If your hobby is collecting coins and you are interested in the 1972 Quarter value, this article is just for you. We have information on every factor affecting the coin’s value.
If you check NGC Price Guide, a 1972 Quarter in circulated condition value is from $0.30 to $0.85. However, a 1972 Quarter in perfect, uncirculated condition can be worth $225 or $650 or more if you are looking at a 1972-D Quarter variety.
There is a difference between the 1972 Quarter minimum value and the value in circulated and uncirculated conditions. Also, some pieces sell for thousands of dollars.
For example, a 1972-D Quarter in MS68 condition was auctioned for $3,055 on one of Heritage Auctions in January 2014. To make sense of prices, we must go through every aspect (even the tiniest) shaping the 1972 Quarter value. Let’s begin!
History of 1972 Quarter
The history of the 1972 Quarter, also known as the Washington Quarter, started forty years earlier, in 1932. According to the US Treasury Department, the 1972 Quarter (honoring the Founding Father, George Washington) was meant for circulation. Once the US Mint created the design to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth, it was used until 1998 (except in 1975 and 1976).
Out of ninety-nine designs competing for the 1972 Quarter, the Secretary of the Treasury chose John Flanagan’s design. The judges from the George Washington Bicentennial Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) had a different designer in mind, Laura Gardin Fraser. Therefore, they protected against the Secretary’s final decision. Their efforts were in vain and only led to a mintage delay.
Instead of the intended release date in February, the minting began around the end of May and the beginning of June. Officially, the Washington Quarter was released in circulation on August 1, 1932.
The obverse design by John Flanagan remained the same for almost a century. As of 2023, Laura Gardin Fraser’s design (originally from 1932) will finally take its deserved place in the Washington Quarter. As for the reverse, it has changed many times since the coin went into circulation in 1932, honoring a variety of important events in America’s history.
Mintage of 1972 Quarter
The 1972 Quarter was produced in three US Mints in the following quantities:
- 215,048,000 pieces of the 1972 Quarter were minted in the Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark)
- 311,067,732 pieces carrying the “D” mint mark (1972-D Quarter) were produced in Denver Mint;
- 3,260,996 samples with the “S” mint mark (1972-S Quarter) were minted in San Francisco.
San Francisco Mint was commissioned to produce the 1972 Quarter proof set quarters for collectors. These proof quarters we struck twice on highly polished planchets. They catch every collector’s eye with all the highlighted details because of the special dies and production process using high-definition presses.
Whether minted in San Francisco, Denver, or Philadelphia, each 1972 Quarter from the Washington Quarters series has unique features and value.
1972 Quarter Features
- Series: Washington Quarters (1932-1998)
- Mint: Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver
- Mintage: Total of 529,376,728
- Designer: John Flanagan (obverse side of the coin)
- Designer: John Flanagan (reverse side of the coin)
- Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel over a pure Copper center
- Weight: 5,67 grams
- Diameter: 24,30 mm
- Face value: 25 cents or $0,25
- Melt value: $0.0555 (8/4/2023)
- Edge: Reeded
You can easily recognize the 1972 (Washington) Quarters by the following features:
- On the obverse (from) side of the coin, John Flanagan portrayed George Washington’s profile facing left based on a similar bust designed by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1786. You can see the President’s hair tied at the back and these inscriptions: the US motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” (on the left side, adjacent to Washington’s throat), “Liberty” (at the top of the coin), and the year 1972 (at the bottom). If there is an “S” or “D” mint mark, you can spot it on the right, close to Washington’s ponytail.
- On the reverse (back) side of the coin, the same designer depicted the famous eagle symbolizing peace and strength with his spread wings standing on olive branches and arrows pointing left. You can also read the following words: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” (at the top of the coin), followed by “E PLURIBUS UNUM” indicating unity (just below), and around the bottom denomination “QUARTER DOLLAR”.
If you have doubts about the 1972 Quarter composition, you should know that they are not made out of silver. Washington Quarters are not %90 silver as their predecessors. 1972 Quarters are made of copper clad (75% copper and 25% nickel) over a copper center.
Over the years, the US Mint decided to switch to copper-nickel due to the rising prices of silver. However, that doesn’t mean they are not valuable. On the contrary, some of the 1972 Quarter varieties can be worth a lot, especially in perfect condition.
1972 Quarter Varieties and Value
There are three 1972 Quarter varieties: the 1972 Quarter (no mint mark), the 1972-D Quarter (“D” mint mark), and the 1972-S Quarter (“S” mint mark). As in other coins, the mint mark represents the mintage location (Philadelphia- no mint mark, Denver- “D”, and San Francisco- “S”).
Each variety has its value depending on the mintage quantity, mint mark, or no mint mark, and condition. Here is what you should know about the 1972 Quarters variety and value:
1. 1972 Quarter (no mint mark) Value
|Type and design||MS64||MS65||MS66||MS67|
|1972 Quarter (no mint mark)
|between $5 and
|between $15 and $20
|between $36 and $100
|between $750 and $1,750
According to PCGS price details, the 1972 Quarter with no mint mark that reached the highest value was in MS67+ condition and auctioned for $1,320. Only two such specimens exist, hence the high price. There are more than two 1972 Quarters with no mint mark graded MS67, twenty to be more precise, and they are worth between $750 and $1,750.
Many quarters without mint marks were minted in 1972 in Philadelphia and therefore considered quite common. If the coin has a lower grade like MS64 you can buy it just for 5 or 6 dollars. The price goes up as the grade (condition) of the coin increases.
2. 1972-D Quarter Value
|Type and design||MS65||MS66||MS67||MS68|
|1972-D Quarter (“D” mint mark)
|between $14 and $15
|between $22 and $26
|between $65 and $325
It is clear from the table data how the 1972-D Quarter value progressively increases due to the coin’s grading. You will need only 14 or 15 dollars for a piece in MS65 condition, but as the grade goes higher, you will need over 1000 dollars for a 1972-D Quarter in MS68 condition.
The auction record is reserved for a quarter with brilliant and deeply reflective proof like surface graded MS68 sold for $3,055 on January 9, 2014. According to PCGS information, there are only 4 Quarters with the same grade. No wonder collectors are after such superb gems both visually and technically.
3. 1972-S Quarter Value
|Type and design||MS66||MS67||MS68||MS69|
|$6||$7||between $7 and||$12|
|$7||$8||between $8 and||$12
|$14||between $15 and $16||between $18 and $28||$75|
If you are determined to add the 1972 Quarter to your collection you should look for the 1972-S Quarters minted in San Francisco Mint. You can easily recognize one of the 3,260,996 quarters available in proof sets by the ‘S’ mint mark. Specially commissioned to the San Francisco Mint for collectible purposes, the 1972-S Quarters are of high quality and attractive look.
Every collector would enjoy looking at this proof coin in his/her collection. If you are one of those, you can purchase it for only 6 or 7 dollars in MS66 condition and between 12 and 75 dollars in MS69 condition.
However, mint state proofs with cameo contrast and no signs of wear have a higher value, like the 1972-S Proof Quarter holding the auction record of $1,380. For more information on the 1972-S Proof Quarters and their value, you can visit Washington Quarter, PR.
Errors Affecting the Value of 1972 Quarter
We love error coins because they are every collector’s dream and ultimately affect the value of the 1972 Quarter. However, only some error coins reach a price of thousands of dollars, while others are worth way less.
That said, you should look for the 1972 Quarter errors that have collectible value both for sentimental and financial reasons. So, let’s go through the list of errors increasing the face value of the 1972 Quarter:
1. 1972 Quarter Double Die Error
This is a valuable error that occurs when the die leaves two impressions or at least a partial impression of the same coin design at different angles. If you look closely at the coin, you will notice a doubling effect. The doubling is particularly visible in the writings “IN GOD WE TRUST”, “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, or in the president’s eye and the eagle’s wings. If the coin’s details look a bit smeared that is not a double die error but rather a die slip during the striking process.
So, to be successful in finding a 1972 Quarter with a double die error, you have to look for doubled, not smeared picture or inscription (usually on the coin’s obverse). If you find such a quarter expect to earn between $25 and $50 depending on the intensity of the doubling.
2. 1972 Quarter Off-Center Error
The 1972 Quarter off-center error is more valuable and more sought-after than the double die error. If the quarter is not perfectly positioned in between the dies during striking an off-center error may appear. Therefore, the design on a coin with an off-center error is slightly off to the right or left instead of the center. For the error to be confirmed the off-center design should be stamped at least 3% off the center. The value of the quarter goes higher if the error is more off-center.
For example, a 1972 Quarter with a 5% to 10% off-center error has a value of at least $20, while a 50% off-center design can be worth $250 or more. It is easy to find this valuable error in a 1972 Quarter because it is noticeable to the naked eye. So, carefully observe your pocket change for the off-center error quarter.
3. 1972 Quarter with Broad strike (Smooth edge) Error
This is another 1972 Quarter error that depends on the extent of the error. The broad strike error also known as smooth edge error happens when an impeccably centered coin is struck outside the coin’s collar. A 1972 Quarter with such an error appears to be flat and smooth and does not have a reeded edge, hence the error’s name.
Be careful, a damaged and worn quarter may look like a coin with a broad strike error but it is not. Because regardless of the smooth edges, a damaged quarter has a normal diameter and thickness while one with a broad strike error is flatter and stretched out. When it comes to the coin’s worth, a 1972 Quarter with a broad strike error can be worth between $20 and $30.
4. 1972 Quarter Missing Clad Error
Another visible error is the one when the 1972 Quarter (made of copper and nickel clad) is partially missing the clad layer. This is a very unique error that affects the coin’s color and entire look revealing the innermost copper core.
It is super easy to identify a 1972 Quarter Missing Clad Layer because of the color contrast between the silvery-looking metal and the copper metal underneath.
5. 1972 Quarter Clipped Planchet Error
It is easy to spot a 1972 Quarter with a clipped planchet error. Just by looking at the quarter, you can see that during the mintage the planchet was accidentally clipped. These error coins can be quite valuable if they are in mint condition.
Now that you are familiar with the most common errors affecting the value of the 1972 Quarter it is time for the big bucks. It is time for you to check the 1972 Quarter auction records and the most valuable quarter samples.
1972 Quarter Auction Record Value
We have scratched the surface of the 1972 Quarter auction record value when we introduced you to the quarters’ varieties and their specific value. However, it is always wise to have the PCGS auction records in one place for comparison purposes.
|1972 Quarter, Clad, MS
|1972 Quarter, Clad, PR
As you can see a 1972-D Quarter holds the auction record since January 9th, 2014. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a 1972 Quarter out there waiting to take the throne. So, stay alert, and don’t forget to check your piggy bank every once in a while.
10 Most Valuable 1972 Quarters
Here is our table of the 10 most valuable 1972 Quarters. Most of them are from the PCGS list of 1972-D (MS) Quarters, but there are also some from the other two 1972 Quarter varieties, the 1972-S Proof Quarter, and 1972 Quarter.
|MS68||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2014 January 8 – 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction – Orlando #1201||$3,055|
|MS68||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2013 September 25-29 Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature Auction||$2,585|
|MS68||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2019 June 6-9 Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature Auction||$1,680|
|MS68||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2021 January 20-24 FUN U.S. Coins Signature Auction #1326||$1,560|
|MS68||PCGS||Bowers & Merena||John F. Rindge/Alan J. Harlan||$1,553|
|MS67||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2005 St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Signature Auction #372||$1,495|
|PR66||ANACS||Heritage Auctions||FUN07 Volume #2||$1,380|
|MS68||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2018 September 6-9 Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature Auction||$1,320|
|MS68||PCGS||Heritage Auctions||2018 February 22-26 Long Beach Expo U.S. Coins Signature Auction||
|PR65||ANACS||Heritage Auctions||FUN07 Volume #2||$1,035|
Once you see the worth of the 10 most valuable coins, you can decide whether investing in a 1972 Quarter is a smart move.
The value of the 1972 Quarter depends on the coin’s historical significance, mintage, rare error varieties, condition, and market prices. You must consider every factor affecting the coin’s value if you want to understand the 1972 Quarter’s true worth.
Hopefully, we have managed to help you along the way through our research and data. If so, our job is done! For further reassurance when putting a price on your 1972 Quarter, consult a professional coin grading service. Either way, do not overlook the important coin features and factors that might increase the 1972 Quarter value by hundreds of dollars.