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See Why 1983 Quarters Are So Special (…And Worth More Than Face Value!)

Have you found a 1983 quarter? You might want to hang on to it!

While most worn, modern copper-nickel clad quarters are worth just 25 cents, the 1983 quarter is different.

Many 1983 quarters are worth more than their face value of 25 cents — even if they’re worn!


Here’s what makes the 1983 Washington quarter so unique and valuable…

Why 1983 U.S. Quarters Are So Special

You may be wondering what makes 1983 quarters special — so much so that even the worn ones are worth keeping!

You might say this goes back to a sort of perfect storm involving federal budget cuts, a bad recession, and a pause in the long-running United States mint set program.

In the early 1980s, the U.S. economy was in shambles due to a massive recession — which was really lingering fallout from the stagflation of the 1970s.

Meanwhile, President Ronald Reagan, who began his first of two terms in the White House in 1981, vowed to slash federal budgets to help reduce the growing national deficit.

One of the programs cut during this time was production of the U.S. Mint coin set, which had been a popular collector item since its inception in 1947.

There were no official U.S. Mint uncirculated sets in 1982 or 1983 — which also marked two of the worst years for the economy since the Great Depression.

Layoffs mounted and unemployment rates were skyrocketing. It was a bad time for people to be spending money on excess items like collectible coins. Not only were there no official mint sets being sold, but fewer people than normal were saving rolls of new coins from the bank. This was particularly the case with larger-denomination coins like quarters, which represented no insignificant sum of money in the relatively cash-strapped early 1980s — especially when the national minimum wage was just $3.35 an hour.

Even though some private companies made their own 1982 and 1983 uncirculated coin sets, these were not as widely distributed as typical United States mint sets of the era — and they certainly aren’t considered “official” U.S. Mint products.

The only U.S. Mint sets of the time (1982 and 1983) that contained uncirculated (not proof) coinage were the United States Mint souvenir sets. These contained coins from just one U.S. Mint facility and were sold only in the gift shop of the mint that produced them.

In the case of the 1983 souvenir sets, they were sold for $4 each — with the Philadelphia souvenir set available only at the Philly Mint gift shop and the Denver souvenir set sold only at the Denver Mint gift shop. (You couldn’t buy the Denver Mint souvenir set in Philadelphia, and vice-versa for the Philadelphia set.)

Therefore, 1983 (and 1982) Washington quarters are relatively scarce in uncirculated grades.

Even in the higher circulated grades, 1983 quarters (and 1982 quarters, as well) often fetch a small premium over face value.

This is why 1983 quarters are worth looking for in your spare change. They are great collectibles — especially when found in better condition!

Now, let’s talk about the basics of the coin and what you should be looking for on your 1983 quarters…

The Story Behind The Design On The 1983 Quarter

All 1983 quarters showcase an obverse (“heads side”) portrait of Revolutionary War general and first United States president George Washington — as inspired by the late-18th-century sculpture by French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon.

The reverse (“tail’s side”) depicts a heraldic eagle.

Both sides of this coin designed by John Flanagan.

How Much Does A 1983 Quarter Weigh?

The 1983 Washington quarter is made from a copper-nickel clad composition.

These coins weigh 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 1983 Quarter?

Looking for mint letter stamp (or mintmark) on 1983 quarters?

It’s easy to see on the lower-right side of the obverse — right behind the bow in Washington’s ponytail.

Are 1983 Quarters Rare?

In a sense, yes. But not all 1983 quarters are rare and valuable.

It’s only those 1983 quarters that are in really good condition that can be considered rare.

For example:

  • If you find a really well-worn 1983-P or 1983-D quarter, there’s little chance you’ll be able to flip it for more than its face value of 25 cents.
  • However, circulated 1983 quarters that have very little wear easily sell for more than face value.
  • Uncirculated 1983 quarters are especially valuable! They’re certainly worth more than just a couple dollars like typical examples of other modern-era clad quarters.

How Much Is A 1983 Quarter Worth?

Now, let’s break it all down, so you can find the value of your 1983 quarter…

1983-P Quarter Value

The 1983 quarter with the “P” mint mark saw a mintage of 673,535,000 at the Philadelphia Mint.

This is a common coin in the absolute sense, as there are still tens of millions out there in circulation.

Here’s how much they’re worth:

  • Well-worn 1983-P quarters are worth face value of 25 cents.
  • In lightly worn grades, 1983-P quarters sell for $2 to $3 — sometimes more.
  • Uncirculated 1983-P quarters often sell for $28 to $33, depending on their quality.
  • One of the most valuable 1983-P quarters was graded MS-67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and fetched $2,596.75 in a 2016 auction.

1983-D Quarter Value

The Denver Mint struck 617,806,446 of the 1983 quarters with the “D” mintmark.

These, too, are considered common coins for the most part.

Here’s how much they’re worth:

  • Well-worn 1983-D quarters are worth their face value of 25 cents.
  • Better-preserved circulated 1983-D quarters frequently trade for $1 to $2 — or more.
  • Uncirculated 1983-D quarters are generally worth $12 to $15, though some are worth much more than that.
  • The most valuable 1983-D quarter was graded MS-67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and took $1,410 in a 2016 auction.

1983-S Quarter Value

The San Francisco Mint made 3,279,126 proof examples of the 1983 quarter — just for coin collectors.

These coins have mirror-like fields (the smooth surfaces, or background of the design) and frosted lettering and portrait elements.

All 1983-S quarters were sold in 1983 proof sets.

While these 1983 proof quarters aren’t rare, they are highly sought by collectors.

Here’s how much they’re worth:

Error 1983 Quarters That You Can Find In Pocket Change

There are many other kinds of rare and valuable 1983 quarter errors and varieties worth looking for, including:

  • 1983 doubled die quarters are worth anywhere from $50 to $100 or more.
  • 1983 broadstruck quarters have values ranging between $15 and $50, though some are worth higher prices.
  • 1983 off-center quarters start around $20 apiece and increase, depending on how much of the design is missing and whether or not the date is fully present
  • One of the most valuable 1983 quarter errors was struck on an amusement token and sold for $15,862.50.