The 1979 quarter coin isn’t the piece that can make you rich because it’s neither very uncommon nor extremely valuable.
The last unminted coin from the Philadelphia Mint was made in 1979. Only coins in the highest grades will be valued more than “common” because the Philadelphia and Denver Mints produced well over a billion 1979 Washington quarters.
We’ve carefully examined the 1979 quarter coin’s present worth. After reading this article, coin collectors will be more informed when buying or selling the 1979 quarter coin. Additionally, you’ll discover the history and distinctive features of this coin.
A Quick Overview of the 1979 Quarter Coin Value
Currently, most 1979 dollar coins still in use may be bought for a couple of dollars or even more. Still, the 1979 quarter coin’s value is greatly influenced by its mint state and condition; for example, a circulating 1979 Washington Quarter is valued between $0.30 and $0.85.
The most valuable 1979 Quarter coin is a PCGS MS-67 1979-D Quarter in a flawless, uncirculated condition that sold for $1,078 in a 2014 auction.
A Brief History/Rarity of the 1979 Quarter Dollar Coin
The US Quarter dollar coin has a 25 ¢ face value. Its production was intermittent from 1796 but became continuous in 1831.
The silver Washington quarter (1932–1964) was the last of several design iterations for the denomination and was produced in silver from its inception until 1964. It featured George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, on the obverse and the American Eagle holding a string of arrows on the reverse.
Initially intended as a one-year design to mark 200 years since George Washington’s birth in 1932, the obverse portrait eventually became the official design for the coinage and has been in usage ever since. Up until 1998, the reverse was produced in this manner. However, in 1998, the “State Quarters” series of circulating commemoratives commenced production.
About 500 million 1979-P Washington Quarters were produced by the US Mint, making them a widely distributed item. The coin is rather prevalent up to the MS66 state. However, grades of MS67 are quite rare as any coin with a grade of MS67 or above is regarded as “uncommon.”
The Washington quarters were among the Proof coins struck by the US Mint in 1979 with two distinct mint markings. There’s a filled S mint mark on the Type 1 Washington Quarter and a clear S mint mark on the Type 2 Washington Quarter. However, Type 2 is rarer than Type 1.
The most prevalent types of the 1979 dollar are as follows:
- 1979-P Washington Quarters
- 1979-D Washington Quarters
- 1979-S Proof Type 1
- 1979-S Proof Type 2
Identifying the Actual Value of the 1979 Quarter Dollar Coin
In this part, we’ll review several methods for evaluating the 1979 Quarter Dollar and provide more information about the coin’s variations. We’ll explore the Washington quarter’s additional features as well as the effects of the mint condition.
Grading the 1979 Quarter Dollar Coin for Value
Here’s a description of the different coin grades for the 1979 quarter dollar:
A Brilliant Uncirculated 1979 Washington Quarter costs $6.65.
A Mint State coin hasn’t been handled during circulation and still has its original surface. Specifically, a Mint State quarter has unblemished mint brilliance all over its surface. The elevated cheek region directly below George Washington’s eye shows no signs of wear. Over the cheek, the metal’s luster and exquisite texture are perfect.
High-profile areas are located right behind and above the ear. There’s no color dulling or metal smoothing in either location. Similarly, an elevated feature may be seen on Washington’s neck, between the ear and the shoulder. The neck’s texture is also uniform throughout high and low points.
To find wear-related smoothness, high relief regions are closely examined. A tall ridge that runs from the Eagle’s shoulders to the tips of its outstretched wings is present. Slight wear along this contour is evident by a change in the metal’s color and smoothness compared to the rest of the wing.
There’s no sign of detail loss on the Eagle’s central breast. The coin’s reverse side also retains the original luster’s texture. Again, its legs’ high points show no indications of deterioration. The coin also has no evidence of metal smoothing.
An Extremely Fine 1979 Washington Quarter costs less than $1.
An extremely fine coin’s high sections show just minor wear. This coin has developed a flat region right before Washington’s ear. Again, the little wave of hair over Washington’s ear is flat on top, and this flatness extends to the curl at the back of the ear. Just the details at the tips of the hair have been flattened.
The upper waves of Washington’s hair are delicately styled, but the larger waves are spectacular. There’s a small smoothing in the neck region above the date. Similarly, Washington’s high neckline is smooth and starting to lose its shape.
The reverse Eagle’s exquisite features have been somewhat worn away. The Eagle’s breast no longer displays any feather details; these delicate feather lines weren’t at first bold. Still, the Eagle has a rounded chest.
The tops of the legs no longer have the details of the leg feathers. Over the tops of the legs, a smooth area has taken the spot of the feathers, while the remainder of the legs is still spherical. The olive leaves covering the wing tips stand out and are elevated.
A Fine 1979 Washington Quarter costs less than $1.
In this coin, many regions of Washington’s portrait are now flat. The top of the head has smooth hair detail. Over the prominent rear curl, a few deeper lines are still visible.
The cheek, temple, and forehead may be distinguished from the hair by little contrast. Flat cheeks and jaws define Washington’s portrait. However, the little curve that formerly divided them is gone.
The Eagle’s appearance has started to “fade” due to moderate wear. A broad flat surface connects its head, chest, and legs. Furthermore, most feathers in the wings are divided, although the lines are gentle and fading.
In several areas, the letters are blended into the rim. However, each letter is still readable.
A Good 1979 Washington Quarter costs about 25 cents or its face value.
In “good” coins, Washington’s picture is still bold and elevated. But, his hair lacks most details, and a smooth, flat section links the hair to the face. Although linked to the rim, the letters “Liberty” may still be read. The date is legible and distinct but still attached to the rim.
The core of the wings still has many feather embellishments. Although the Eagle is fairly flat, the wings have a complete shape. One flat section makes up the Eagle’s center.
At the tops of the letters, the legend blends into the rim. Even when the letters are weak, they must still be readable.
The table below summarizes the average prices of the different grades of the 1979 quarter coins.
|Coin Condition (Grade)||Average Price|
|Uncirculated 1979 Washington Quarter||$1 to $6.65|
|Extremely Fine 1979 Washington Quarter||Less than $1|
|Fine 1979 Washington Quarter||Less than $1|
|Good 1979 Washington Quarter||About 25 cents|
Value Differences Among the 1979 Washington Quarter Variants
The quarter dollar coin is 24.3 mm in diameter and 5.6 g in weight. However, it was commonly mistaken for the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, which had a much smaller diameter of 26.5 mm and weighed 8.1 g.
Let’s see the common varieties of the 1979 quarter dollar and their worth:
1979-P Washington Quarter
You can purchase the 1979-P Washington Dollar from a coin dealer at its face value (for circulated pieces) and $6.65 (for uncirculated pieces).
The 1979 Washington Dollar struck by the Philadelphia Mint bore no mint mark and had no exact peculiarities.
1979-D Washington Quarter
You can purchase the 1979-D Washington Dollar from a coin dealer at its face value (circulated pieces) and $6.65 (uncirculated piece).
The Denver Mint struck its variant of the 1979 Washington Quarter in the same year America’s greatest nuclear catastrophe occurred. This coin may enrich your coin collection.
Type 1 1979-S Proof
The 1979-S Washington Quarter (Type 1 – Filled S Proof Coin) is estimated to be worth at least $9.14.
The Type 1 Filled 1979-S Washington Quarter only exists as proof coins. It features a smaller, less distinct S mintmark that’s partially filled. Comparatively speaking, this variant is less desirable and has a lower numismatic worth than the Type 2 variant.
Type 2 1979-S Proof
The 1979-S Washington Quarter (Type 2 – Clear S Proof Coin) is estimated to be worth at least $11.
The Type 2 Clear 1979-S Washington Quarter is only available as a proof coin and features a considerably more distinct and distinct S mintmark.
Here’s a table showing the 1979 Quarter variants and their prices:
|1979-P Washington Quarter||25 ¢–$6.65|
|1979-D Washington Quarter||25 ¢–$6.65|
|Type 1 1979-S Proof||$9.14|
|Type 2 1979-S Proof||$11|
Error Variants of the 1979 Quarter Dollar Coin
Coins with mint errors may occur due to degradation in the minting machinery, mistakes or faults during production, or deliberate actions by mint staff. Surprisingly, error coins are usually more valuable than their typical counterparts.
Mint errors may be found in some 1979 quarter pieces, just like other coins. Yet, most 1979 quarters were struck without substantial flaws. So, coins with significant errors in this series are pretty rare.
The major error variants of the 1979 dollar coins are shown in the table below:
|1979 Error Quarter Double Rim & Broad Strike||$90|
|1979 Washington Quarter Error Filled D||$149.99|
|1979 ‘D’ Triple Error Washington Quarter||$175|
|1979 Washington Quarter Mintmark Error: Double Filling on ‘D.’||$180|
What’s the cost of the 1979 Quarter coin?
The 1979 quarter coin’s price ranges from its face value of 25 ¢ to hundreds of dollars in some cases.
Where can I find the mint mark on the Washington Quarter?
Three different mints—Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S) —produced the Washington quarter coins. You may find the specific mintmark on the coin’s reverse, behind the wreath, and above the letter “R” in “QUARTER.”
Why are error coins worth more?
Given their rarity, error coins are often quite valuable to numismatists and thus worth more than regular pieces.
How do you identify a Quarter without a mint mark?
If a 1979 quarter lacks a mint mark, it was most likely struck in Philadelphia. Although they may not have a mintmark, Philadelphia-made coins are commonly referred to as 1979-P.
We’ve analyzed the valuation of the 1979 quarter dollar coin, its mint states, grades, varieties, and other relevant information. Although an average 1979 quarter coin may not cost much, similar pieces in better condition are relatively valuable. You can acquire or trade high-quality 1979 quarter pieces at auction platforms, e-commerce sites (eBay, Etsy, e.t.c), and direct trade.
Collectors must adapt to the ups and downs of the market because the quarter dollar has no fixed purchase price.