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Can you tell which 1971 quarters are worth more than their 25-cent face value?
If you can, you could score big bucks — because some of these old quarters are worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars!
In this article you will learn exactly which features to look for when you’re searching for rare & valuable 1971 quarters.
Fun Facts About 1971 Quarters
The 1971 quarter carries an obverse (“heads side”) portrait of Revolutionary War general and first United States president George Washington and reverse (“tails side”) design of a heraldic eagle.
The coin was designed by John Flanagan, whose Washington quarter designs first appeared on the coin in 1932 and had remained virtually unchanged even by 1971.
The only major changes that the Washington quarter had really seen to that point were:
- The major composition change in 1965 — when the coin’s 90% silver format was changed to copper-nickel clad
- The relocation of the mintmark in 1968 — from the reverse to the obverse side of the coin
Where is the mintmark on a 1971 quarter?
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the mint mark on the Washington quarter was moved to the obverse of the coin in 1968.
But exactly where is that mintmark?
You’ll find it on the lower-right side of the obverse (heads side of the coin) — just behind the bow in Washington’s ponytail.
Wait… what’s that? You don’t see a mintmark or mint letter stamp on your 1971 quarter? Does that mean your 1971 no mintmark quarter is a rare and valuable error?
I’m afraid your 1971 no mintmark quarter is not a rare coin, nor a valuable error coin worth money. This is a perfectly normal 1971 quarter from the Philadelphia Mint — which did not place mintmarks on its coins at that time.
How much does a 1971 quarter weigh?
The 1971 quarter is made from a copper-nickel clad composition. It weighs less than the 90% silver, 10% copper alloy that the circulation-strike Washington quarters were made of through 1964.
The 1971 clad quarters weigh 5.67 grams — a standard weight for a copper-nickel clad Washington quarter.
At this time, there are no known 1971 silver quarter off-metal errors.
However, if a rare 1971 silver quarter existed, it would be worth a lot of money and likely weigh around 6.25 grams — the standard weight of a 90% silver quarter.
Are any 1971 quarters rare?
The Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints made more than 370 million quarters combined in 1971.
This very large production figure means that the 1971 quarter is not rare — at least not in the absolute sense of the word.
However, any 1971 quarters in top mint condition are considered scarce.
All 1971 quarter errors are scarce as well.
We’ll talk about how much these valuable 1971 quarters are worth below!
How Much Is A 1971 Quarter Worth?
There are 3 types of 1971 quarters, and each has a different value.
Let’s explore those values now…
1971 Quarter No Mint Mark Value
The 1971 no mintmark quarter was struck at the Philadelphia Mint to the tune of 109,284,000 coins.
Here’s how much a 1971 quarter with no mintmark is worth:
- Since these coins are so common and not made from silver, the value of a 1971 quarter that’s been circulated (has evidence of wear) is worth only face value of 25 cents.
- Uncirculated 1971 quarters are worth more than face value — generally in the range of $1 to $3.
- The most valuable 1971 quarter with no mintmark was graded MS67 by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $3,840 in a 2019 auction.
1971-D Quarter Value
The 1971 quarter with a “D” mintmark was struck at the Denver Mint, which struck 258,634,428 of the 1971-D quarters.
The 1971-D quarter from the Denver Mint is common — especially in circulated grades.
Here’s how much a 1971-D quarter is worth:
- Any 1971-D quarters with wear are worth their face value of 25 cents.
- Most uncirculated 1971-D quarters are worth about $1 to $3 apiece.
- The most valuable 1971-D quarter was graded MS68 by Professional Coin Grading Service and fetched $4,560 in a 2019 auction.
1971-S Quarter Value
Did you find a 1971-S quarter?
If you did, congratulations — the 1971 quarter with an “S” mintmark was struck at the San Francisco Mint. However, this coin was not intended for circulation.
The 1971-S quarters were produced just for coin collectors and sold in proof sets.
What exactly are 1971-S proof quarters?
These coins were made using highly polished blanks that were struck at least twice by specially prepared dies on high-tonnage presses. This special method of manufacture ensured that every minute detail was fully produced, making for a 1971-S quarter of immaculate quality!
A total of 3,220,733 proof quarters were made in 1971 — so while you may not find many 1971-S quarters in circulation, they aren’t rare.
Here’s how much a 1971-S quarter is worth:
- The typical 1971-S proof quarter is worth $2 to $5.
- The most valuable 1971-S quarter was graded PR69DCAM by Professional Coin Grading Service and commanded a whopping $7,475 in a 2007 auction.
IMPORTANT: Do You Know The Grade Of Your 1971 Quarter?
To determine the true value of your 1971 quarter, you first need to know what condition (or grade) your coin is in.
These are the best coin grading apps that make grading coins SO much easier!
A List Of Rare 1971 Quarter Errors
Some of the most valuable 1971 quarters aren’t the (nearly) perfect ones we’ve showcased above, but rather the ones that are imperfect — those with errors or varieties.
Let’s look at some 1971 quarter errors that you could actually find in your pocket change…
1971 Off-Center Quarter Error
Any 1971 off-center quarters that are missing at least 3% to 5% of their design are worth more than face value.
Off-center coins are worth various amounts, depending on how much of the design is missing and which elements are or are not visible.
- A 1971 quarter with, say, 10% to 20% of its design missing might bring $25 to $50.
- One that is missing about half of its design yet still shows a complete date can be worth more than $200!
1971 No Ridges On Edge Quarter Error
If you find a 1971 quarter with no ridges or lines on its edge (or a smooth edge), it’s most likely just a very worn coin. Quarters are widely used in vending machines, and this can lead to excessive edge wear, hence why so many quarters have no ridges on their edges.
However, some of these coins are also true errors known as broadstrikes.
How can you tell a 1971 broadstrike quarter apart from a regular 1971 quarter with lots of wear?
One of the best ways to tell these regular 1971 quarters apart from 1971 broadstrike error quarters is to check the thickness and diameter of the coin. A 1971 quarter with lots of edge wear will still be the same diameter of 24.26 millimeters and the approximate 1.75-millimeter thickness of a standard quarter. However, a broadstrike error — which occurs when the coin isn’t struck within its retaining collar — will be wider and thinner than a normal coin of its denomination. A 1971 broadstrike quarter can be worth $25 to $50 or more.
Looking for valuable coins in your spare change?
Here’s a list of the most valuable coins in all denominations that you should be looking for in your pocket change!
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!