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Did you know that some 1982 quarters are worth much more than their face value of 25 cents?
Yes, these relatively rare and valuable 1982 Washington quarters are definitely worth looking for in your spare change!
But it’s important to know which 1982 quarters are worth the most — and why.
Here’s the scoop!…
Why Are 1982 Quarters Special?
What is it about 1982 quarters that makes even worn (“circulated”) specimens worth keeping?!
It’s sort of a long story… But there’s one very important thing you need to know in order to understand why the 1982 Washington quarter is so valuable.
The stagflation of the 1970s didn’t end on January 1, 1980.
No… It lingered into the early ’80s, leading to nearly runaway inflation, high unemployment rates, and other economic troubles that dogged the end of President Jimmy Carter’s term in the White House and kept incoming President Ronald Reagan up at night, too.
President Reagan thought one of the ways to help the economy was to lower taxes — which effectively reduced the amount of revenue coming into the government’s coffers. This also led to federal budget cuts in order to compensate for lower tax revenue and to help reduce the growing national deficit.
One of the many programs that fell by the wayside during this time was the United States Mint uncirculated coin set — a popular offering since 1947.
The year 1981 was to have been the last time these mint coin sets were offered — with 1982 serving as the first year without them.
The line of thinking was, people could acquire the same kinds of coins found in mint sets through bank rolls and bags of coins — so what’s the great loss in drawing the curtains on the mint set program?
But it wasn’t really a good time for collectors to be stocking away rolls and bags of 1982 coinage!
A deepening recession hit coin collectors in their pocketbooks, and relatively few could afford to save quantities of new coins — especially pieces like the U.S. quarter. (NOTE: 25 cents was not an insignificant sum at a time when the minimum wage in the United States was $3.35 an hour.)
Suffice it to say, collectors were not saving new 1982 quarters in vast quantities. And with no official mint sets being released, it didn’t leave collectors with many ways to put away some uncirculated examples of the new coins.
While some private companies produced their own sets of uncirculated coins, these were relatively scant in number and did not get distributed as widely as U.S. Mint uncirculated sets typically would.
The only official U.S. Mint products that contained uncirculated coinage in 1982 were the souvenir coin sets issued by the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. However, these could be bought only in the U.S. Mint gift shops, and only the set of that respective mint was available there. (You could only buy the Philadelphia souvenir set at the Philly Mint, and the Denver souvenir set could only be found at the Denver Mint gift shop. And… nobody could order these sets by mail!)
The souvenir coin sets were sold for $4 each, and many collectors acquired their 1982 coins by way of purchasing these sets.
The vast majority of the 1982 quarters struck for circulation were distributed into commerce and saw extensive use — leaving a relatively small number in better condition.
Compounding the scarcity of the remaining uncirculated examples even further is the fact that few of these coins were both struck really well and remained mostly free of contact marks and other imperfections incurred in distribution through channels of commerce.
This makes the top-grading 1982 uncirculated quarters even rarer still!
The 1982 Quarter Design
The Washington quarter was designed by John Flanagan in 1932.
There is a bust of Revolutionary War general and first United States president George Washington on the obverse (“heads side”) of the coin.
On the reverse (“tails side”) is the motif of a heraldic eagle.
How Much Does A 1982 Quarter Weigh?
The 1982 Washington quarter is struck from a copper-nickel clad composition.
This coin weighs 5.67 grams.
Do you have a coin scale? Here are the best scales for weighing U.S. coins. (You might also want to grab a coin magnifier and a copy of the U.S. Coin Grading Standards book to help you determine the value of all your coins.)
Where Is The Mintmark On A 1982 Washington Quarter?
The mint letter stamp (or mintmark) on 1982 quarters is located on the obverse side of the coin.
You’ll find the 1982 quarter mintmark to the lower right of the Washington portrait — right behind the bow in Washington’s ponytail.
Are 1982 Quarters Rare?
Rare is such a dramatic word.
A few folks believe 1982 quarters to be rare in the absolute sense, though this is probably a bit of an exaggerated claim for these coins on the whole. One might more accurately describe the very nicest of the 1982 quarters to be rare — and in top condition they really are.
Generally, 1982 quarters are more reasonably deemed common in general and scarce in lightly worn condition or uncirculated grades.
- The majority of 1982-P quarters and 1982-D quarters generally fetch only face value (25 cents) in well-worn condition.
- Circulated 1982 quarters with just very light wear sometimes sell in the ballpark of 40 to 75 cents, occasionally $1 to $2 depending on how light the wear is.
- 1982 quarters that are totally uncirculated (have absolutely no wear) can trade for about $2 to $10, sometimes more — as you’ll see below.
How Much Is A 1982 Quarter Worth?
Here’s a rundown of all the 1982 quarter values, so you can find out how much yours is worth:
1982-P Quarter Value
The 1982 quarter with a “P” mintmark had a mintage of 500,931,000 at the Philadelphia Mint.
It is considered a common coin. There are tens of millions of these coins still floating around in circulation — although the majority of them have substantial wear.
Here’s how much 1982-P quarters are worth:
- A well-worn 1982-P quarter is worth its face value of 25 cents.
- In minimally worn grades, a 1982-P quarter trades for anywhere from 40 cents to $2 — sometimes more.
- Uncirculated 1982-P quarters often sell for $8 to $10 apiece, depending on their quality.
- The most valuable 1982-P quarter was graded MS-68 by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $10,200 in a 2019 auction.
1982-D Quarter Value
A total of 480,042,788 quarters were struck at the Denver Mint in 1982 with the “D” mintmark.
As with the 1982-P quarters, the 1982-D examples are also categorically common in most grades.
Here’s how much 1982-D quarters are worth:
- Well-worn 1982-D quarters are worth their face value of 25 cents.
- Lightly circulated 1982-D quarters can take 30 to 50 cents apiece.
- Uncirculated 1982-D quarters are usually worth $2.50 to $3.50 each.
- The most valuable 1982-D quarter was graded MS-68 by Professional Coin Grading Service and commanded $4,320 in a 2020 sale.
1982-S Quarter Value
Special collector versions of the 1982 quarters were made at the San Francisco Mint.
All in all, the San Francisco Mint struck a run of 3,857,479 quarters in 1982 bearing an “S” mintmark, and these were sold in 1982 proof sets.
These proof quarters were made with polished blanks struck twice by polished dies on high-tonnage presses — to help bring up even the most minute of details on the coin. These coins also feature mirror-like surfaces with frosted designs and lettering.
Here’s how much 1982-S quarters are worth:
- A 1982-S proof quarter usually sells for $2 to $5.
- The most valuable 1982-S proof quarter was graded PR-70 DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $253 in 2004.
Error 1982 Quarters You Can Find In Pocket Change
There are several types of rare and valuable 1982 quarter errors and varieties that are worth looking for. Some of these include:
- 1982 doubled die quarters are potentially worth $50 to $100 apiece… or more.
- 1982 broadstruck quarters have values ranging between $15 and $50.
- 1982 off-center quarters usually trade from about $20 and up. (Those missing around half the design and yet showing a full date are worth the most.)
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!