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Quarters are truly the workhorse of American currency.
Used for all kinds of transactions ranging from parking and highway tolls to vending machines, there probably is no coin that’s more frequently used today than the quarter.
Quarters, like pennies, are highly popular collectible coins — and they’ve hit phenomenal heights since the introduction of the 50 States Quarters program back in 1999.
But rare quarters — those which are scarce and in demand among coin collectors — have always been held in high regard, even since before the advent of the 50 States Quarters program that drew millions of new coin collectors’ eyes to the denomination.
If you’re taking quarters as a denomination (and looking beyond simply the Washington quarters made since 1932), then there are several dates considered rare.
In fact, taking into consideration every design series of the quarter going back to the very first, made in 1796, there are easily 2 dozen dates that could be considered highly scarce or rare.
Let’s take a look at each of these rare quarters and see how scarce and valuable they are.
Oh, and you might want some deep pockets for some of these coins, because many will set you back far more than you probably paid for your first car!
Values & Mintages Of Rare Quarters
Though we’re going to list the mintages (the number of how many coins were made by date and mintmark), we’ve said it here often that you shouldn’t always look just at a mintage to determine how rare a coin is.
You might be surprised to learn how many millions of otherwise ‘common date’ coins have been melted down for their silver value.
So, take the mintage numbers below with a grain of salt. Between mass meltings, loss of coins due to time and circulation, and other factors, the fact that 500,000 coins of a certain date were made doesn’t mean 500,000 coins of that date still exist!
With that in mind, take a gander at what 25 of the rarest quarters are going for nowadays:
*All coin prices are for rare quarters in Good-4, unless otherwise stated
- 1796 Draped Bust Quarter (6,146 made) $14,000
- 1804 Draped Bust Quarter (6,738) $3,500
- 1822 25 over 50 c Capped Bust Quarter (unknown quantity) $6,500
- 1823 over 2 Capped Bust Quarter (estimated 30 to 40 exist) $45,000
- 1828 25 over 50 c Capped Bust Quarter (unknown quantity) $1,250
- 1842-O Seated Liberty Quarter with small date (unknown quantity) $070
- 1849-O Seated Liberty Quarter (unknown quantity) $1,250
- 1854-O Seated Liberty Quarter with huge ‘O’ mintmark (unknown quantity) $900
- 1860-S Seated Liberty Quarter (56,000) $1,000
- 1864-S Seated Liberty Quarter (20,000) $1,100
- 1870-CC Seated Liberty Quarter (8,340) $9,500
- 1871-CC Seated Liberty Quarter (10,890) $9,500
- 1872-CC Seated Liberty Quarter (22,850) $2,000
- 1873-CC Seated Liberty Quarter with motto (estimated 5 exist) $125,000 in XF-40
- 1873-CC Seated Liberty Quarter with motto and arrows (12,462) $4,750
- 1896-S Barber Quarter (188,039) $850
- 1901-S Barber Quarter (72,664) $5,000
- 1913-S Barber Quarter (40,000) $1,500
- 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter (52,000) $4,000
- 1918 over 7-S Standing Liberty Quarter (unknown quantity) $1,700
- 1921 Standing Liberty Quarter (1,916,000) $200
- 1923-S Standing Liberty Quarter (1,360,000) $375
- 1932-D Washington Quarter (436,800) $75
- 1932-S Washington Quarter (408,000) $65
- 1937 Washington Quarter with double die obverse (unknown quantity) $115
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!