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Did you know that some 1980 quarters are worth more than their face value of 25 cents?
But would you know a rare and valuable 1980 quarter versus one that’s worth only face value if you were holding both of these coins in your hands?
Read on to find out exactly what makes some 1980 quarters valuable!
Here’s what to look for…
Fun Facts About 1980 Quarters
First a few fun facts that you should know about U.S. quarters from 1980…
What is the design on a 1980 quarter?
Sculptor-engraver John Flanagan designed the 1980 Washington quarter:
- The design features a portrait of Revolutionary War general and first United States president George Washington on the obverse (“head’s side”) of the coin.
- On the reverse (“tails side”) is a heraldic eagle, its wings spread from left to right across the back of the quarter.
Are there any 1980 silver quarters?
No, there aren’t.
The 1980 Washington quarter was struck in a copper-nickel clad composition.
While it’s possible that a 1980 silver quarter was struck in error (maybe somebody intentionally placed an old silver quarter on the presses and overstruck it with a pair of 1980 quarter dies), no such 1980 silver quarter error is known to exist at this time.
How much does a 1980 quarter weigh?
The 1980 quarter weighs 5.67 grams — the standard weight for a copper-nickel clad quarter.
However, the clad quarter has a tolerance of .227 grams — under or above 5.67 grams. That means a new clad quarter may register as high as about 5.9 grams or as low as 5.44 grams and still conform to the U.S. Mint standards.
Also bear in mind that heavily worn coins will tend to weigh less than normal anyway — due to the loss of metal through circulation.
These are the best scales for weighing U.S. coins. (Another helpful tool for inspecting your coins more closely is a coin magnifier.)
Where is the mint mark on a 1980 quarter?
All 1980 quarters have mint letter stamps, which are known as mintmarks.
The 1980 mintmarks on U.S. quarters include:
- “P” representing the Philadelphia Mint
- “D” for the Denver Mint
- “S” for the San Francisco Mint
You will find the mintmark on a 1980 quarter on the right side of the coin, behind the bow in Washington’s ponytail.
Are 1980 quarters rare?
More than 1.1 billion (yes, billion with a B!) quarters were made by United States Mint in 1980.
That’s a lot of quarters.
Since there are still plenty of 1980 quarters to go around for the collectors who want them, no — 1980 quarters are not rare in the general sense.
However, some 1980 quarters are rare and quite valuable based on their better-than-average condition and/or the presence of errors and varieties. (See which 1980 quarters meet this criteria below.)
How Much Is A 1980 Quarter Worth?
There are 3 different types of 1980 quarters — each has a different value.
1980-P Quarter Value
The Philadelphia Mint struck 635,832,000 of the 1980 quarters with a “P” mintmark.
NOTE: 1980 was the first year that the Philadelphia Mint struck quarters with a “P” mintmark.
The 1980-P quarter is generally considered a common coin.
- If you find a circulated 1980-P quarter in your pocket change, it will probably show a good bit of wear. As a result, most 1980-P quarters are worth only their face value of 25 cents.
- Any 1980-P quarters that are uncirculated (they don’t have any wear and look like they just came from the mint) are worth closer to $1 to $3.
- The most valuable 1980-P quarter was graded MS67+ by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $900 in 2019.
1980-D Quarter Value
The Denver Mint produced 518,327,487 quarters in 1980, and these carry the “D” mintmark signifying their origin in Denver.
The 1980-D quarter is a common coin.
- Most 1980-D quarters that you find in circulation with wear will be worth only their face value of 25 cents.
- An uncirculated 1980-D quarter is worth more — typically $1 to $3.
- The most valuable 1980-D quarter was graded MS67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and fetched $1,380 in a 2007 auction.
1980-S Quarter Value
Have you been searching and searching through coin rolls or your spare change and not found a 1980-S quarter from the San Francisco Mint yet?
That’s no surprise…
The 1980-S quarters weren’t struck for circulation. They were specifically struck for collectors.
The San Francisco Mint struck 1980-S quarters as proof coins — collector pieces that were made using highly polished blanks that were struck by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses. Modern proof coins like the 1980-S quarters have frosted designs and inscriptions against mirror-like fields (the flat surfaces around the raised portions of the coin), providing for a cool cameo contrast.
The San Francisco Mint struck 3,554,806 of the 1980-S proof quarters. They were sold directly to collectors in sets with other 1980-S proof coins, representing all the coin denominations struck by the U.S. Mint that year.
- Most 1980-S proof quarters are worth $2 to $5.
- The most valuable 1980-S quarter commanded $253 in a 2004 sale.
NOTE: It’s not impossible to find a 1980-S quarter in your pocket change — because some of these coins have been broken out of their proof sets and spent as regular money.
IMPORTANT: What Is The Grade Of Your 1980 Quarter?
To determine the true value of your 1980 quarter, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your coin is in.
These coin grading apps make grading coins yourself SO much easier!
Rare 1980 Quarter Errors To Look For
While it’s true that “perfect” (or nearly so) 1980 quarters are worth the big bucks, you might be surprised at what some less-than-perfect 1980 quarters go for!
Collectors love mint mistakes like error coins and varieties — and any 1980 quarters you find showcasing such oddities are worth much more than face value. (Yes, you could actually find these in your spare change today!)
Granted, most unusual-looking quarters are not errors — they’re just showing post-mint damage.
Still, there are many kinds of errors and varieties on 1980 quarters worth looking for, including these:
1980 Off-Center Quarter Error
Off-center error coins are really cool — because they’re missing some of the design. And some are quite valuable!
While 1980 quarters that are 1% or 2% off-center are very common and don’t usually carry a premium, off-center 1980 quarters missing 3% or 5% or more of their design can be worth a lot of money.
Even better… a 1980 quarter that is 10% to 20% off center can bring $15 to $30. And a 1980 quarter missing about 50% of its design yet still showing a complete date can have a value over $150.
1980 Smooth Edge Quarter Error
Did you find a 1980 quarter with a smooth edge, no ridges?
First, I’ll start with the bad news…
Most smooth edge / no ridges quarters aren’t errors at all. Quarters with smooth edges usually are just exhibiting heavy edge wear due to extensive vending machine use and time in circulation. You can tell that it’s just wear when the coin is generally the same diameter and thickness as other U.S. quarters. Such worn quarters are only worth face value.
However! If you find a smooth edge / no ridges on edge 1980 quarter that’s wider and thinner than normal, you’ve got a broadstrike error!
Broadstrikes occur when coins are struck outside of their retaining collars on the presses. (Retaining collars ensure that coins stay the correct diameter and thickness when struck, and they simultaneously impart ridges on the edges of quarters upon strike.) A 1980 broadstruck quarter can be worth $20 to $30 or more.
1980 Die Break Quarter Error
Sometimes the coin dies on the presses are just ready to give up… They start deteriorating during the striking process, cracking and breaking right there on the presses.
If this happens before a mint employee notices and changes out the dies, the result of a breaking die can be raised lines or blobs on the struck coins. These are called die breaks, and some — such as cuds — are worth a lot of money.
Values for 1980 die break quarters vary, depending on the location and magnitude of the crack. Some die crack / die break quarters have sold for more than $100!
READ NEXT: A List Of All Rare U.S. Quarters
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!