The 1960s were truly eventful years in the very history of the States, and the effect of the happenings and events occurring in these years can be clearly seen in the very money used in that decade. The 1965 quarter is a clear indicator of the state of politics and the economy of that time. These are just some of the reasons why the 1965 quarter is such a valuable piece of history nowadays, as well as an individually valuable item to possess. So, if you’re a collector, or simply interested in the history and current value of the 1965 quarter, you’re at the right spot. In the following paragraphs we’ll go over all of the information essential to the 1965 quarter, so let’s get right into it!

The 1965 Quarter – Everything You Need To Know

History, Design, and Silver Crisis Overview

It is the year 1965, and it was a significant year for the United States. The Vietnam War was in full swing, and the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum. In the midst of all this, the United States Mint made a significant change to the quarter. For the first time since 1932, the quarter was not made of silver. Instead, it was made of copper and nickel.

Before 1965, quarters were made of 90% silver and 10% copper. However, the rising cost of silver and the depletion of reserves forced the government to make a change. The new quarter was made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. This change was made to save the government money and prevent the hoarding of silver coins; or, as we nowadays see it, it was all about redirecting as much money possible into the new war efforts in Vietnam.

The new quarter was designed by John Flanagan, an American sculptor, who had designed the previous version of the quarter in 1932. The front of the coin featured a portrait of George Washington, and the reverse side showed an eagle with outstretched wings. The very first quarter was inspired by George Washington, so the inspiration for the new design remained the same.

The 1965 quarter was minted in Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. The coins produced in San Francisco were intended for collectors and were not released into circulation. This makes the San Francisco-minted coins rarer and more valuable than the coins minted in Philadelphia and Denver. Quarters minted in these specific cities always featured an uppercase letter (first letter of the word), to indicate where the coin was minted; for example, 1965-D means the quarter was minted in Denver (for Philadelphia it was -P, and for San Francisco, it was -S).

As we mentioned previously, the 1960s were rather uncertain times, mostly because of the Vietnam war. Changes had to be made for the cause of war efforts, which lead to the silver crisis in the States. Until the 1960s, the U.S. still relied on silver as the main metal for circulating coins, but things started to change with the Coinage Act of 1965. This Act removed silver from the circulating U.S. coins, and they had to be made from copper and nickel alloy.

Types of Valuable 1965 Quarters

Before we get into the worth and value of the 1965 quarters, we first need to go over the different types of these coins one might come across on their numismatic journey.

  • Certified quarter – some coin dealers sell so-called certified quarters. But, what does this mean? Well, certified quarters, or any coin for that matter, are those that have been submitted to a professional grading service, such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), or the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). These are submitted for reasons of professional opinion, authenticity check, grade assessment, etc.
  • Uncirculated quarters – these are the quarters that have not been released into circulation, meaning they haven’t been released for use by the public. Such quarters/coins are often in impeccable condition, and worth a lot of money. They are also rather rare, and when scarcity is paired with mint condition, the value simply skyrockets, as it does with any other antique or rare item.
  • Error 1965 quarters – there has been discovered a number of so-called error 1965 quarters, which are nowadays worth thousands of dollars. These are quarters that feature some kind of minting error; for example, an off-center position of the imagery on the coin, or a double tail quarter (it bears the reverse design on both sides), as well as the letter G, instead of the letter D, which indicated a Georgia quarter. There are also so-called transitional error quarters, which have a different metal composition compared to the standard quarter.

The 1965 Quarter Value

To understand the current demand and worth of the 1965 quarter, we must also understand the factors that determine the coin’s value. For example, the value of a 1965 quarter varies depending on its condition and where it was minted. The most common 1965 quarters, those minted in Philadelphia and Denver, are still in circulation and are worth face value, which is 25 cents.

The 1965 quarter minted in San Francisco, however, is more valuable. Since these coins were not released into circulation (meaning, they’re uncirculated coins), they are harder to find and are worth more. The value of a 1965 San Francisco quarter can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on its condition.

The condition of a 1965 quarter is also an important factor in determining its value. A coin in excellent condition will be worth more than a coin that is worn or damaged. Coins that have never been circulated and are in mint condition are the most valuable, as we previously mentioned and explained.

Another factor that affects the value of a 1965 quarter is any errors or variations in the coin’s design. For example, some 1965 quarters have a small “S” above the date, indicating that it was minted in San Francisco. This error was caused by a mistake in the minting process and makes the coin more valuable. The letter -S should always be right next to the date, not above it, which clearly indicates a mistake. It is important to look for these mistakes, despite our logical conclusion being that a mistake makes something less valuable. In the case of coins, a mistake increases the value significantly.

Now, let’s talk numbers, and actual amounts people paid for the 1965 quarters. The highest price of a 1965 quarter in mint condition was 12,650 USD (auction recorded by the previously-mentioned PCGS). You can expect to pay a similar price for a mint condition or even a ‘proof’ PR 1965 quarter, but because they’re pretty rare nowadays, there are really exact auction evaluations and prices to look at. However, when it comes to regular auctions of circulated fine condition 1965 quarters, the prices go between 1,400 USD and 5,300 USD.

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Final Thoughts

Regardless of whether you’re a collector or not, it is important to acknowledge that the 1965 quarter is a significant piece of American history. The change from silver to copper-nickel was significant and marked a turning point in the United States currency history. The value of a 1965 quarter depends on its condition, where it was minted, and any errors or variations in its design, so make sure to pay attention to such information if you do come across such a coin.

While most 1965 quarters are worth face value, some of the mint condition or error coins can be worth a significant amount to collectors. Overall, the 1965 quarter is a unique and interesting piece of American currency that is worth exploring, and we hope this brief overview was a good stepping stone to those among our readers who are further interested.

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