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Last updated on September 3rd, 2022 at 10:18 am
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Quarters are a common coin we use in our money system in the U.S. Coins were initially minted using precious metals and the value of the coin depended on the weight of it. The first U.S. quarters were made out mostly silver whereas today they are copper-nickle clad.
The early quarters also didn’t have their worth marked on them like the 25 cent quarters of today. They were weighed in order to differentiate them from other coins.
Normal quarters (that even looked like the quarters we still use today) were made of silver until 1964 but did the weight change when they changed metal in them? How much does a silver quarter weigh?
A silver quarter weighs 6.25 grams which is 0.022 ounces. This is a little more than the quarters today weigh since they stopped making them from silver and switched over to copper-nickel in 1964. A normal quarter today will weigh 5.670g which is 0.2000034 ounces.
Early quarters are collected by many coin collectors. This is because of their design, dates, and the material they are made out of. A quarter made of silver is worth its weight in silver plus the value of the history it holds.
Quarters have changed over the years, here is a list of the earliest to the latest U.S quarters:
- Draped Bust (1796-1807) This was the very first U.S. quarter and featured “an impression emblematic of Liberty ” and the inscription “Liberty” on the obverse and the reverse featured the national bird, the American Eagle with a Union Shield holding 13 arrows and an olive branch in its claws. The words E Pluribus Unum were inscripted in a scroll held in the eagles’ beak. Above the eagle were 13 stars.
- Capped Bust (1815-1838) This quarter after Liberty wearing a turban in the obverse and the reveres featured the American eagle. There were two sizes of this coin, but only the larger coin has the inscripted worlds E Pluribus Unum.
- Liberty seated (1838-1891) This quarter featured Lady Liberty wearing a cap and a flowing dress, seated on a rock with a liberty pole in her left hand and a striped shield with a diagonal banner reading “Liberty” in her right hand. This was on the obverse and on the reverse was an eagle perched on an olive branch holding 3 arrows.
- Barber quarter (1892-1916) This quarter was engraved by Chief Engraver Chalres E. Barber designed an image of Lady Liberty wearing a cap and wreath with stars as well as the world “Liberty” on the obverse and on the reverse was the Heraldic Eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. It symbolized desire for peace and being prepared for war.
- Standing liberty (1916-1930) In the year 1916 the dime, quarter, and half dollar designs were all changed to make them look more attractive. On the obverse side of the coin, the quarter featured Liberty with a head facing eastward and bearing an upraised shield in her left hand and olive branches in her right hand. The reverse featured an eagle in flight with extended wings.
- Washington (1932-Today) The obverse side of this quarter features a left-facing bust of President George Washington and on the reverse side, a bald eagle with outstretched wings perched on a bundle of arrows. In 1976 this quarter featured a colonial drummer on its reverse side for one year only.
- 50 states (1999-2008) Still picturing President Washington on its obverse, the reverse was designed with all 50 states over the next several years. This became the first modern circulating coin program. These coins were modified in details and placement of inscriptions depending on the state.
- America the Beautiful (2010-2021) This was a new series of coins featuring a national park or major historic site in each state and territory on its reverse and President Washington still on the obverse.
- American Women (2022-2025) There will be new reverse signs for quarters for these 4 years each featuring honored women from a variety of fields who contributed to the history of our country. The obverse is still President Washington although it will be a different design. For more information about the American Women quarters visit here.
Early quarter made between 1873 to 1964 contained 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper and weighed 6.25 grams which is equal to 0.022 ounces. Silver weighs more than the copper-nickel clad quarters we have today. After 1964, all quarters were clad (meaning they were made with 91.67 percent copper and 8.33 percent nickel.
They weigh 0.2 ounces which is 5.67 grams. These are made with 91.67 percent copper and 8.33 percent nickel and they have a diameter of 0.97 inches and thickness of 1.77 mm.
So, silver quarters weigh a little more than the copper-nickel clad quarters at a weight of 6.35 grams (0.022 ounces).
To see some of the most popular collectible US quarters from over the years click here.
How Much Is A 1964 90 Percent Silver Quarter Worth?
Quarters today no longer contain silver making silver quarters popular coins to collect. These are actually worth more than just 25 cents because they are made up of mostly silver. So, how much is a 1964 90 percent silver quarter worth?
Silver quarters are made with 90 percent silver meaning that depending on silver prices, they are worth around $4-$5. After 1964 the coin was made with copper and nickel and is only worth 25 cents (unless it is rare or has some error).
The 5 types of quarters most commonly collected are Bust quarters, Liberty Seated quarters, Barber quarters, Standing Liberty quarters, and Washington quarters. Before we begin discussing the worth of silver quarters, let’s look at some interesting facts about the quarter:
- Quarters were first minted in 1796. For the couple of years that the Mint operated, quarters weren’t needed because of the Spanish-American coins that still circulated.\
- Coins used to only be produced whenever citizens deposited silver.
- The obverse side of the U.S quarter features an image of president George Washington. It is interesting to note that President Washington along with his council decided that U.S. coins would not portray the face of a President like the British coins did. So, he never saw a coin with his own face on it.
- The design of the reverse side of the quarter changes regularly (with new ones being released every few years)
- Because U.S. coins used to be weighed to find out how much they were worth, the dollar coin weighed 4 times more than the silver quarter weighed.
- Quarters features the iconic eagle on the reverse side of the coin, states, national parks, and in the year 2022 a new coin program trailblazing American Women began.
Washington quarters were made with 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper until 1964 when they began being minted with copper-nickel. Some silver versions are still produced for annual collector sets. Through 2018 these were not made out of the same material as previous silver quarters but are now made up of .999 fine silver.
Silver quarters are a collector’s piece. The ones made out of silver are worth the price of silver plus whatever historical value that collectors place on them.
Quarters started out made from mostly silver but today they are made with copper-nickel. Silver quarters are a collector item and can be worth their amount in silver.
As far as their weight, a silver quarter weighs 6.25 grams which is equal to 0.022 ounces.