If you have come by this post, chances are that you are a passionate coin collector. But regardless of whether you are new to the game or not, boosting your knowledge with additional information is always helpful.
The 1974 Washington quarter is a widespread yet desirable collectible coin. In terms of value, the 1974 quarter is quite low since you can easily find these coins on the market. Their value varies from $0.75 for the 1974 Washington quarters in MS-60 condition to somewhere around $5 for higher grades (MS-65). If you are fortunate enough to find an MS-66, the price might rise to around $25. Rare errors and exceptional grades may sell for higher though. The all-time auction record was $10,925 in 2009!
As you might expect, the final price is driven by multiple factors like the coin’s condition, the mint that has produced it, and the supply and demand. Keep reading to find everything about the different types of 1974 quarters, and the history of these collectibles.
History Of The 1974 Washington Quarter
By far one of the most used coins in commerce, the quarter dollar, also known as the Washington quarter, has an exciting history.
The quarter dollar was a tribute to the first US president, George Washington – a celebration for 200 years since his birth.
The designer of this particular coin was the sculptor John Flanagan, who created the pattern for the entire coin. The US mints started the production of this Washington Quarter in 1932. Although mintages for the more recent Washington quarters are much higher (so they can be found commonly on the market), the 1974 coins are still trendy among connoisseurs. It is very easy to buy a collection of these coins from online auctions or vintage affairs.
The 1974 Quarter Dollar Design
Experts in collecting coins consider all the coins minted after 1964 to be part of the “modern era“. This automatically designates the 1974 Washington quarter dollar as a modern coin.
The Washington quarters are easy to collect from coin dealers and online stores. However, the most modern collections will focus on the genuine Washington Quarters from 1964 to 1998. Others prefer to collect quarters struck between 1999 to 2008.
Note! Starting a brand new collection is a piece of cake, as most modern Washington Quarters are easy to find and can be purchased at affordable prices.
The sculptor Flanagan’s design features a beautifully detailed bust of President Washington on the obverse of the coin. He looks to the left, while the word LIBERTY is inscribed right above his portrait. You can find the date directly below the bust of the President. Looking to the left below Washington’s chin you will see the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.
The mint marks are easy to see on the lower right side of the obverse. If the coin was minted in Denver or San Francisco, the mint mark can be found just to the right of the hair ribbon.
On the reverse side of the coin, you can see the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and QUARTER DOLLAR. Another essential element on the reverse design is a bald eagle with spread wings perching on a branch. Below this is a garland of olive branches – a powerful sign of peace and alliance, originally from Ancient Greek mythology.
Last but not least, the reverse side exhibits E PLURIBUS UNUM, a Latin quote meaning “Out of many, one,” an important motto in the United States of America.
The 1974 Quarter Dollar Value
Before moving straight to the value chart, let’s understand what differentiates quarter values along with the factors influencing their final price. Please note that the prices are intended as a guide and values may change over time. Values quoted are correct at the time of writing and according to PCGS and USA Coin Book. Here are the main types of 1974 quarters:
1974 Quarter Dollar With No Mint Mark
Usually, 1974 quarters without a mint mark were most probably struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Their value is quite low, usually equivalent to the face value. There have been over 800 million quarters minted in Philadelphia.
There are some very valuable quarters from 1974 that were struck at the Philadelphia mint, those in excellent, uncirculated or proof condition. The auction record for a 1974 quarter dollar with no mint mark was $2,115 in 2020!
1974-D Washington Quarter
The “D” mint mark comes from the Denver Mint, where over 353 million quarters were struck in 1974.
Some of these 1974-D quarters can be worth hundreds of dollars. For instance, the beautiful quarters graded with MS65+ state might be valued at $260. However, the absolute auction record for a MS67+ 1974-D quarter was $1,450 in 2021.
On the other hand, grades below MS65 can value somewhere between just a few dollars and $45.
Note! Cannot find the “D” Mark? Look closely at the right side of the President’s neck. There you should see the mint mark next to the hair ribbon.
1974-S Washington Quarter
The 1974-S Washington quarter is original from the U.S San Francisco mint. At this mint there were over 2.6 million coins struck.
At today’s value, a PR69 1974-S quarter can value around $100, while a PR67 value can vary from $8 to $10. Proof coins were also struck at the San Francisco mint and proofs in uncirculated condition can reach hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The auction record for a 1974-S Proof Washington quarter dollar was $10,925 in 2009!
1974 Quarter Value Chart
|1974 Quarter With No Mint||$0.75||$5.70||–||–||–|
The price can change based on the condition, grade, rarity and provenance. Generally, circulated 1974 quarters will be only worth their face value.
Keep in mind! You can expect anything over MS67 grade to be more valuable
1974 Quarter Errors
As you can probably imagine, some 1974 quarters come with errors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing believe it or not! Rare and notable errors will raise the value of a coin. The most common errors are die cracks on the reverse side.
Larger die cracks can make the coins even more valuable. For instance, if you notice any special error nicknames, be ready to sell your coins for more than expected. “The Spitting Horse” or “Scarface” are some valuable coin errors that have increased in popularity during the last few years. And yes, this is mainly due to their nicknames.
Another essential error I want to mention is the double die reverse cracks. Why are they so important? Well, because these coins can be valued at $50+ based on the type of crack and its location.
Remember! Expect error collectors to pay a lot for these rare coins.
For the Washington quarters, the “Spitting Eagle” is one of the most popular errors people spend a lot of money on. Check this video for more information about rare and valuable errors.
Editor’s Note: All these die markings are signs that passionate collectors will appreciate, considering little flaws can increase the demand for particular 1974 quarters. The better the error coin condition, the more valuable they will be; hence, expect quarter dollars with errors to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Q: How do you know to evaluate 1974 quarter errors?
A: If you do not have much experience with evaluation and would like to have your coin valued, just take some pictures and upload them to a trustworthy grading service. This way, the error on your coins can be adequately evaluated. Or better yet, find a coin expert and ask them to evaluate your coin in person. You will have to pay for these services but it may be worth it in terms of sellig your coin for the right price.
Q: What is the most precious 1974 quarter?
A: The pristine coins are the most valuable 1974 quarters. This is MS67+ condition and noted by PCGS as “None Finer”. However, finding these coins is challenging, as there are only two examples known of and sold so far.
Q: What is the weight of a 1974 quarter dollar?
A: 1974 Washington quarter weighs 5.67 grams. The reed diameter is 24.3 mm.
Q: Are 1970s quarters worth collecting?
A: Well, they are pretty common, so you cannot compare them with older and rarer coins. You may find uncirculated pieces of Washington quarters at coin dealers for a few bucks. The most expensive 1970s quarters can be sold for thousands of dollars, so it is a pity not to keep them in your collection.
Q: What does roll hoarding mean?
A: According to specialists, roll hoarding was widespread between the 1950s and 1960s. What collectors did was store their precious coins in rolls, and the condition was carefully preserved during that period with the intention of re-selling when the value rose in the future.
However, the practice of roll hoarding ended by the 1970s. As a result, it was even more challenging to find some coins in a perfect state without flaws.
Q: Is the 1974 quarter dollar made of silver?
A: Only the quarters made up until 1964 were made of silver. These contained 90% silver. On the contrary, the 1974 quarter dollar is made from a copper core and clad in copper-nickel alloy.
Q: How many 1974 quarters were ever made?
A: Over 353 million 1974 quarters were printed at the Denver Mint. Over 801 million Washington quarter dollars were produced at the Philadelphia mint and 2.5 million coins at the San Francisco mint.
Q: What is the ideal online place to trade coins?
A: eBay is the most common and safe place to sell 1974 quarters. Expect to find lots of high-ranking online coin specialists. Make sure you read the information thoroughly and conduct your own market research concerning the type of coin and grade you desire. Go for listings with plenty of details and information, and coins which have been properly authenticated.
Q: How to sell 1974 quarters online and make a profit?
A: Do you own some 1974 quarter dollars and want to get the best price? Make sure you attach some clear photos showing all the details of your items. Do not forget about a well-written description. Sometimes, a good story (a “provenance story”) can raise the price. People expect to buy what they see, so make sure the details you offer are truthful and well-informed. Authentic grading is important.
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