Whether you are a beginner in collecting old coin specimens, or you already have plenty of experience when it comes to this hobby, you should always keep your knowledge updated to today’s market requirements.

The initial Washington quarter design was struck starting from 1932 to 1998. The only change in design was in a two-year run, between 1975 and 1976 when the coin’s reverse was replaced by Jack Ahr, who put “the drummer boy” on one side of the coin.

Find more about the story behind the 1972 quarters, the most valuable types, as well as some curiosities regarding their design and past errors.

The History Of Washington Quarter

The initial reason for creating and producing the Washington quarter was in honor of the bicentennial of the birth of America’s very first president. The original design was used between 1932 and 1998.

However, the backstory of the Washington quarter is full of myths and conspirations. It was said that two commissions (Fine Arts and the George Washington Bicentennial) organized the contest for the final design. As a matter of fact, the competition was quite a hit, and back then, numerous designs were submitted. Anyhow, the artists had to start their creations based on Jean-Antoine Houdon’s sculpture of George Washington.

According to the contemporary sayings, there have been 99 designs submitted to the contest. Only five were sent into the finals for revision from all these artists. In the end, the winner was Laura Gardin Fraser; although her design was revised, many protested against her work. Thus, the Bicentennial Commission, Secretary Andrew Mellon, chose John Flanagan’s design as the winner.

Needless to say, this paved the way for even more protests. Yes, there have been many public protests, complaints between partisans, and the opposite opinions over the years based on this story.

All this controversy led to a delay in the coin’s production and release. Therefore, the very first coin appeared near the end of May or the beginning of June. Long story short, the Washington Quarter entered the market only on the 1st of August 1932.

Captivating Facts About Quarters

  • Back in 1792, a law directed American money to be made only of gold, silver, and copper. Consequently, $10, $5, and $2.50 dollars were made of gold. Dime, quarter, half a dollar, and dollar were pure silver, while cent and half a cent were copper-made.
  • The 1804 quarter dollar was the very first silver coin in the USA to have a value on it. Until then, no silver or gold American coin had a value on it. People recognized the value of their money by size.
  • Never did President George Washington expect to be on a quarter. Back in the day, he and Congress rejected his coin designs of him, because this would have looked like too much monarchy. In 1899, his image was replaced from the Lafayette dollar, but Washington appeared once again in 1932 on what are today the quarters we collect.
  • The blanks used to make quarters were firstly pickled. Not like cucumbers, but soaked in a special chemical solution that washed and polished the blanks before they were minted.


The old design of the coin features a left-facing bust of George Washington, while the reverse is for America’s heraldic eagle seen in Art Deco Style.

Washington quarter eras:

Silver Heraldic Eagle Era 1932, 1934-1964
Clad Heraldic Eagle era 1965-1974
Bicentennial Quarter 1975-1976
Clad Heraldic Eagle (1977-1998)
State Quarters era (1999-2008)
US Territories (2009)
America the Beautiful Era (2009-2021)

Let’s see what exactly you should expect to see at first coin inspection..

Obverse side

As already discussed, the obverse side features the left-facing portrait of George Washington, the first president of the United States, based on the Jean-Antoine Houdon who created the bust in 1786.

On the top of the figure, right above the president’s hair, is the word “Liberty.” The 1972 year wraps around the bottom, while on the left side of Washington, it is written ‘In God We Trust.” To the right, you will notice the D mintmark, which comes from Denver Mint.


On the reverse side of the 1972 quarter coin stands the heraldic eagle, styled in an Art Deco manner. The arrows of the eagle, as well as its head, are heading to the left. On the bottom of the coin are two sprays of olive branches forming a U shape.


The edges of the 1972 D Quarter are shaped into semi-cylindrical moldings.

Material Composition

Over the years, the Washington quarter was made of .900 silver (from 1932 to 1966). Yet, things have changed starting with August 1965. Since August 1965, the quarters started to be manufactured using copper-nickel materials; since then, only copper-nickel coins have been in circulation.

The 1972 D Quarter Value And Specifics

The quarter wearing the Denver Mint (D) from the 1970s was far superior to the Philadelphia Mint counterparts. The superb varieties of these coins were the MS67 1972-D quarters from Mint Sets. There were around 2.7 million Mint Sets back in 1972.

The Denver mint has been producing only circulation coins of the best quality. Yet, the number of still intact sets is not known nowadays. Passionate collectors likely keep a tiny percentage of the top-quality sets. The 1972 D quarter’s value on today’s market is about three times more than the face value of $1.83. In today’s money, based on inflation, a set of these coins should be around $19.91.

An essential detail that you should know is that most of the mint sets of quarter 1972-D are particular due to the firm and detailed design and the sharp lettering on both sides (obverse and reverse). However, you can easily recognize these individual coins due to the busier reversal than the obverse. All these factors lead to the idea that post-production steps have been concentrated on the design.

If you want to easily recognize the 1972 quarter-D coins, look closely at the Washington portrait. You will be able to see striking hits on the eyebrows, forehead, and a particular bust truncation. If these signs are not that visible, and the coin has been kept away from circulation, it means you may deal with MS66 or MS67 grades.

But what does that mean? Well, you should know that the MS66 is the grade most often used on these coins. On the other hand, MS67 coins are a bit scarcer. Now, about the value you should expect these coins to have, you should know that their price range is around 30 dollars.

1972 Quarter Value Chart

1972 Quarter $5.70
1972 D Quarter $5.70 $30
1972 S Quarter $4.52

Important! The lower the grade, the less worthy the coin will be.

No matter the quarter specimen, the grade, and condition play a significant role in checking the final value. Therefore, passionate should expect to spend more on an uncirculated, clean, scratchless coin.

1972 Essential Quarter Specifications

Don’t skip the next table as you will find very relevant information.

Original Country The United States Of America
Year of Release 1972
Value Quarter Dollar
Mint Mark D
Materials Copper, Nickel and copper center
Mintage Number More than 3 million pieces
Diameter 24.3 mm
Weight 5.67 grams
Quality Circulation Strike
Obverse designer John Flanagan
Reverse designer John Flanagan

1972 Quarter Errors

When it comes to the  1972 quarter, we can say that the most common mistake would be the presence of a second seven located right between the 7 and 2 numbers. However, this error was not present in the previous quarter before 1971. Another error would be the circle on the face of the coin that unites on the back.


Before wrapping things up, I want you to check out the most frequently asked questions. This way, you can end this topic with all the information you need. So let’s continue.

Q: Is the 1972 quarter made of silver?

A: As already discussed, there are some coins that are made of silver. However, more recent models replaced silver with copper.

Q: What is the value of 1972 quarters with no mint mark?

A: One of the most frequent questions passionate collectors get is regarding the no-mint quarters. Is the no mint mark quarter less valuable?

Well, no. As a matter of fact, the lack of a mint mark is widespread and rarely affects the final value. And truth be told, a no-mint coin can be more special for passionate collectors, especially if this omission was made on purpose.

Q: What is the 1972 Canadian quarter value today?

A: I know that this is not really related, but people sometimes mistake the two coins. So here it goes. The 1972 Canadian quarters were made to honor the 100th year of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Hundreds of millions of these coins are in circulation, portraying a Mountie on horseback. The copies in circulation may get to $150, while the examples in mint condition are worth even $500.

Q: What is the most memorable and rarest Liberty quarter?

A: The rarest yet most valuable Liberty quarter is the 1927-S one. These coins are unique due to their weak strikes, as well as their complexity in terms of design.

Q: What is the 1970 quarter value?

A: As previously mentioned, the 1970-S quarter value is determined by multiple factors, including the mint producing those coins. During 1970, there have been over 500 million quarters on the market from Denver, San Francisco, and Philadelphia mints.

Therefore, finding these varieties on the market can be pretty straightforward. If you want to go to the safest source, choose the local coin dealer, as well as an online one, and you can buy such a quarter for a few dollars. The most expensive 1970-S quarter was sold for $110, but it was an almost flawless PR-69 graded coin.

Q: Why is there no mint on coins from 1965, 1966, and 1967?

A: The lack of marks on these coins came from the United States coin scarcity. The mints have passed from 90% silver-mde coins to the less valuable materials for “clad” coins. Consequently, 1965, 1966, and 1967 coins had no mark.

Q: What is the rarest type of quarter?

A: The most interesting and rarest type of such a quarter was produced in 1941. By that time, a Canadian quarter was left in a coin press. The whole process happened at the San Francisco mint. Outside the Washington quarter, the coin had some remains of the initial Canadian quarter. The final design is spectacular and unique, as you may see the top of King George’s head around Washington’s portrait. However, the REX inscription is barely noticeable at the bottom of the coin. You may notice some tiny features from the original 1941 Canadian quarter as you look closer.

Last Thoughts

If you are lucky enough to own some unique old coins, you must be sure they are genuine. The same happens to 1972 quarters. The information above should help anyone passionate about collecting old coins choose the most valuable ones on the market. From particular design elements to mint marks and rarest coin issues, multiple factors affect the final value of a 1972 quarter.

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