Washington Quarters (1932-1998)
The most widely used U.S. coin for decades, the Washington quarter is also one of the longest-running and most famous designs of any U.S. coin series – and a popular favorite among collectors of all ages. At Littleton Coin Company, you'll find a selection of carefully inspected silver Washington quarters for sale, as well as the later clad issues. Our curated collection features quarters spanning a wide range of dates and mint marks, from the original 1932 quarters that debuted on the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth to the 1998 quarters, which were the last to feature the traditional eagle reverse. Shop expert-graded Washington quarters in both singles and sets from a multitude of mint marks, grades and presentation options.
About Washington Quarters
Introduced on the 200th anniversary of his birth, the George Washington quarter debuted in 1932 and was the second circulating U.S. coin to depict a former president (the Lincoln cent was introduced in 1909). It was originally intended to be America's second commemorative quarter (the first being the 1893 Isabella quarter) and a one-year-only issue, so no Washington quarters were minted in 1933. However, the coins proved so popular they were brought back in 1934 as America's circulating quarter series.
Designed by sculptor John Flanagan, the quarter's obverse features a profile of George Washington based on a famous bust created by sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon in the 1780s. The reverse depicts an eagle with wings spread perched on a bundle of arrows, with twin olive branches below.
Silver & Copper-Nickel Clad Coins
Silver Washington quarters were struck in 90% fine silver from 1932 until 1964, when rising silver prices brought an end to 90% silver circulating coinage. Beginning in 1965, the coins were clad with an outer layer of copper-nickel bonded to an inner core of pure copper. Premium-quality Proof coins were minted in 90% silver until 1964, and in the copper-nickel clad composition from 1965 to 1998. From 1992 to 1998, Proof quarters were also struck in 90% silver.
Key Dates & Bicentennial Issues
The scarcest issues in the Washington quarter series are the first-year-of-issue 1932-S and the 1932-D quarters, with mintages of just 408,000 and 436,800 respectively. The next-scarcest issue is the 1936-D quarter, from a Great Depression year when few coins were saved. The dual-dated Bicentennial Washington quarter was released to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and all quarters minted in 1975 and 1976 feature 1776-1976 bicentennial dating on the obverse. Their special reverse depicts a colonial military drummer and a victory torch encircled by 13 stars.
Washington Quarters Today
While the obverses of modern U.S. quarters continue to feature George Washington's portrait, the traditional eagle reverse was last used in 1998. Since 1999, Washington quarters have featured over 100 commemorative reverse designs honoring the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories, America's national parks and historic sites, and – since 2022 – prominent American women. John Flanagan's original Washington portrait last graced the obverse of the 2021 Washington Crossing the Delaware quarters. The following year, it was replaced by Laura Gardin Fraser's right-facing Washington portrait as part of the 2022-2025 U.S. Women quarter series.
As the “workhorses” of American commerce, Washington quarters have been the most widely used U.S. coins for decades. And while America’s quarters are likely to be minted for as long as coinage plays a part in commerce, new designs have replaced the original Washington quarters of 1932-1998 – making them increasingly popular among collectors today.