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When was the last time you looked through your U.S. quarters to see how much they’re worth today?
Hang on to your 1996 quarters — they may be worth more than their face value!
This isn’t one of those “your coin is worth a million dollars” posts — certainly no 1996 quarter is worth that much.
But you may have a 1996 quarter worth $5, or $100, or maybe even $500 — it all depends on your coin’s condition and the presence of any errors or varieties.
In this article, you will learn exactly what you should be looking for on your 1996 quarters in order to determine your coin’s value.
Fast Facts About 1996 Quarters
Let’s first review some interesting facts about the 1996 quarter…
What Is Unique About This Coin’s Design?
The 1996 quarter was designed by John Flanagan, whose likenesses of President George Washington and the heraldic eagle had been on the U.S. quarter since 1932.
The Washington portrait on the obverse (“heads side”) was inspired by a bust sculpted by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1786. The reverse (“tails side”) heraldic eagle motif is a classic design element seen on United States coins in one form or another since the nation’s coinage debuted in the mid-1790s.
Where Is The Mintmark On A 1996 Quarter?
All 1996 quarters have a mint letter stamp, or mintmark. It tells you which U.S. Mint facility made the coin.
A 1996 U.S. quarter has one of the following 3 mintmarks:
- P — Philadelphia Mint
- D — Denver Mint
- S — San Francisco Mint
You will find the mintmark on the right side of the obverse of the 1996 quarter, just to the right of the bow in Washington’s ponytail.
Are There Any Silver 1996 Quarters?
Yes, there are 1996 quarters worth looking for!
However, you probably won’t be finding any of them in your pocket change.
Why not? Because all 1996 silver quarters were struck at the San Francisco Mint for collectors only. They were sold by way of inclusion in certain proof coin sets.
This doesn’t mean you can’t find a rare 1996 silver quarter in circulation these days — if you’re lucky.
You’ll know it when you see it because the 1996 silver quarter has an “S” mintmark and is heavier than regular clad quarters.
How Much Does A 1996 Quarter Weigh?
It’s important to know what your coins weigh. Knowing a coin’s weight can help you identify potential errors — such as wrong-metal strikes and, in the case of 1996 quarters, potential silver coins. (As mentioned above, there are indeed 1996 silver quarters out there.)
Here’s what the clad and silver versions typically weigh:
- 1996 clad quarter weight — 5.67 grams
- 1996 silver quarter weight — 6.25 grams
If your 1996 quarter weighs more (or less) than the weights listed here, it might be an error… But don’t get your hopes up.
Just because your 1996 quarter doesn’t weigh exactly what it should doesn’t mean that your coin is an error. Your coin’s weight is most likely within the tolerances — the leniency in weight that is slightly lower or higher than the official specifications listed above but still within legal limits.
- The tolerance for a clad quarter is .227 grams, more or less. That means an uncirculated 1996 clad quarter may weigh as little as 5.44 grams or as much as 5.90 grams.
- The tolerance for a silver quarter is .195 grams, more or less. Therefore, an unworn 1996 silver quarter might weigh as few as 6.06 grams or as many as 6.45 grams.
This doesn’t even account for the weight loss that worn quarters will experience.
So, if you have a circulated 1996 quarter from spare change that weighs significantly less than, say, even 5.1 or 5.2 grams, you should first consider that the coin has probably just lost metal through wear.
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.)
Are 1996 Quarters Rare?
The vast majority of 1996 quarters you’re ever going to encounter in pocket change are extremely common and worth just their face value of 25 cents.
That being said, some 1996 quarters are rare and valuable due to the fact that they’re either:
- In super-great condition
- Contain a scarce error or variety
1996 Quarter Value Guide
Now, let’s see how much all types of 1996 quarters are worth today…
1996-P Quarter Value
The Philadelphia Mint struck a staggering 925,040,000 quarters with the P mintmark!
With nearly a billion examples struck, the 1996-P quarter is certainly a common coin in the absolute sense and is worth its face value of 25 cents if worn.
However, uncirculated specimens are normally worth $1 to $3.
The most valuable 1996-P quarter was graded Mint State-68 by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $1,998 in 2012.
1996-D Quarter Value
The Denver Mint produced a total of 906,868,000 quarters with a D mintmark in 1996.
The 1996-D quarter is also a common coin that is generally worth 25 cents in circulated condition.
Uncirculated 1996-D quarters are usually worth $1 to $3 apiece.
The most valuable 1996-D quarter was graded Mint State-68 by Professional Coin Grading Service and hammered for $447 in 2013.
1996-S Quarter Value
The San Francisco Mint struck some 2.5 million 1996-S quarters as proofs for collectors in 1996. These coins were made using highly polished blanks that were struck by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses to ensure the best-possible strike and finish.
The 1996-S quarters were struck in two variants:
- 1996-S clad quarters — 1,750,244 were struck, and they’re worth $3 to $5
- 1996-S silver quarters — 775,021 were struck, and they’re worth $5 to $10
The most valuable 1996-S clad quarter was graded Proof-70 Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service and fetched $719 in 2003.
A few years later, the most valuable 1996-S silver quarter, also graded Proof-70 Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service, sold for $334 in 2006.
A List Of Rare 1996 Error Quarters
Think you’ve spotted an error on your 1996 quarter?
I hope you did, but remember that error coins are comparatively hard to find — that’s why they’re rare and valuable. They’re supposed to be hard to find! So, chances are if you’re finding a bunch of coins that you think are errors, they’re most likely really just exhibiting various forms of post-mint damage.
Here’s a short list of errors and varieties that have been encountered on 1996 some quarters — and what they’re worth:
- 1996 broadstrike quarter error — These error coins are usually worth somewhere between $10 and $30, such as this one that sold for $12.
- 1996 quarter on nickel planchet error — One of these error coins took $138 at auction! These really cool off-metal and wrong-planchet errors typically score prices between $100 and $500.
- 1996 double struck quarter error — Not to be confused with doubled dies, a double-struck coin is one that received two blows of the dies on the press, hence the double image. Values for these error types of coins are all over the place, but one double-struck 1996 quarter fetched $264.
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!