the five-cent coin) clad to a core of "commercially pure" (99.5%) copper. [21]

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 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 1981–1987) 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. Until 2012 the "S" mint mark was used only on proof coins, but beginning with the El Yunque (Puerto Rico) design in the America the Beautiful Quarters program, the US Mint began selling (at a premium) uncirculated 40-coin rolls and 100-coin bags of quarters with the San Francisco mint mark. These coins were not included in the 2012 or later uncirculated sets or the three-coin ATB quarter sets (which consisted of an uncirculated "P" and "D" and proof "S" specimen) and no "S" mint-marked quarters are being released into circulation, so that mintages will be determined solely by direct demand for the "S" mint-marked coins.

See also

Related Research Articles

Nickel (United States coin) United States coin with the value of five cents

A nickel, in American usage, is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866. Its diameter is .835 inches and its thickness is .077 inches (1.95 mm). Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop and currently the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2015, over 1.5 billion nickels were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver mints.

United States Mint produces circulating coinage for the United States

The United States Mint is a unit of the Department of Treasury responsible for producing coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, as well as controlling the movement of bullion. It does not produce paper money; that responsibility belongs to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, and soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are currently four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point.

Dime (United States coin) United States coin with the value of ten cents

The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. The dime is the smallest in diameter and is the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation, being .705 inch (17.91 mm) in diameter and .053 inch (1.35 mm) in thickness. The obverse of the coin depicts the profile of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the reverse boasts an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch, from left to right respectively. As of 2011, the dime coin cost 5.65 cents to produce.

Half dollar (United States coin) United States coin worth 50 cents

The half dollar, sometimes referred to as the half for short or 50-cent piece, is a United States coin worth 50 cents, or one half of a dollar. It is the largest United States circulating coin currently produced in both size and weight, being 1.205 inches (30.61 mm) in diameter and .085 inches (2.15 mm) in thickness, and is twice the weight of the quarter. The coin's design has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. The current half dollar, the Kennedy half dollar, depicts the profile of President John F. Kennedy on the obverse and the Seal of the President of the United States on the reverse.

Half dime former United States five-cent silver coin

The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.

The Seated Liberty portrait designs appeared on most regular-issue silver United States coinage during the mid- and late nineteenth century, from 1836 through 1891. The denominations which featured the Goddess of Liberty in a Seated Liberty design included the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, and until 1873 the silver dollar. Another coin that appeared exclusively in the Seated Liberty design was the twenty cent piece. This coin was produced from 1875 to 1878, and was discontinued because it looked very similar to the quarter. Seated Liberty coinage was minted at the main United States Mint in Philadelphia, as well as the branch mints in New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City.

Kennedy half dollar 50-cent piece depicting John F Kennedy minted after his assassination in 1963

The Kennedy half dollar, first minted in 1964, is a fifty-cent coin currently issued by the United States Mint. Intended as a memorial to the assassinated 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy, it was authorized by Congress just over a month after his death. Use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be prepared quickly, and striking of the new coins began in January 1964.

Key date date of a given coin series or set that is harder to obtain than others

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American Buffalo (coin)

The American Buffalo, also known as a gold buffalo, is a 24-karat bullion coin first offered for sale by the United States Mint on June 22, 2006, and available for shipment beginning on July 13. The coin follows the design of the Indian Head nickel and has gained its nickname from the American Bison on the reverse side of the design. This was the first time ever that the United States Government has minted pure (.9999) 24-karat gold coins for the public. The coin has a legal tender (face) value of US$50. Due to a combination of the coin's popularity and the tremendous increase in the price of gold since its creation the coin's value has increased considerably in a short time of just a few years. The initial 2006 U.S. Mint price of the proof coin was $800. In 2007 the Mint proof coin was $899.95, $1,410.00 in 2009, and $2,010.00 in 2011.

Jefferson nickel

The Jefferson nickel has been the five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint since 1938, when it replaced the Buffalo nickel. From 1938 until 2004, the copper-nickel coin's obverse featured a profile depiction of founding father and third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson by artist Felix Schlag; the obverse design used in 2005 was also in profile, though by Joe Fitzgerald. Since 2006 Jefferson's portrayal, newly designed by Jamie Franki, faces forward. The coin's reverse is still the Schlag original, although in 2004 and 2005 the piece bore commemorative designs.

Half eagle coin

The half eagle is a United States coin that was produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since the 1980s. Composed almost entirely of gold, it has a face value of five dollars. Its production was authorized by The Act of April 2, 1792, and it was the first gold coin minted by the United States.

Draped Bust

"Draped Bust" was the name given to a design of United States coins. It appeared on much of the regular-issue copper and silver United States coinage, 1796–1807. It was designed by engraver Robert Scot.

Washington quarter

The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The coin was first struck in 1932; the original version was designed by sculptor John Flanagan.

Kennedy half dollar mintage figures

The Kennedy half dollar is a United States coin that has been minted since 1964. In the first year of production the coins were minted in 90% silver and 10% copper. From 1965 through 1970, the coins were minted in a clad composition of mostly silver outer layers and a mostly copper inner layer. After 1970, the coins are minted in a copper–nickel clad composition. From 1992 to 2018, 90% silver coins were made for inclusion in special "Limited Edition" silver proof sets. Beginning 2019 coins in the special silver proof sets are produced from pure (.9999) silver.

Numismatic history of the United States

The numismatic history of the United States began with Colonial coins and paper money; most notably the foreign but widely accepted Spanish piece of eight, ultimately descended from the Joachimsthaler and the direct ancestor of the U.S. Dollar.

The United States Mint has released annual collections of coins most years since 1936.

These are the mintage quantities for strikings of the United States nickel


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