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
Composition(1932-1964) 90% Ag 10% Cu; (1965-present) 91.67% Cu
8.33% Ni
Years of minting1796, 1804–1807, 1815–1828, 1831–1930, 1932, 1934-present.
Obverse
2014 ATB Quarter Obv.png
Design George Washington
Designer John Flanagan (1932 version) from a 1786 bust by Houdon / William Cousins (modification to Flanagan's design)
Design date2010
Reverse
2020 Salt River Bay Preserve Quarter.jpg
Designvarious; at least five designs per year since 1999 (latest shown)
Designervarious
Design date1999–present

The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-quarter 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]

Contents

The choice of a quarter-dollar 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, which gave rise to the name "piece of eight" for that coin. [2] "Two bits" (that is, two eighths of a piece of eight) is a common nickname for a quarter.

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. [3] The total composition of the coin is 8.33% nickel, with the remainder copper. It weighs 0.2000 avoirdupois oz, 1/80 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. [4] 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. [5] As of 2011, it cost 11.14 cents to produce each coin. [6] 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 Washington quarter, featuring George Washington on the obverse. 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. [7] 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 Pub.L.   110–161: the Consolidated Appropriations Act (text) (pdf), on December 27, 2007. [8] [9] 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, 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 (text) (pdf). The America the Beautiful quarters program began in 2010 and will continue for 12 years. [10]

List of designs

Silver quarters
Copper-nickel clad copper quarters
Copper-nickel clad copper 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.

Numismatic quarters

Bullion quarters

Silver series

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. [21] 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-D, 1936-D and the 1935-D coins, as well as many others in the series, are considerably more valuable than other quarters. 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 copper 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. [22]

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 2 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 currently 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.

In 2019, the West Point Mint released 2 million of each of the five designs that year with a "W" mint mark for general circulation, in a move intended to spur coin collecting. [23] This was continued in 2020. [24]

See also

Related Research Articles

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The United States Mint is a bureau of the Department of the 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 first United States 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.

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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 0.705 inches in diameter and 0.053 in (1.35 mm) in thickness. The obverse of the current dime 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) Current denomination of United States currency

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 in diameter and 0.085 in (2.16 mm) in thickness, and is twice the weight of the quarter. The coin's design has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. Since 1964, the 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.

United States commemorative coins

The United States Mint has minted numerous commemorative coins to commemorate persons, places, events, and institutions since 1848. Many of these coins are not intended for general circulation, but are still legal tender. The mint also produces commemorative medals, which are similar to coins but do not have a face value, and therefore are not legal tender.

Dollar coin (United States) Current denomination of United States currency

The dollar coin is a United States coin with a face value of one United States dollar. It is the second largest U.S. coin currently minted for circulation in terms of physical size, with a diameter of 1.043 inches and a thickness of 0.079 in (2.0 mm), coming second to the half dollar. Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver, and base metal versions. Dollar coins were first minted in the United States in 1794. While true gold dollars are no longer minted, the Sacagawea, Presidential, and American Innovation dollars are sometimes referred to as golden dollars because of their color.

Half dime

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

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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.

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Washington quarter US 25-cent coin minted since 1932

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.

America the Beautiful quarters Series of U.S. coins

The America the Beautiful quarters are a series of 56 25-cent pieces (quarters) issued by the United States Mint starting in 2010 and scheduled to continue until 2021. 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 commemorating 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.

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 such as the pine tree shilling 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

American Innovation dollars A series of US dollar coins

American Innovation dollars are dollar coins of a series minted by the United States Mint beginning in 2018 and scheduled to run through 2032. It is planned for each member of the series to showcase an innovation, innovator or group of innovators from a particular state or territory.

United States Proof Set

The United States Mint Proof Set, commonly known as the Proof Set in the United States, is a set of proof coins sold by the United States Mint. The proof set is popular with coin collectors as it is an affordable way to collect examples of United States coinage in proof condition.

The Leif Ericson Millennium commemorative coins are a series of coins issued by the United States Mint to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of Leif Ericson's discovery of the Americas.

Below are the mintage figures for the America the Beautiful quarters and America the Beautiful silver bullion coins.

References

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