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Did you know that some 1979 quarters are worth more than their face value of 25 cents?
Yes! Some 1979 Washington quarters are worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
So, how can you tell a rare and valuable 1979 quarter that’s worth the big bucks versus one that’s safe to spend at the vending machine?
In this article, I’m going to show you exactly what to look for on your 1979 quarters.
Fun Facts About 1979 Quarters
First, a few fun facts that you should know about 1979 quarters…
What is the design on a 1979 quarter?
The 1979 quarter carries a design by John Flanagan, whose Washington quarter debuted in 1932.
The portrait of George Washington on the obverse (“heads side”) of the coin was modeled after a late-18th-century bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon depicting the Revolutionary War general and first United States president.
The reverse, or “tails side” of the coin, features a heraldic eagle, its wings spread from left to right across most of the coin’s face.
How much does a 1979 quarter weigh?
Washington quarters from 1979 are made of copper-nickel clad — which means there is a nickel layer and a copper layer.
All 1979 quarters weigh 5.67 grams.
Are 1979 silver quarters worth looking for?
You can rest assured that there were no 1979 silver quarters officially issued by the U.S. Mint.
Nor have any such 1979 silver quarter errors come to light as of this writing.
There’s always the chance that a 1979 silver quarter may have been secretly struck by placing an old silver quarter blank in the presses at that time — but, none are known to exist at this time.
Where is the mintmark on a 1979 quarter?
The mintmark indicates which U.S. Mint facility made the coin. For example, a “D” means that it was made at the Denver Mint, and an “S” means that it was made at the San Francisco Mint.
Any 1979 quarters with the mintmark will have the mint letter stamp on the right side of the obverse — just behind the bow in Washington’s ponytail.
However, not all 1979 quarters have a mintmark. A 1979 quarter with no mintmark simply means that coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
Are 1979 quarters rare?
Since so many U.S. quarters were made in 1979, in the absolute sense 1979 quarters are common.
But, there are some rare and valuable error quarters from 1979! (Read on to see which ones are worth lots of money.)
All 1979 Quarter Values
Wondering how much a 1979 quarter is worth?
Most of the 1979 quarters that you will find in pocket change are worth face value — because they’re common and well-worn.
However, some 1979 quarters are worth much more than face value!
Let’s look at all of the 1979 quarter values now…
1979 Quarter Value (No Mintmark)
The Philadelphia Mint struck 515,708,000 quarters with no mintmark in 1979. That’s over a half billion — or a lot of quarters!
Since 1979 quarters with no mintmark are so common, any that you find in spare change showing evidence of wear from circulation are worth face value — or 25 cents.
However, uncirculated specimens that appear as new as the day they were struck are worth $1 to $3 apiece.
The most valuable 1979 quarter with no mintmark was graded MS68 by Numismatic Guaranty Company. It sold in 2022 for a whopping $1,440!
1979-D Quarter Value
The Denver Mint struck 489,789,780 quarters with the “D” mint mark in 1979.
Since the 1979-D quarters are common, they are generally worth their face value of 25 cents — if worn.
Uncirculated examples are worth notably more — $1 to $3, on average.
The most valuable 1979-D quarter was graded MS67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for an incredible $1,078 in 2014.
1979-S Quarter Value
All 1979-S quarters were struck just for coin collectors. They’re called proof quarters.
Wait, what’s a proof quarter? And why is it so difficult to find a 1979-S quarter? Is it rare? Is it worth a lot of money?
Proof quarters were struck using polished blanks that were intentionally struck at least twice on high-tonnage presses with specially prepared dies — to ensure that even the most minute details vividly appear on the coins.
All 1979-S quarters were packaged in 1979 proof sets, which the United States Mint directly sold to coin collectors. Therefore, they were never officially released into circulation.
TIP: It’s not impossible to find a 1979-S quarter in your pocket change — because some of these coins were broken out of their proof sets and spent as regular money.
The San Francisco Mint struck 3,677,175 of the 1979-S quarters — which is plenty to meet the demand of coin collectors who are wanting to own one.
However, there are two different kinds of 1979-S proof quarters!
1979-S Type 1 Proof Quarter Value
The 1979-S Type 1 proof quarter has a blobby-looking “S” mintmark. This is the more common type of 1979-S quarter.
It is worth about $2 to $5, on average.
The most valuable 1979-S Type 1 quarter sold was graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and fetched $403 in a 2003 auction.
1979-S Type 2 Proof Quarter Value
The scarcer 1979-S Type 2 quarter shows a more clearly defined “S” mintmark than the Type 1 quarter has.
The 1979-S Type 2 proof quarter was struck later in the year — though exactly how many were struck is unclear. Many coin experts believe that approximately 600,000 to 800,000 were struck, making them scarcer than the 1979-S Type 1 proof quarter but not necessarily rare.
Most 1979-S Type 2 proof quarters sell for $4 to $10.
The most valuable 1979-S Type 2 quarter was graded PR70DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $495 in 2003.
IMPORTANT: Do You Know The Grade Of Your 1979 Quarter?
To determine the true value of your 1979 quarter, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your coin is in.
These are the best coin grading apps that make grading coins SO much easier!
Rare & Valuable 1979 Quarter Errors To Look For
Some of the most valuable 1979 quarters aren’t the “perfect” ones but rather those that have mint mistakes.
The 1979 quarters with errors and varieties are quite valuable — and, yes, highly collectible!
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular 1979 error quarters that you could actually find in your pocket change…
1979 Off-Center Quarter Error
If you find a 1979 quarter that was struck off center — like way off center — hang on to it! Error quarters with a large part of the design missing are worth more money.
While a 1979 quarter that is only a little off center (like 1% or 2%) is pretty common and really not worth saving, those that are about 3% to 5% or more off center are definitely valuable.
A 1979 quarter that is 10% to 20% off center can be worth $25 to $30 or more.
If you find one that’s about 50% off center and still shows a complete date, then you’ve hit the jackpot! Such an error could score you over $200!
1979 No Ridges On Edge Quarter Error
We receive a lot of questions about no ridges on edge quarters. Lots of people are finding U.S. quarters with a smooth edge and want to know what they’re worth. In general, most of the quarters with smooth edges are worth only face value — because the ridges are missing due to edge wear (from use in vending machines and such).
However, there is a kind of smooth edge quarter worth money! This is known as a broadstrike, which is made when a quarter is struck outside of its retaining collar.
You can easily tell a broadsike 1979 quarter from one with smooth edges caused by wear just by looking at the width and thickness of the coin:
- A heavily worn 1979 quarter will still be of its normal diameter of 24.3 millimeters and normal thickness of about 2 millimeters.
- But a broadstrike error coin will often be wider and thinner than normal — because it wasn’t struck in its collar. In the coin-making process, the collar not only helps size the coin correctly upon striking, but it also imparts the edge reeding that quarters are supposed to have.
A 1979 broadstrike quarter error will generally sell for $20 to $30.
1979 Doubled Die Quarter Error
It seems almost everyone wants to know what the 1979 doubled die quarter error is worth.
A doubled die error coin results when it was struck by a die that was accidentally engraved with a doubled image — resulting in a slightly overlapping misalignment of the same design twice.
As it turns out, there really aren’t any drastic 1979 doubled die quarters known to exist at this time.
However, there are some 1979 doubled die quarters with minor doubling that can be worth $10 to $50 — sometimes more.
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!