Have you already seen a coin with the “W” mint mark? If you have and you are confused this article will be of great help to you. The “W” mint mark stands for West Point Mint. People who are relatively new to coin collecting, probably don’t know that coins are rarely minted in this facility as well.
However, not all coins have the privilege to be minted there. Moreover, coins that originate from West Point Mint are special editions. What is also characteristic of these coins is low mintage, and we all know what that means – a rarity!
In this article, you can read about West Point Quarter value, where to buy them, and how to determine their value, so don’t skip it!
History Of The West Point Mint
This facility is a Mint production and depository facility established in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Originally this place was called the West Point Bullion Depository and for quite some time it held the highest concentration of silver out of all US mints. However, in March 1988 it gained official status as a branch of the US Mint.
Not many coins were produced here, this Mint is mainly in charge of producing commemorative coins and storing gold. To be more precise this mint holds 22% of the United States’ gold reserves, this is approximately 54 million ounces! Only the Fort Knox depository keeps a larger amount of gold than West Point.
Even before it gained official status, this facility produced U.S. coinage. For instance, from 1974 until 1986, the Lincoln cents were minted here but they didn’t bear a mint mark, so people thought these originate from the Philadelphia Mint. Also, a series of Washington Quarters (without the mint mark as well) were minted here from 1977 to 1979.
The first appearance of the “W” mint mark was in September 1983 on a $10 commemorative gold coin for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Also, in 1986 an American Gold Eagle bullion coin was exclusively minted at this facility, but with no mint mark. In 1999 American Silver Eagle bullion coin was also minted at this facility, but this time bearing the “W” mint mark.
In 2002, a bicentennial commemorative silver dollar was issued here bearing the mint mark “W” in honor of the 200th anniversary of West Point Military Academy. Fortunately for all collectors, this mint started a new commemorative series of Quarters in 2019 and 2020 as part of America the Beautiful Quarters program. Quarters that originate from West Point are pretty rare and are highlights of this program.
List of all 2020-W Quarters
The United States Mint is releasing 5 different designs of both the 2019 and 2020 Quarter series with the W mintmark.
The 2019-W quarters have the following designs:
- 2019 Lowell, Massachusetts West Point Mint Quarter
- 2019 American Memorial Park, Northern Mariana Islands West Point Mint Quarter
- 2019 War in the Pacific, Guam West Point Mint Quarter
- 2019 San Antonio Missions, Texas West Point Mint Quarter:
- 2019 River of No Return, Idaho West Point Mint Quarter:
The 2020-W quarters have the following designs:
- 2020 National Park of American Samoa in American Samoa West Point Quarter
- 2020 Weir Farm National Historical Site in Connecticut West Point Quarter
- 2020 Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in U.S. Virgin Islands West Point Quarter
- 2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont West Point Quarter
- 2020 Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas West Point Quarter
Keep in mind that the “W” mint mark is located on the obverse side of the coin, just on the right side of George Washington.
The 2019 W-Mint Mark Quarters
What makes this series of Quarters special and attractive to collectors is the fact that 2019 marked the first time that circulating coins were struck here received a “W” mint mark. That means these five 2019-W quarters are the very first circulating coins with this mint mark. Their worth will only grow with time.
Also, due to the low mintage, these coins are pretty rare but worth looking for. There are only about 2,000,000 coins minted of each Quarter design.
2019 Lowell, Massachusetts West Point Mint Quarter – The first released circulating West Point Mint quarter. It was designed by Joel Iskowitz. The observe side design features a traditional portrait of G. Washington. While the reverse side design portrays women working on a power loom. You can also notice the debris of the city in the background.
2019 American Memorial Park, Northern Mariana Islands West Point Mint Quarter – This is the second W quarter released in circulation. It was designed by Donna Weaver. As usual, the obverse side features a portrait of George Washington. The reverse side design features an image of a woman resting her hand on a commemorative plaque. This coin is honoring all the people who died in the Mariana campaign of World War II.
2019 War in the Pacific, Guam West Point Mint Quarter – The third W quarter was designed, once again, by Joel Iskowitz. On the obverse side, you’ll find a portrait of George Washington. While on the reverse side, you’ll find an image of U.S. soldiers in the fight for Guam’s liberation.
2019 San Antonio Missions, Texas West Point Mint Quarter – The fourth W quarter coin was designed by Chris Costello. The design of the obverse side is regular, while the design of the reverse side features four different symbols. First, we have arches and bell, which represent the people in the community. Then you’ll notice the lion with the crown which represents Spanish culture and heritage. Logically, the wheat represents farming, while the river represents resources and immigration.
2019 River of No Return, Idaho West Point Mint Quarter – The last 2019-W quarter coin was designed by Emily Damstra. On the obverse side, you can find a portrait of US first President Washington. While the image on the reverse side shows a person rowing a drift boat. You can see the bottom of the boat and trees and rocks in the background.
The 2020 W Mint Mark Quarters
The tradition of placing “W” mint marks on circulating coins that originate from West Point Mint continued to the 2020 series as well. Besides their beautiful design, what makes this series valuable is the low mintage. Just like the 2019-W Quarter series this one as well consist of only 2,000,000 coins per design.
2020 National Park, American Samoa West Point Mint Quarter – This is the first released 2020-W design. It was designed by Richard Masters. An obverse side features an image of George Washington. When you turn the coin you’ll notice an image of the Somoan fruit bat with its baby in a cave. This design is created to show awareness of endangered species such as the Somoan fruit bat.
2020 Weir Farm, Connecticut West Point Mint Quarter – Second design was created by Justin Kunz. As usual, the obverse side feature portrait of the first President George Washington. While the reverse side design depicts an artist with a painting pallet, smock, painting, and a paintbrush. He is painting the Weir Farm, and you can also see the phrase “A NATIONAL PARK FOR ART ” right next to him.
2020 Salt River Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands West Point Mint Quarter –Third design was created by Richard Masters. We wrote a whole article about this special quarter coin and you can read it here . On the obverse side, you can see a portrait of George Washington. What dares attention is the beautiful design of the reverse side. Here you’ll notice a young Mangrove tree evolving into a grown-up tree. This design brings awareness to the importance of Mangrove trees being endangered.
2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller, Vermont West Point Mint Quarter – The fourth 2020-W quarter was designed by Donna Weaver. The obverse side features a regular Washington Quarter design. However, on the reverse side, this coin depicts a young girl planting spruce tree seeds. This design represents how important the conservation and planting of forests are.
2020 Tallgrass Prairie, Kansas West Point Mint Quarter – The last 2020-W Quarter coin was designed by Emily Damstra. This coin features a regular Quarter obverse side. On the reverse side of the coin, you can see a beautiful Regal Fritillary butterfly flying over a Tallgrass Prairie.
Also, you need to know that on some 2020-W Quarter coins, you can find special “V75” mint marks beside the regular “W” mint mark. The reason is that in 2020, we commemorate 75 years after the end of the war.
To mark the occasion, the United States Mint again struck ten million circulating quarters with the “W” mint mark. The ten million pieces were divided evenly among all five 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters designs. Finding these coins isn’t that easy even though it might seem so.
Tips For Finding “W” Quarter Coins
When there are only 20 million of 2019/2020 Quarter coins being made with the “W” mint mark you know that your search won’t be easy as you might think. In fact, it will be pretty hard to locate even just one, and some designs are harder to find than others.
However, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to secure yourself at least one “W” mint mark Quarter coin. You can significantly increase your chances by following these clever search methods:
- Ditch the plastic and use the cash – This is pretty logical, since the more change you get back, the greater your chances of finding the “W” quarter are. Whenever you can use cash. Also, make sure you calculate a bit, don’t be lazy. Use those banknotes that will get you more spare change in return.
- Hit your favorite old-school arcade spot – Yup you heard it well. Go and have some fun, but don’t forget to use $1, $5, $10, or $20 in dispensing change machines. The point is that these old-school arcade machines operate on quarters only. So imagine how many quarters you can get here.
- Banks – Well this one is somewhat obvious, yet not many people do it. Visit your local bank and buy rolls of quarters. It is that simple. They can be bought pre-rolled in $10 increments at a bank. If you buy a few rolls, there is no chance you won’t come across one “W” coin. You are welcome.
- Check every quarter that you get in contact with – Again pretty obvious and yet again people tend to forget to do this!
- Vending machines, laundromats, car washes – Visit all those places where you know you can run to some kind of these machines. Make a small purchase and get your change back.
The value of a 2020-W quarter is based on the condition
Like with all other coins and collectibles in general, a condition is crucial when it comes to determining the actual value and grade, which will later form the end price. A worn-out 2019/2020 W quarter can fetch between $5 and $20, depending on how damaged it is and from which design and series it comes.
A 2019/2020 W quarter in the average uncirculated condition is generally worth around $25+.
However, those coins that are graded with Mint State 68 grade or even higher can fetch from $500 and much more.
However, some 2019/2020 W quarters are worth even more. What do we mean? Well, a variety of coin organizations, coin dealers, and other members of the coin community offer special rewards for the early examples of these rare 2019/2020 W quarters.
Professional Coin Grading Service offers from $2,000 up to $5,000 for the first example of each of the ten in total 2019/2020 W quarters series. So let the hunting games begin! You see what we did here, don’t you?
Table of the most valuable West Point Quarter coins
How Can I Identify W Mint Mark Quarter Coins?
Remember, that the W mint mark is placed on the obverse side of the coin. The mint mark will appear right below the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST”, just right of Washington’s ponytail. As mentioned above, the W mint mark until this day appeared on 10 designs of the 2019/2020 circulating quarters.
Even though there were some rumors, unfortunately, no W mint mark circulating quarters have been issued in the 2019/2022 series. Only two million of each design was released into circulation with this mint mark. They are mixed into all the other millions of circulating quarters issued in these years, making them a true rarity!
Where Should I Be Hunting These W Mint Mark Quarters?
Today, several years after the release of the “W” mint mark Quarter coins it is possible to purchase them on the web platforms, in auction houses, coins hops, and from coin dealers. You can even find some rare graded and certified specimens that haven’t been in circulation.
However, trading online can be very risky so we recommend you avoid it if you don’t have a reliable source. While we are mentioning reliable trading options here are our recommendations. Trade with reliable dealers, auction houses, shops, and certified web platforms. If you still didn’t cooperate with any auction house here is the short list of the most reliable ones – Heritage Auctions, NCG, PCGS, Coins For Sale, or Littleton Coin Company.
Also, check the web platforms like eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers. These places will help you if you are selling your coins. You can gather useful information from here, like demand, supply, and price range.
Finally, we recommend you avoid buying or selling coins here, since scams are unfortunately pretty often. In case you don’t have a choice and you must trade here, always check the feedback and comments. Hire a specialist and consult with him before you make any investments.
How much is W mint Quarters worth?
Well, that depends on many factors like you already probably know. Also, what people tend to forget is that a coin is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. However, in general, W mint mark Quarters can range anywhere from $25+ in average condition, to $500+ for coins in high-grade state.
Are these W Quarter coins rare?
Yes, they are pretty rare. Take the low mintage into consideration first. There are only 10,000,000 of these coins. When you compare that with the number of 1.27 billion Quarter coins currently in circulation, you figure out how hard it is to obtain this coin without spending big bucks on it.
The West Point Mint has produced quarters with a W mint mark only in 2019 and 2020. Also, to make things less dramatic just remember that in 2019, a total of 1,651,600,000 quarters were issued across all Mint branches, but only 10,000,000 were issued by the West Point Mint.
What is Privy Mark on US coins such as “V75” on Quarters?
Far back in the 19th century, the US Mint used arrows imprinted in the design of coins to underline the fact that there were some changes in the way coins were made. Even though no public record claims these arrows as privy marks, they share the same function.
For instance, in 1853, the Mint temporarily reduced the weight of silver coins. Until 1855 these silver coins featured arrows on both sides of the mint date to indicate the weight change. When the weight returned to regular they removed the arrows from the design. Then in 1873 weight has been increased so until 1874 the Mint used arrows to indicate that.
However, these symbols were just too simple so Mint designed Privy marks. This design was inspired by an original coin punch found at the Philadelphia Mint. Look at the American Eagle Platinum Coin from 2009, this coin includes an eagle privy mark on the reverse. The privy mark appeared on these coins until 2014.
Here is one useful piece of information, the 2019-2032 American Innovation $1 Coin will include a different privy mark for each minting year. Due to the variations of the concept throughout the program, the point of the privy mark in this situation is to unify the designs.
The privy mark on the 2019 coin is designed as a stylized gear since it represents the industry and innovation. It is located on the obverse side, so pay attention!
Kicking Off The Coin Hunt!
Although 2 million quarters might sound like a lot, in reality, that is awfully small. Ask any coin collector if you don’t trust us. Or simply Google the mintage numbers of all other series of Quarters that are currently in circulation. There are approximately 109 different types of Quarters in use nowadays, so take your time, we’ll wait.
Or here is one simple example for you, in the last year, more than 237 million Quarters were struck at the Philadelphia Mint alone! However, if you still didn’t figure out what is the point of this limited series of coins, we will reveal it to you. It is the revivification of coin collecting as a hobby.
This craze over special “W” Quarter coins is doing exactly that. So, have you found any W mint mark quarters in circulation yet? If you did, share some thoughts about it with us.
Hopefully, this article answered some of the questions and helped you figure out how to handle your precious coins. In case you know some information that we didn’t mention here, please do not hesitate to share your opinions and advice in the comment section below.