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Which state has the rarest state quarter? What is the rarest state quarter you can find in pocket change these days?
That’s what many people want to know when they’re searching through spare change looking for state quarters that are valuable.
Most of the 50 State Quarters are extremely common. But you may be surprised to find out that there are several that are relatively rare (or at least much scarcer than others).
Which ones are they? What are they worth? And how many were made?
Read on to see the list of 10 rare state quarters to look for, along with a list of 5 state quarter errors that can also be found in pocket change!
Top 10 Rare State Quarters
So, what are the rarest state quarters you can find in pocket change?
The following list provides a rundown on the 10 rarest regular-issue, business-strike 50 State Quarters — which were made from 1999 through 2008.
Bear in mind, we’re not talking about the lower-mintage proof quarters made for collectors, DC & US Territories Quarters in 2009, or the America The Beautiful Quarters struck since 2010. Just the ones you’d typically find in pocket change.
See what the tiny letters mean underneath “In God We Trust” on the 50 State Quarters.
These are the 10 scarcest non-error, business-strike 50 State Quarters you can find in circulation — and how much they’re worth:
#10 — 2004-P Wisconsin Quarter (226,400,000 minted)
The 2004-P Wisconsin quarter is the 10th-scarcest of the regular-issue circulation-strike 50 State Quarters. However, it’s relatively easy to find in circulation with enough searching. While on the scarcer side, worn specimens are worth only face value (25 cents) if absent any errors or varieties. Uncirculated examples are worth about $1 and up.
#8 TIE — 2003-P Illinois Quarter (225,800,000)
Illinois is the Land of Lincoln. The legendary 16th president and Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln, who moved during his young adulthood to Illinois, is prominently featured on the Illinois state quarter before the Chicago skyline and a dairy farm. Illinois quarters from the Philadelphia Mint were made in relatively small numbers but there are still plenty in circulation and are worth face value if worn. Uncirculated specimens trade around $1 apiece.
#8 TIE — 2004-D Michigan Quarter (225,800,000)
Tied with the Illinois quarter as the eighth scarcest regular-issue, circulation-strike 50 State Quarter, the 2004-D Michigan quarter is another scarce entry for the series. The 2004-D Michigan quarter was minted in smaller numbers than most other 50 State Quarters. Yet, it’s worth face value if worn. Uncirculated pieces run about $1 a pop.
#6 TIE — 2003-P Alabama Quarter (225,000,000)
Coming in at sixth place on this list, tied with the 2003-P Missouri quarters, is the 2003-P Alabama state quarter. As time goes on, it seems to be getting harder and harder to find the Philadelphia-minted Alabama quarters. Many have likely been stowed away into collections along with other state quarters, leaving relatively few for other hobbyists. Still, worn examples are worth face value, though uncirculated examples have a value of about $1 or more.
#6 TIE — 2003-P Missouri Quarter (225,000,000)
Representing yet another low-mintage 2003 state quarter from the Philadelphia Mint is the 2003-P Missouri quarter. Interestingly this coin received some artistic criticism for depicting The Gateway Arch in St. Louis as if it straddles the Mississippi River, which the landmark does not do. Nevertheless, the quarter is still popular with collectors. Worn examples are worth face value, but Mint State specimens are worth about $1 and up.
#5 — 2008-P Oklahoma Quarter (222,000,000)
The 2008-P Oklahoma quarter is one of the top 5 rare state quarters in circulation today. The coin, anchored on the reverse by a distinctive Oklahoma state bird known as the scissortail flycatcher, is one of the more popular issues among collectors. Worth its face value in worn condition, the 2008-P Oklahoma quarter typically trades for around $1 each in uncirculated grades.
#4 — 2003-P Maine Quarter (217,400,000)
The great state of Maine is the subject of the fourth-scarcest circulation-strike 50 State Quarter. With a mintage of fewer than 220 million, it marks yet another relatively scarce 2003-P state quarter and is difficult to find in circulation today. Worn examples are worth face value, but uncirculated pieces are worth about $1 or more.
#3 — 2002-P Ohio Quarter (217,200,000)
As the 17th state admitted to the Union, Ohio earns an earlier spot in the state quarter series. The Ohio state quarter is also in the top 3 of the scarcest circulation-strike 50 State Quarters. It is becoming more challenging to find in circulation these days as compared to years ago, especially due to the influx of other quarter designs that have been struck since. But a little dedicated searching is sure to yield an Ohio quarter, which is worth face value if worn and about $1 in uncirculated condition.
#2 — 2004-P Iowa Quarter (213,800,000)
The 2004-P Iowa quarter is one of the scarcest circulating 50 State Quarters — the second rarest of the copper-nickel clad business-strikes. While they’re much more difficult to locate than the other state quarters, they’re still worth only face value in worn condition, though uncirculated examples are worth about $1.25 or more.
#1 — 2008-D Oklahoma Quarter (194,600,000)
What is the rarest state quarter to find in circulation? That honor goes to the 2008-D Oklahoma state quarter — which has a mintage of well below 200 million. One reason why the 2008-D Oklahoma quarter is so scarce has to do with the state of the economy in 2008 — it was during the middle of the Great Recession. In fact, mintages were down during that period for many U.S. coins because the demand for new coins had fallen so low at that time. While the 2008-D Oklahoma quarter is worth only face value if worn, it’s nevertheless a challenging coin to find in circulation! Mint State examples that have never been used as money are worth about $1.25 and up.
Top 5 Rare State Quarter Errors
OK, so we’ve covered the 10 rare state quarters to look for in circulation — and now you know which ones are the most desirable to add to your collection.
But what about the popular state quarter errors and varieties?
There are several of those that are also worth looking for in your pocket change!
Here are the 5 rarest and most valuable state quarter errors and varieties:
#1 – 1999-P Delaware Spitting Horse Quarter
A die break caused some 1999-P Delaware quarters to have a raised line extending, yes, straight from the horse’s mouth. It looks like the horse is spitting toward the side of the coin. These rare die break errors originally sold for more than $100 apiece many years ago. Today, worn examples are worth about $10 to $20. Mint State pieces go for approximately $30.
#2 – 2004-D Wisconsin Extra High Leaf Quarter
There were some odd goings on at the Denver Mint in 2004. Somehow two distinct varieties of the Wisconsin quarter were created when an extra leaf was added to the corn stalk. In one variety, the extra leaf is located closer to the primary left leaf on the stalk — that’s the “Extra High Leaf” variety. Another 2004-D Wisconsin error variety shows an extra lower leaf. Circulated specimens of this error coin are worth around $50. Uncirculated examples have a value of $100 or more.
#3 – 2004-D Wisconsin Extra Low Leaf Quarter
Here’s that second Wisconsin leaf error. This one shows an extra leaf at a lower point on the ear of corn — a little closer to the cheese wheel. Somebody must’ve been playing around with a couple of Wisconsin dies, huh? Nobody has ruled that out. Though, to date, nobody has stepped forward claiming responsibility either. The bottom line is we coin collectors have 2 more cool varieties to look for! The 2004-D Wisconsin Extra Low Leaf quarter is worth about $35 in worn condition and $80 or more in uncirculated condition.
#4 – 2005 Minnesota Doubled Die Quarter
There are dozens of different types of 2005 Minnesota quarters showing evidence of an extra spruce tree in the middle of the coin. The more dramatic varieties are worth $50 or more, while more muted doubled die varieties have a value of about $5 and up.
#5 – 2005-P Kansas “IN GOD WE RUST” Quarter
Why is the first “T” in “TRUST” missing on some Kansas quarters? Simple… It’s due to a so-called grease-filled die strike-through error. Essentially, some mechanical lubricant got wedged into the first “T” of “TRUST” in the die. This resulted in the striking of many 2005-P quarters without the word TRUST being fully struck. Circulated examples are worth about $15 to $30. Uncirculated specimens are worth $50 or more.
Tips To Help You Find Valuable State Quarters
So, how can you increase your odds of finding these rare state quarters and state quarter errors?
These tips can help you get your hands on the rare and valuable state quarters mentioned in this article:
- Look through bank rolls and boxes.
- Check every coin that goes through your hands.
- Look in the reject dispensers of CoinStar machines for error coins that couldn’t be counted.
- Ask your family and friends if you can look through their change jars.
- Start using cash (instead of credit or debit cards) more often — to increase your chances of getting 50 State Quarters in change.
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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!