Washington Quarters Series,
Silver, Business Strikes

Overview of the Series

Washington quarters were initially intended as a 1-year commemorative coin for the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. Production was stopped in 1933, but it then it resumed in 1934. The quarters were made of 90% silver as were other 10ยข+ denominations at the time. The composition was changed in 1965 to the copper-nickel clad coin we have today.

The coin was re-designed in 1975 and, for two years, it carried the bicentennial drummer boy design to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The coin was again re-designed in 1999 with the start of the Statehood Quarters program, at which time Washington's portrait was "restored" with enhanced "spaghetti hair," even though the original bust that had been used for the design had the muted hair that had been on the original 1932 strike.

In 2010, the obverse was revised yet again to a cross between the "spaghetti hair" and the original softer hair with the start of the National Parks quarters program (officially "America the Beautiful" program).

Coins in the Set

A complete set of Washington quarters comprises several hundred coins, especially if you include everything since 1999-2009 (50 states + 5 terretories + 1 DC times 2 mints plus proof plus proof silver is 4*56=224), and then 2010 and beyond (another 50 states, etc....).

A complete set of silver (1932-1964), business-strike (as in no proof) quarters numbers at 83 coins without varieties.

My Collecting Goal

Because of that, and because I already have a circulated set of Washington quarters since 1965, I've decided to work on making a set of PCGS-certified MS-66 quarters (where affordable).

Most coins at a MS-66 grade average $70 at the auctions ... for the 1940 and later coins. 1939 and earlier coins are significantly more expensive. A few are simply not affordable for me at this time. In particular, those would be the 1932 ($775), 1932-D ($135,000), 1932-S ($10,500), 1934-D ($1300), 1935-D ($850), and 1936-D ($1650). If I restrict myself to a personal "long-set" of 1940 and later, it will end up costing around $6000 (price as of mid-2011).

I'm also not really "actively" trying to assemble this set with any particular rapidity. If I see a decent example of the coin that has a good strike, I'll bid on it. I generally bid slightly under what it normally goes for, and I don't fret if I lose the auction. After all, these coins generally come up for auction all the time, and since I'm not really in any rush with this set and would rather spend my collecting budget elsewhere, I'm just goin' wit' the flow.

A Note on the Photographs: Because I'm collecting these in PCGS slabs, it is very difficult to take good photos of the coins because (1) I'm photographing through thick plastic, and (2) that plastic is scratched and has dust that accumulates no matter how many times I wipe it off. So keep in mind that the actual coins look better than the photographs make them out to be.

1940 MS-66 Washington Quarter 1940-S MS-66 Washington Quarter

1944-S MS-66 Washington Quarter

1946-D MS-66 Washington Quarter 1946-S MS-66 Washington Quarter

1947-S MS-66 Washington Quarter

1950 MS-66 Washington Quarter 1950-D MS-66 Washington Quarter

1959 MS-66 Washington Quarter


1940 YES MS-66
1940 D    
1940 S YES MS-66
1941 D    
1941 S    
1942 D    
1942 S    
1943 D    
1943 S    
1944 D    
1944 S YES MS-66
1945 D    
1945 S    
1946 D YES MS-66
1946 S YES MS-66
1947 D    
1947 S YES MS-66
1948 D    
1948 S    
1949 D    
1950 YES MS-66
1950 D YES MS-66
1950 S    
1951 D    
1951 S    
1952 D    
1952 S    
1953 D    
1953 S    
1954 D    
1954 S    
1955 D    
1956 D    
1957 D    
1958 D    
1959 YES MS-66
1959 D    
1960 D    
1961 D    
1962 D    
1963 D    
1964 D