With coin collecting—as with all types of collecting—older is always better.
First, the simple fact that more time has passed already attaches more sentimental value, and by extension, financial value to the item. Plus, the older an item is, the lower your chances of finding specimens in excellent condition.
This pattern is especially true in the world of coin collection. Save for a handful of unique varieties and error coins, most newer coins are worth at or quite close to their face value.
For these newer coins, 1965 seems to be the cut-off date.
You would be hard-pressed to find more recent coins, especially those minted after 1965, that are priced significantly higher than their face value. And trying to find quarters that meet these criteria is just playing on hard mode.
Editor’s Note: Proof Coins and Deep Cameos
The exceptions to this rule are proof coins—especially deep cameo proof coins and coins with an exceptionally high grade (MS66 and higher.)
Proof coins are special coins stuck using carefully-crafted, hand-finished dies to maximize the clarity of the coin’s details and remove the possibility of errors. Using these special dies, these coins are then struck multiple times using minimal pressure and a languid speed setting, with a break to clean the die before and after each strike.
The result is a hyper-realistic specimen, with extremely highlighted detail and intensely frosted finishes.
However, due to the extensive, time-consuming process involved in producing these coins, proof coins are only produced in minimal amounts (often in single digits,) typically as commemorative editions of regular coins, and are never circulated.
Hence, proof coin prices do not factor in when considering the average price of a specific coin type. Irrespective of the year they are produced or the material used, proof coins, cameos, and coins with an exceedingly high grade will typically cost considerably more.
There are several high-priced proof, deep cameo, and exceptional grade regular strike quarters produced after 1965 including:
- 1966 Washington Quarter PCGS MS67 DCAM, Last Auction Price: $3,738
- 1967 SMS Quarter PCGS SP68 DCAM, Last Auction Price: $4,465
- 1968-S Washington Quarter PCGS PR69 DCAM, Last Auction Price: $2,875
- 1969-S Washington Quarter PCGS PR69 DCAM, Last Auction Price: $1,410
- 1970-S Washington Quarter PCGS PR69 DCAM, Last Auction Price: $2,760
- 1971-S Washington Quarter PCGS PR69 DCAM, Last Auction Price: $7,475
- 1981-S Washington Quarter Type 2 PCGS PR70, Last Auction Price: DCAM $2,530
- 1982 Washington Quarter PCGS MS68, Last Auction Price: $4,242
- 1983-D Washington Quarter PCGS MS67, Last Auction Price: $1,410
- 1984-P Washington Quarter PCGS MS67, Last Auction Price: $1,293
- 1985-P Washington Quarter PCGS MS67, Last Auction Price: $1,528
- 1985-P Washington Quarter Multiple Struck Obverse Die Cap MS68, Last Auction Price: NGC $1,495
- 1986-P Washington Quarter PCGS MS67, Last Auction Price: $2,880
However, it will be unreasonable to add these coins to the general list of valuable quarters after 1965, as these specimens are one-offs that are not easily replicable and that you have zero chance of finding in the wild.
However, all hope is not lost. If you are seeking to find valuable quarters in circulation or loose change, the chances are that those quarters would have to be one of these few valuable newer ones struck after 1965.
1965 is an easy separation point for the value of U.S. quarters because the previous year, 1964, was the last year silver quarters were produced. Quarters minted in the silver quarter era (1796-1964) all come with around 90% silver content.
Consequently, coins produced during this era have a base price of at least $4, the melt value of the silver contained in the coin.
From 1965, quarters were made with considerably cheaper materials, including copper and nickel alloy. The materials used in the production of these quarters are less than the $0.25 face value of the coin.
This relatively low-priced alternative material leads to a considerable drop in the average price of coins made in the latter years.
Here, we have compiled an all-inclusive list to guide that search.
Here is a cheat sheet of all the quarters produced after 1965 that you want to find in pocket change or coin rolls because they are worth collecting as they retail for several multiples of their face value on the open market.
5 Valuable Quarters After 1965
A list of quarters produced in 1965 or later that is significantly more valuable than its face value of 25 cents. Most quarters later than 1965 are worth at most only a couple of dollars. A handful of specimens stand out with a significantly higher price.
1965 Silver Quarter
Due to steeply rising silver prices in the early 1960s, the United States Federal Government was forced to make some adjustments to its coinage.
Skyrocketing silver prices meant that most U.S. silver coins now had a melt silver value that was considerably higher than the face value of the currency. Having such significantly underpriced coinage was impractical, as citizens, noticing the value discrepancy, would simply hoard the coins for their silver content.
By 1964, Americans had already hoarded a sizable percentage of the silver coins in circulation.
Consequently, the Federal Government resorted to changing the material constitution of U.S. coins—in a bid to counteract this tendency to hoard coins.
In that same year, the U.S. Congress passed legislation ending the production of most silver coins and replacing them instead with materials like copper and nickel. One of these key changes was to the silver quarter, which was to now contain a copper-nickel alloy.
However, with this change, the older silver quarters became prime, valuable commodities on the collector’s market. In comparison, the newer clad quarters from 1965 onwards were mostly disregarded by numismatic enthusiasts, and that same trend continues today.
While older quarters typically start at prices $15 or higher (and can reach significantly higher prices when in good condition,) even fine condition quarters, 1965 and newer, rarely sell for above $2 (this doesn’t apply to the uncirculated highest grade rarities.)
One major exception to this rule is the elusive 1965 silver that wasn’t supposed to exist in the first place.
During transitional periods in the U.S. Mint, errors become more common as the older dies and other striking equipment are swapped for newer ones. The 1965 silver dollar is a product of one such error.
During the transition from silver to clad metal alloy in 1965, an unspecified small number of Washington quarters were mistakenly struck on older silver planchets. These oddities are some of the most valuable clad-era quarters today, often sold at auction for between $5000 and $10,000.
However, while the exact supply of this error coin remains unknown, it is a fact that it is quite rare. Since its discovery, less than 20 of these specimens have ever come up for auction.
Uncirculated 1982, 1983, and 1984 Washington Quarters
With the abandonment of the silver quarter and the production of copper-nickel alloy clad quarters from 1965, the numismatic value of the newer Washington quarters dropped considerably.
Clad quarters from 1965 till date are only worth around their face value in their circulated state and around $0.75-$2 in their uncirculated state.
Consequently, these quarters are not valuable enough for most people to consider seeking them out and extracting the value. They often fall exclusively into the domain of only true numismatic hobbyists.
However, there have been a few years with a considerable price premium due to a unique unforeseen circumstance.
By the end of the 1970s, a combination of factors like the Iranian Revolution and the 1979 energy crisis caused a severe disruption in the global oil supply, toppling the world economy on its head, and sending the G7 countries, including the United States, into the early 1980s recession.
With this type of recession and the resultant stagflation with its unsavory combination of high unemployment and high-interest rates, citizens in countries like the U.S. were forced into dire straits and a state of extreme frugality and penny-pinching.
The effect of these tumultuous times on the coinage was that lower currency units became a mainstay in general usage. With the mass of unemployed American scraping to get by, every quarter counted, and they no longer had the privilege of leaving these coins forgotten in coin collections or neglected change jars.
Consequently, there was an extremely small number of immaculate preserved uncirculated specimens from these years.
This shortage of uncirculated quarters began to reflect in the coin collecting world years later when coins from these years became considerably harder to find and began to attract a significant premium.
Today, you can expect mint state quarters from 1982, 1983, and 1984 to sell for anywhere between $8 and $30.
2004 Wisconsin Extra Leaf Quarters
With most quarters produced after 1965 selling for dirt cheap, it takes something truly special for a coin from this series to stand out from the pack and warrant a higher value on the open market.
The 2004 Wisconsin Extra Leaf Quarters achieve this by possessing a strange oddity that has piqued the interest of collectors everywhere.
The 2004 Wisconsin quarter is part of the 50 State Quarter series, instituted by the United States Mint in 1999 as a vehicle for promoting the interest of the newer generations in coin collecting.
This program involved the creation of 5 commemorative quarters each year, each of which celebrates a state in the country and the year they joined the United States Union.
Furthermore, the quarters were released in the order of the states’ admission into the Union, beginning with Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connetticut.
The coins from this program became an instant hit with young Americans, pushing the 50 State Quarter series to the position of the most successful numismatic program ever implemented by the U.S. Mint and bringing in profits to the tune of around $3 billion.
Like the other coins in the series, the Wisconsin quarter featured a President George Washington obverse and a unique reverse portraying symbols that represented the state being commemorated.
For Wisconsin, this reverse sports the Winsconsin state motto “Forward” above the “E Pluribus Unum” at the bottom and “Wisconsin 1848” up top. The centerpiece featured a wheel of cheese on the right, an ear of corn behind it, and a cow on the left side.
The regular coin sporting the correct image, like other quarters from the era, is typically worth less than $2. However, a few unique errors make some of these coins considerably more valuable.
The two variants of the 2004 Wisconsin quarter that command higher prices is known as the extra leaf high and the extra leaf low.
As the name implies, the reverse of both coin varieties sports an extra leaf on the ear of corn that sits behind the wheel of cheese. In the extra leaf high variant, the extra leaf is placed high up on the ear of corn and is closer to the upper leaves, while the extra leaf low variant has its extra leaf placed lower and touches the wheel of cheese with its tip.
Contentions abound in the numismatic community on how these coins came to exist. While many propose that the variants are the work of a mischievous actor within the Mint seeking to create his own high-value coins, others posit that this could be a typical error that stems from a cracked die.
Nevertheless, irrespective of the source of these variants, coin collectors have embraced them in their pursuit of the ultimate state quarters collection.
Due to this demand, high-grade variants of these coins can sell for significant premiums on the open market. The extra leaf high variant typically retails for around $50 circulated and up to $130 in its uncirculated state. In comparison, the extra leaf low can reach $100 in its uncirculated state but sells for around $30 when already circulated.
2005 Minnesota Doubled Die Variants
With the 50 states quarters program running for a decade and producing over 33 billion quarters, it is no surprise that there are a few valuable error coins thrown in there.
The 2005 Minnesota quarter is another selection from the series that produced several notable error coins. With this coin sporting one of the most detailed reverses of any United States quarter, it is not hard to see why.
In line with its motto as the “land of 10,000 lakes,” the Minnesota quarter sports a reverse that features a lake, a swimming duck, a boat with two fishermen on it, and an elaborate treeline of pine trees on the river banks. The reverse also features an outline of the Minnesota map on the left with the state motto “Land of 10,000 Lakes” etched inside.
With a background that is this busy, it is no surprise that some errors occurred during the striking process. However, the amount of errors that occurred was unprecedented.
The most common error type for the 2005 Minnesota quarter was doubled die variations. Since coins must be struck by the die multiple times during the minting process, a tiny shift in the blanks or the die (especially with an image that is this detailed) will lead to a doubled coin.
Currently, there are at least a massive 170+ doubled die variants of the 2005 Minnesota quarter, with varying levels and areas of doubling.
Due to the massive amounts of doubled coin varieties available for the 2005 Minnesota quarter, it is almost impossible to accurately classify all the specimens.
Hence, except for the dominant few, it can be quite hard to get the exact market value of a doubled die coin from this batch, as you would be hard-pressed to find coins with the exact same error type and intensity to compare it against.
The closest you would find to a comprehensive catalog of all 2005 Minnesota doubled die quarters is the various lists compiled by major die variety attributors like CONECA, Ken Potter, Billy G. Crawford, and John A Wexler.
While these die variety attributors often coordinate amongst themselves to create matching lists, they all agreed that doing one for this coin was impractical, abandoning the project after attributing the first 57 discovered varieties.
Unsurprisingly, collectors are having a field day selecting the variants they want, ranking them, and hunting for the most they can get. Consequently, doubled variants of the Minnesota quarter, especially the most sought-after types, can reach relatively high prices.
The most valuable doubled variants of this coin are typically those that show doubling along the treeline, often featuring extra trees compared to the standard coin type (you may need a magnifying glass to sort this out.)
These coins can often sell for north of $50 in good condition.
Typically, the more noticeable the doubling, the more you can get for that coin. If you find a variant—in excellent condition—with an extra tree that you can detect with the naked eye, the chances are that you could get up to $100 for that specimen.
Other Quarter Errors and Varieties
Aside from the prominent varieties we have mentioned here, there are several less popular ones that can be found in various releases.
Error coins offer some of the best premiums you would find within the coin supply from any specific year, and it is not hard to see why. Coin errors typically occur on a very limited number of coins, giving these specimens significantly more rarity than the rest of the coinage released in that batch.
Consequently, coin collectors are always on the hunt for these error coins, especially those with more pronounced errors or those generally agreed upon in the numismatic community to be aesthetically superior.
With this increased demand comes higher prices.
Hence, if you are seeking valuable quarters produced after 1965, you should always be on the lookout for odd-looking error coins. Some of the most common errors you will find include:
- Off-center quarters
- Quarters with die breaks
- Doubled die quarters
- Rotated die quarters
- Blank planchet quarters
- Wrong planchet quarters
- Clipped planchet quarters
- Quarters with edge and rim errors
- Overdate quarters
- Overmintmark quarters
- Broadstrike quarters
- Quarters with strikethrough errors
- Quarters with other missing design elements
All of these quarters, which have a pronounced mint error are typically worth $20 or higher on the open market. .
Valuable Quarters After 1965 Chart
Looking to add some valuable quarters struck after 1965 to your collection, or just found a random quarter and want to know if its worth something big? This chart gives you a visual overview of the most valuable quarters from this time period and the average prices to expect.
Use this table to get approximate estimates of the current market value of valuable quarters after 1965 and as a general guide for improving your market decisions.
|VALUABLE QUARTER⬇\AVERAGE QUALITY➜||Poor Quality||Good||Uncirculated||Uncirculated (MS 66+)|
|1965 Silver Quarter||Less than $3000||Around $5000||$5000 – $10,000||$10,000+|
|1982 Quarter||Face Value||$10 – $14||$20 – $30||$100 – $15,000|
|1983 Quarter||Face Value||$10 – $15||$20 – $70||$100 – $16,000|
|1984 Quarter||Face Value||$10||$20 – $25||$100 – $1500|
|2004 Wisconsin quarter, Extra Leaf Low||Less than $30||$30||$50 – $100||$400+|
|2004 Wisconsin quarter, Extra Leaf High||Less than $50||$50||$80 – $130||$400+|
|2005 Minnesota Doubled Die Quarters||Less than $50||$50||$50 – $100||$300+|
Are there any valuable quarters?
While the quarters have a denomination of only 25 cents, like with all other U.S. coins, specific older specimens can sell for a considerable premium.
Quarters produced before 1965 can be quite valuable for both their silver content and their collectability due to rarity or other sentimental values assigned to them by coin collectors around the country.
On the other hand, quarters produced after 1965 have no silver in their constitution. As such, these quarters are typically only significantly valuable when they are in an extremely high grade, sport a unique prominent error, or are part of a considerably rare variety.
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