Rare US Quarters Headed for Greatness

The US quarter coin flies in and out of cash registers perhaps faster than any other denomination. Since its inception in 1796, the quarter has played a vital role off and on in the daily business of America.

Just about any US quarter minted 1964 or earlier generates some numismatic interest, but after digging into coin value data covering a period of many decades, we started taking note of a few rare US quarters that have consistently increased in value over time, more so than other US quarters sought by collectors.

We have here the makings of a list of rare US quarters whose values will not just "tread water" over time, but will probably be worth substantially more in the years ahead. More collectible quarters with a long history of proven demand and price appreciation will be added to the Bullish list eventually.

One of the objectives of the "Bullish US Coin" section is to blend history lessons with coin collecting. Seems logical, since any time you are holding a coin from a bygone era, you're holding history in your hands. That's why for every coin highlighted as a Bullish coin, there is a "The Year This Coin was Minted..." feature. One of these days, more quarters will show up on this page, but for now we've only got three listed. Keep reading...

We do provide buying advice on rare US quarters elsewhere on this site. This advice is designed to give coin collectors some insight on which choices have the best potential for solid value increases in the future (i.e. they're bullish, based on long term trends from the past). You can obtain this advice by diving into the Rare Coin Values Index or following the key date analyses presented in every segment of the US Coin Types section.

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2, 3, & 20 Cent


Series: Stand Lib Quarter

Mint: San Francisco
1918/7-S Standing Liberty Quarter
Estimated Coin Value in Year... Compounded Annual % Rate of Return Since...
1950 1980 1995 2009 2019 1950 1980 1995 2009
G-4 25.00 475 1000 1750 1225 5.80 2.46 0.85 -3.50
VG-8 35.00 575 1250 2500 1750 5.83
1.41 -3.50
F-12 50.00 800 1650 4000 3000 6.11 3.45 2.52 -2.84
VF-20 65.00 1200 2250 5500 5000 6.50 3.73 3.38 -0.95
XF-40 80.00 2000 4250 10000 6650
6.62 3.13 1.88
AU-50 100 2750 7250 15000 11000 7.05 3.62 1.75 -3.05
MS-60 150 6250 12500 25000 18500 7.23 2.82 1.65 -2.97
MS-63 --- --- 25000 40000 25000 --- --- 0.00 -4.59
MS63FH --- --- 90000 135 K 86500
--- --- -0.17 -4.35
MS-64 --- --- --- 52500 39500 --- --- --- -2.81
MS64FH --- --- --- 185 K 106 K
--- --- --- -5.44
MS-65 --- 16000 85000 100 K
--- 4.30 -0.12 -1.91
MS65FH --- 35000 250 K 300 K
250 K --- 5.17 0.00 -1.81


Standing Liberty quarters were minted from 1916 to 1930. A short, fascinating series, there are only a few members of this group that future generations of collectors will heartily pursue to the ends of the earth.

One such issue is the 1918-S, 8/7 overdate. This variety was created when two hubs carrying different dates were used together to make a 1918 die. The overdate was not noticed by collectors until about 20 years later. It is not known how many 1918/7-S quarters exist, but the number is assuredly microscopic. Collector interest in the coin has persisted since its discovery, and is in fact, one of the most legendary of all US coins.

Full Head specimens in the highest grades are extremely rare, and are well beyond the reach of most buyers. The strongest collector demand for the 1918/7-S appears to be concentrated in the VF to AU grade range, based on demonstrated value trends over a long period of time. This explains why prices for these grades remained fairly stable in 2009-13 while the the highest grade material plummeted dramatically. Going into 2019 we have seen substantial price drops across all grades. If you've been thinking about adding a 1918/7-S Standing Liberty Quarter to your collection, you can do so now at discounted prices. NEVER buy this rarity from a questionable source. Insist on specimens certified by a reputable firm. PCGS and NGC are tops. ICG and ANACS also are well respected.

The Year This Coin Was Minted...

On March 21, 1918, the Western Front of the Great War erupted in a new round of fearsome bloodshed as Germany launched an all-out offensive, in a bid to claim final victory. By the end of May, German troops fought to within 40 miles of Paris.

With 10,000 fresh American troops entering the front lines every day, the tide began to shift by summer. Defensive stands at Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Reims stemmed the German advance.

In September, it was the Allies who took the initiative, delivering knockout blows against Germany and the other Central Powers.

Convinced the end was near, Kaiser Wilhelm II fled Germany, leaving his country under the control of those who wanted peace. On November 11, 1918, the guns fell silent as armistice descended upon the battle-torn fields of Europe. In all, nearly 9 million people were killed in World War I.

Also in 1918: To help the war effort by conserving electricity, daylight savings time went into effect in March. Farmers opposed the new law.

The 1918 World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox, defeating the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 2. Boston was led to the title by a young pitcher named Babe Ruth, who later went on to fame as a great hitter for the New York Yankees.

WWI Gas Masks
Chemical warfare was commonplace in the first world war. Both men and animals wore gas masks to survive. The toxic effects of gas weapons were so horrifying that in World War II, the battling factions largely refrained from using them against one another.
©Copyright 2019 by us-coin-values.advisor.com.
Coin Photos courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA.
Image courtesy National Archives.

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Series: Wash Quarter

Mint: Denver
1932-D Washington Quarter
Estimated Coin Value in Year... Compounded Annual % Rate of Return Since...
1950 1980 1995 2009 2019 1950 1980 1995 2009
F-12 2.50 80.00 45.00 250 125 5.83
1.15 4.35
VF-20 5.00 100 60.00 275 200 5.49
1.79 5.14
XF-40 10.00 175 125 400 250 4.78 0.92 2.93
AU-50 15.00 300 250 600 400 4.87
0.74 1.98
AU-58 --- --- --- 825
725 --- --- --- -1.28
MS-60 32.50 800 425 1250 1050 5.17 0.70
MS-63 --- --- 800 3500 1350 --- --- 2.20 -9.09
MS-64 --- --- --- 7500 2000 --- --- --- -12.38
MS-65 --- 4000 5000 27500 8800 --- 2.04 2.38
MS-66 --- --- --- 100 K 85000
--- --- --- -1.61
MS-67 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---


The Washington Quarter was first minted in 1932, to commemorate the 200th birthday of George Washington, widely regarded as the father of the United States. It was intended to be a one year special coin, but remains with us today, more than 75 years later.

There are really only two key dates in the Washington Quarter series, and these are the 1932-D and the 1932-S. Their mintage is very small compared to other Washington Quarters, yet the number of collectors seeking them is large. The result: a classic supply/demand equation causing prices to rise steadily over a period of time. As the popularity of the State Quarters faded, we've seen some serious pullback in values in recent years, but the fundamentals of the 1932-D remain solid.

The Year This Coin Was Minted...

Franklin Delano Roosevelt wins U.S. presidential election, defeating the incumbent, Herbert Hoover by 472 to 59 in the Electoral College. FDR carried the popular vote 23 million to Hoover's 15 million, promising a "New Deal" for the American people.

The Great Depression continued to take a toll on America in 1932. The unemployment rate averaged 23.6% throughout the year.

On May 12, the body of the infant son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was found, ten weeks after he was kidnapped from his bedroom. A German immigrant named Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of the crime and executed by electric chair four years later, though he proclaimed his innocence throughout the ordeal. The Lindbergh baby kidnapping and subsequent court room drama ranked as one of biggest news events of the the 1930's, followed closely by millions of people. Newspaper writer H.L. Mencken called the crime "the biggest story since the Resurrection".

One important scientific advancement of 1932 was the discovery of the neutron by English physicist James Chadwick, for which he later was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in physics.

The first of the Little House books was published by Laura Ingalls Wilder, based on her childhood memories of her life in a Midwest pioneer family. Her books remain in print today and are considered children's classics.

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This poster was widely circulated in 1932, and is a lasting reminder of the "Crime of the Century".
©Copyright 2019 by us-coin-values.advisor.com.
Coin Photos courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA.
Public domain image.

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Series: Wash Quarter

Mint: San Francisco
1932-S Washington Quarter
Estimated Coin Value in Year... Compounded Annual % Rate of Return Since...
1950 1980 1995 2009 2019 1950 1980 1995 2009
F-12 2.00 62.50 37.50 250 130 6.24
5.32 -6.33
VF-20 5.00 80.00 45.00 275 180 5.33 2.10 5.95
XF-40 10.00 100 55.00 325 225 4.62 2.10 6.05
AU-50 14.00 150 100 350 270 4.38 1.52 4.23 -2.56
AU-58 --- --- --- 400 375 --- --- --- -0.64
MS-60 17.50 275 250 600 450
4.82 1.27 2.48
MS-63 --- --- 375 1500 600 --- --- 1.98
MS-64 --- --- --- 3000 900 --- --- --- -11.34
MS-65 --- 1750 2000 7500 2675 --- 1.09 1.22
MS-66 --- --- --- 25000 27500 --- --- --- 0.96
MS-67 --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---


The commentary surrounding the 1932-S goes hand in hand with its 1932-D brother; they are the key date Washington Quarters, no doubt about it. One more thing to say is this: over the years, con men have cashed in the eagerness of collectors to acquire the tough 1932-D and 1932-S by adding a D or S mintmark to the common 1932 and passing it off as a scarcity at much higher cost.  Some of the alterations are cleverly done and can fool many of us.  For this reason, you should never buy a 1932-D or 1932-S (or any valuable coin, for that matter) from a questionable source. Always deal with someone of unchallenged reputation. Doesn't hurt a bit if your coin is certified by PCGS, NGC, ICG, or ANACS, the third party grading services most respected by numismatists.

The Year This Coin Was Minted...

In May and June of 1932, about 17,000 former servicemen from WWI, many unemployed, built shanty encampments in Washington DC, urging Congress to pass a law permitting early payment of cash bonus (average $500 per man) promised to them for 1945. When Congress denied their request, all but 2000 of the "Bonus Army" left town. On July 28, DC police and federal troops under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, used violence and fire to disperse the veterans. Two protesters were killed and hundreds injured.

Despite woeful economic conditions, Americans flocked to Los Angeles to watch the 1932 Olympic Games. The U.S. team won the medals race by a wide margin, amassing 740.5 points to second place Italy's 262.5 points.

The Supreme Court ordered a new trial for the "Scottsboro Boys", a group nine African American teens convicted of raping two white women. Eight of defendants were sentenced to death. The Court established that criminal defendants are entitled to competent legal counsel and that no one can automatically be excluded from juries because of race. Legal proceedings stemming from the Scottsboro Boys case continued for decades, but none of accused were executed.

The New York Yankees defeated the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 0 in the World Series of baseball. In Game 3, Yankee slugger Babe Ruth hit what is now known as Babe Ruth's Called Shot. While at bat, Ruth allegedly pointed to center field, predicting a home run. Ruth then hit a very long centerfield home run. The incident became one of the great legendary moments in the history of baseball.

Image Preview
One of the biggest movie hits of 1932 was "Tarzan the Ape Man", starring Johnny Weismuller, The Olympic gold medalist swimmer went on to star in a dozen Tarzan movies. Weismuller was the best known of the many actors to play the Ape Man, in part because of his loud, unique Tarzan yell.
©Copyright 2019 by us-coin-values.advisor.com.
Coin Photos courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA.
Fair use image.

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