Knowing the Washington quarter key dates, rarities, and varieties will help you realize that minor differences on the coin can mean significant differences in value. Many factors will determine a coin's value, some of which are pretty valuable while others are not. Study the pictures and read each description carefully to identify these coins.
Remember, not all varieties make a coin valuable. Popular varieties with small surviving populations are usually more valuable. Please refer to the value guide for the current market values of these coins. You can also find Washington silver quarter values (1932-1964) and Washington clad quarter values (1965-1998) to help you build your collection.
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1932-D (Denver Mint)
The first Washington quarters were produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of our first president's birth. The United States Mint first issued the Washington quarter dollar in 1932. The mint produced almost 5.5 million at the Philadelphia mint, while the Denver mint only produced 436,800 of them. This was because the United States was in the middle of the Great Depression, and demand for coinage was very low. Today, given the popularity of the Washington series with collectors, this coin is a key to the series. An average circulated specimen has a value of at least $100. Look for a small "D" on the reverse below the wreath.
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1932-S (San Francisco Mint)
The San Francisco mint, just like the Denver mint, did not make a large quantity of these coins. The mintage was so small they only produced 408,000 of them. Although this coin is not considered a variety, its low production makes it a rarity in the series. An average circulated specimen has a value of at least $100. Uncirculated examples sell for well over $1,000. Look for a small "S" on the reverse below the wreath.
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1934 Light Motto
In 1934, the master die was hubbed to strengthen the motto of "In God We Trust" on the coin's obverse. The first variety had a very weak inscription and was challenging to read. The letters look almost fuzzy because there is no crisp definition between the letters and the field. Compare this picture to the 1934 Heavy Moto to see the difference between the two. Although there are two distinct varieties for this coin, they both produced equal volumes so that neither carries an extra value over the other.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1934-401
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1934 Heavy Motto
The redone master die had a strengthened and bold motto of "In God We Trust" to solve the problem of not being able to read the motto. Compare the picture at the left to the 1934 Light Motto to see the difference between the two. Since the mint produced almost equal quantities of each type, neither one is more valuable than the other.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1934-403Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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1934 Doubled Die Obverse (DDO)
After artists at the United States Mint redid the master die in 1934, a manufacturing mistake led to the production of a coin where the motto "In God We Trust" looks like it is doubled. Numismatists refer to this as a doubled die coin. Do not confuse this with a "double-struck" coin that would have all the lettering and devices doubled. Instead, look for solid doubling on the letters "G" In the word GOD, the "T," "R," and "S" in the word TRUST.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1934-101
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1937 Doubled Die Obverse
The U.S. Mint produced another doubled die in 1937 on the obverse of the coin. There is a strong doubling on the motto "In God We Trust" and on the date. Pay special attention to the "G" in the word GOD, the bottom of letters in the word TRUST, and the areas of the date as indicated in the photo on the left. Make sure you inspect the coin carefully to make sure it isn't a damaged coin that appears to be a doubled die.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1937-101
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1942-D Doubled Die Obverse
In 1942, a doubled die variety was produced at the Denver mint. There is moderate doubling on the words IN and GOD in the motto show evidence of doubling. Also, the word LIBERTY shows signs of doubling as indicated in the photo.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1942D-101
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1943 Doubled Die Obverse
Doubling can also be found on a 1943 coin produced at the Philadelphia mint. Once again, look carefully at the motto "In God We Trust" for evidence of doubling. Minor doubling can also be found on the word LIBERTY at the top of the coin.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1943-102Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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1943-S Doubled Die Obverse
San Francisco produced its variety of doubled die coins in 1943. This spread was more pronounced on the coin as doubling can be found in the word LIBERTY at the top of the coin, and the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" and in the date at the bottom of the coin.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1943S-101
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1950-D D/S (D Over S Repunched Mintmark)
To see this repunched mintmark (RPM) variety, you'll need a magnifying glass of at least 12X (a 20X is ideal). At this point, the United States Mint facility in Philadelphia produced all working dies without a mintmark. The mintmark was manually punched into the die by a worker using a heavy hammer and a metal punch with a small letter. In this case, an "S" was punched into the die. Since the die was to be shipped to Denver, somebody then punched a "D" over the "S" and remnants of the "S" can be seen at the upper portions of the "D."
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1950D-601
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1950-S S/D (S Over D Repunched Mintmark)
Just like the variety already described, you'll need a strong magnifying glass to see this RPM variety. This time, the die was to be shipped to the San Francisco mint but a "D" was punched into the die first. Then a mint worker tried to cover the mistake by punching the letter "S" over the "D". You can see that there are remnants of a "D" emerging from the left side of the mintmark.
Fivaz-Stanton ID: FS-25-1950S-501