1963 Silver Washington Quarter: Price Of Silver Influences Value
Washington Quarter Overview
The Washington Quarter was designed during a time of multiple design changes for several varying coin designs that spanned 15 years. It was a replacement for the Standing Liberty Quarter. This change was meant to help update the look of the quarter dollar to a more modern design.
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John Flanagan, a sculptor, was chosen to create the design for the Washington Quarter. Flanagan chose to use the bust of Founding Father and President, George Washington, as the main obverse design. The first examples of the Washington Quarter were struck in 1932, the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth.
On the obverse, a bust of President George Washington is centered facing left. The motto “LIBERTY” is centered along the rim directly above the bust and the date is centered directly below the bust. “IN GOD WE TRUST” is found in the lower left field, just below Washington’s chin.
The Washington Quarter reverse is a simple and patriotic design that features a bald eagle with its wings outstretched, while gripping arrows and olive branches in its’ talons. The mottos, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, can be found directly above the eagle. Below is the denomination, “QUARTER DOLLAR”.
If you would like to learn more about collecting all types of quarters, including the Washington Quarter, please read our Ultimate Guide To Rare Quarters.
History of the 1963 Washington Quarter
During 1963, it had become national news that there was a shortage of coins in circulation. To help counter this drastic shortage, the United States Mint at Philadelphia dramatically upped its production of Washington Quarters.
The Mint at Philadelphia reports striking 74,316,000 examples in 1963. This was approximately 38 million more Washington Quarters than those struck the previous year.
This large uptick in mintages did not help to fix the shortage, and in the coming years, larger amounts of Washington Quarters were minted.
Washington Quarters minted from 1932 till 1964 were all made up of a 90% silver and 10% copper composition. This resulted in a diameter of 24.3 mm and a weight of 6.25 grams. The edges of all Washington Quarters are reeded.
Using Silver Washington Quarters as an Investment
Since silver was removed from the majority of US coinage in 1964, previous US coins that contained silver became in demand for their silver content. Investors were now looking to US silver coins as an investment vehicle.
Investing in silver-based US coins continues to be a very common investment strategy among collectors.
With a government guarantee that the coins are 90% pure silver, investor concerns about purity standards are more at ease. Additionally, US silver coins are very easy to obtain and store.
Since Washington Quarters minted before 1965 contain silver, they are in high demand among silver investors. At the time of this writing, a silver Washington Quarter has a minimum value of $4.33, due to the silver content.
As more people invest in silver, coins like the 1963 Washington Quarter will continue to rise.
Valuing the 1963 Washington Quarter
As stated above, silver value plays a large part in the value of 1963 Washington Quarters in lower grades.
Examples that are below Uncirculated condition do not have a numismatic value that is greater than the silver value. This results in a price of around $4.25 at the time of this writing. As silver increases and decreases in price, the relative price of all 1963 Washington Quarters will change.
Uncirculated examples in MS-60, MS-63, and MS-65 are valued at $8.25, $9.75, and $25.00 respectively. In the highest grade recorded by NCG, the 1963 Washington Quarter in MS-67 condition is valued at $2,900!
In the end, most of the value of the 1963 Washington Quarter comes from the silver content. Only those in Uncirculated condition are worth more. As the price of silver continues to rise, so will the price of any Silver Washington Quarter.