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Washington Quarter Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties

Recognize Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties for Washington Quarters

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Knowing the Washington quarter key dates, rarities and varieties will help you realize that small differences on coin can mean large differences in its value. Listed below you will find a description of each type with a photo to help you recognize the coin. Many factors going to determining the value of a coin and some of them are quite valuable while others are not. Look at the pictures and read each description carefully so you can identify these coins. Please refer to the value guide for current market values of these coins.

1932-D (Denver Mint)

1932-D Washington Silver Quarter Key Date Coin
Photo courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com

1932 was the first year that the Washington quarter was issued. Almost 5 1/2 million of them were minted at the Philadelphia mint. The Denver mint only produced 436,800 of them. Given the popularity of the Washington quarter series with collectors, this makes this coin a key to the series. An average circulated specimen has a value of at least $100. Look for a small "D" on the reverse below the wreath.

Tip: Click on the image to the left to open up another window with a larger more detailed photo.

1932-S (San Francisco Mint)

1932-S Washington Silver Quarter Key Date Coin
Photo courtesy of Teletrade Coin Auctions, www.teletrade.com
The San Francisco mint, like the Denver mint, did not make a large quantity of these coins. In fact, only 408,000 of them were produced. This also makes this coin a rarity in the series. An average circulated specimen has a value of at least $100. Look for a small "S" on the reverse below the wreath.

1934 Light Motto

1934 Washington Quarter Light Motto Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
In 1934 the master die was hubbed in order to strengthen the motto of "In God We Trust" on the obverse of the coin. The first variety has a very weak inscription and was difficult to read. Compare the picture at the left to the picture below (Heavy Motto) to see the difference between the two. Although there are two distinct varieties for this coin, they were both produced an equal volumes so that neither one carries an extra value over the other.

1934 Heavy Motto

1934 Washington Quarter Heavy Motto Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
The redone master die had a strengthened and very bold motto of "In God We Trust" to solve the problem of not being able to read the motto. Compare the picture at the left to the picture above (Light Motto) to see the difference between the two. Since they were produced and approximately equal quantities, neither one is more valuable than the other.

1934 Doubled Die Obverse (DDO)

1934 Washington Silver Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
After the master die was redone in 1934, a manufacturing mistake led to the production of a coin where the motto "In God We Trust" looks like it was doubled. This is called a "doubled die" coin. Look for strong doubling on the letters "G" In the word GOD, the "T", "R" and "S" in the word TRUST.

1937 Doubled Die Obverse

1937 Washington Silver Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
Another doubled die was produced in 1937 on the obverse of the coin. There is strong doubling on the motto "In God We Trust" and on the date. Pay special attention to the "G" in the word GOD, the bottom of letters in the word TRUST and the areas of the date as indicated in the photo on the left.

1942-D Doubled Die Obverse

1942-D Washington Silver Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
In 1942 a doubled die variety was produced at the Denver mint. There is moderate doubling on the words IN and GOD in the motto show evidence of doubling. Also the word LIBERTY shows evidence of doubling as indicated in the photo.

1943 Doubled Die Obverse

1943 Washington Silver Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
Doubling can also be found in a 1943 coin produced at the Philadelphia mint. Once again, look carefully at the motto "In God We Trust" for evidence of doubling. Minor doubling can also be found on the word LIBERTY at the top of the coin.

1943-S Doubled Die Obverse

1943-S Washington Silver Quarter Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
San Francisco produced its variety of doubled die coins in 1943. This spread was more pronounced on the coin as doubling can be found in the word "LIBERTY" at the top of the coin, and the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" and in the date at the bottom of the coin.

1950-D D/S (D Over S Repunched Mintmark)

1950-D Washington Silver Quarter D Over S - Repunched Mintmark (RPM) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
In order to see this repunched mintmark (RPM) variety you'll need a magnifying glass of at least 12X (a 20X is ideal). At this point in time all dies were produced without a mintmark. The mintmark was manually punched into the die by a worker using a hammer and a metal punch with a small letter. In this case an "S" was punched into the die. Since the die was to be shipped to Denver somebody then punched a "D" over the "S" and remnants of the "S" can be seen at the upper portions of the "D".

1950-S S/D (S Over D Repunched Mintmark)

1950-S Washington Silver Quarter S Over D - Repunched Mintmark (RPM) Variety
Image Courtesy of: Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com
Just like the variety described above, you'll need a strong magnifying glass to see this RPM variety. This time, that die was to be shipped to the San Francisco mint but "D" was punched into the die first. Then somebody punched the letter "S" over the "D". You can see that there are remnants of a "D" emerging from the left side of the mintmark.

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