Make Money Rolling Coins: Quarters Edition

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quarters

 

In my experience, quarters are the hardest coin to make a return on.  That doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking, though.  If you beat the odds and find a good one, you could find yourself with thousands.

Older Quarters

The oldest of quarter designs is the Bust Quarter.  They were minted from 1796-1838.  If you find one, you can expect to pull in somewhere around $50 at the bottom range, but there are about a half dozen years that will pull in hundreds, up to around $500. On the off chance that you find one, definitely set it aside.

Next came the Seated Liberty Quarter in the years 1838-1891.  Not as lucrative a find as the Bust Quarter, one of these will still bring in somewhere around $15-20.  That’s still 60x the face value.

Barber Quarters were minted between 1892 and 1916.  They’ll generally make you something between 5 and 25 bucks, but if you happen across an 1897 or 1914 S mint, the payout is closer to $100.  A 1913 S mint is worth well over $1,000.  (Don’t know what mint marks are?  Learn more here.)

The Standing Liberty Quarter, minted between 1916 and 1930, is variable in value.  Generally you can expect $4, but among the more common dates payout can reach $50.  Less common dates are as follows, organized by mint mark:

No mint mark (We all know that means Philadelphia, right?)
1916- around $2,000
1921- around $100

S mint mark
1917/8- around $1,000
1923- around $200

Washington Quarters Pre-1964

Washington Quarters are the design we’re familiar with today.  Between 1932 and 1964, they were actually made out of 90% silver.  (The other 10% is copper.)  So each one is worth 90% it’s weight in whatever current silver bullion values are.  (Will vary with the market.  This general concept also applies to some of the older designs.)  90% of the weight of a quarter is 5.63g.  So just multiply that by current market value on the precious metal.  That doesn’t mean a dealer will pay you face value.  In fact, they probably won’t.  But that’s what it’s technically worth.  Either way, you’ll get far more than 25 cents.

There were a couple of errors in minting these over the years.  And errors add value.  (Values are pulled from the About guide, which I’ve found to be fairly accurate.)

1934 no mint mark: If the side with the eagle is double die (or blurry or looks like it’s been printed more than once,) a good estimate is $130.
1937 no mint mark: same error, $240
1943 no mint mark: same error, $550
1942 Denver mint mark: same error, $270
1943 San Fransisco mint mark: same error, $150

1950 Denver or San Fransisco mint mark: If there is a D punched over an S or an S punched over a D where you see your mint mark, you have an overpunched mint mark.  The former is about $55, and the latter is about $80.

There were a few others that are just flat out worth more than bullion value, no error necessary.

1935 D mint mark- $111936 D mint mark- $19
1937 S mint mark- $11
1938 S mint mark- $8
1939 S mint mark- $9.50
1940 D mint mark- $10.30

Bicentennial Quarters

Sometimes people get excited when they find a bicentennial quarter.  They really shouldn’t, though.  If you want to hold on to one for posterity, it may be worth something when it’s really old due to age.  But it won’t be because of rarity vs other quarters in the same series.  There were a ton of them minted.

The only way they’re worth anything over twenty-five cents is if they bare the “S” mintmark, in which case they’re 40% silver, and currently expected to bring in $2.25.

Other quarters post-1965 are worth the normal $.25.

Not Losing Your Mind While Rolling

Quarters are easy when  you’re rolling due to two factors.  The first is that all you have to do is remember to pull quarters made before 1964 and bicentennials (only so you can later check them for that S mint mark.) The second is that there are people who get rolls of quarters at the bank just to look for the silver ones, so in my experience, there aren’t as many older quarters out there as there may be in other denominations of coins.

 

Other Posts in This Series

Make Money Rolling Change: Dimes Edition
Make Money Rolling Change: Nickels Edition
Make Money Rolling Change: Pennies Edition
What are Mint Marks
How to Roll Your Own Change

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9 thoughts on “Make Money Rolling Coins: Quarters Edition

  1. Daisy

    I remember when I was a kid, my brother would always collect coins that he thought were cool, or old, or had a funny looking symbol on them. I never saw the point. One time though I heard about a guy who found a coin on the street and it ended up being worth almost $2,000 – I don’t remember what coin it was (penny maybe?) but that is $2,000 that somebody just dropped on the street!

    Reply
  2. Mel

    I’m not sure I’d ever have the patience to be a coin collector – but if I did, I’d totally start by using your guidelines. They definitely make it seem less overwhelming!

    Reply
  3. Meredith

    I think is so interesting! But the real win for this post? I’m showing it to my husband and it will keep him fascinated for at least a bit. I love wowing him with nifty info–total score, and thank you!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Make Money Rolling Coins: What Are Mint Marks? | Femme Frugality

  5. taylorqlee

    Oh god, my parents made me roll coins when I was a kid. They had literally two GIANT BAGS of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters and I spent hours sifting through them for marketable coins. They generously they let me keep some portion of the $ once we went to Coinstar with the duds. That said: not worth it. Never again.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Ha! I can see that sucking as a kid. The reason I look for them now is that I roll my own coins anyways…the percentage CoinStar takes now is totally worth my time rolling them myself. We save up a ton a of coins.

      Reply

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