Washington Quarter Overview
Made to commemorate the 200th birthday of the first US President, George Washington, the Washington quarter has become one of the longest-running quarters in production. With their simple and pleasing design, it is no wonder that Washington Quarters are some of the most collected coins in the United States.
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John Flanagan was the designer responsible for creating both the obverse and reverse design of the Washington Quarter. Flanagan chose a simple but patriotic theme that survives today with some minor upgrades. The first Washington Quarter was minted in 1932 and has enjoyed a long 85-year production run.
Flanagan’s original obverse design featured a bust of President Washington centered and facing left. The word “LIBERTY” can be found above the bust and the date below. The motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST”, is found just below Washington’s chin.
The reverse is designed to showcase a Bald Eagle with outstretched wings holding a bundle of arrows with an olive branch below. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” can be found directly above the eagle. Like other coins, the denomination, “QUARTER DOLLAR”, is found at the bottom of the reverse.
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 1959 Washington Quarter
Mintage figures are the real highlight of the 1959 Washington Quarter, with reduced mintages compared to other years in the series.
The Philadelphia Mint reports striking 24,836,000 Washington Quarters in 1959. This is much lower than most dates near 1959.
Another 1,149,291 Proof Washington Quarters were also minted at the Philadelphia Mint and distributed to collectors.
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.
Investments In Silver Washington Quarters
Unlike regular investments, investing in silver Washington Quarters give you two forms of investment in one.
By amassing silver Washington Quarters, you are investing in both its silver value and numismatic value. Each of these two factors can move up or down, but the silver Washington Quarters will always be worth the highest of the two.
Another factor to consider when looking to invest in Washington Quarters is how liquid of an investment that they are.
Because each silver Washington Quarter is made up of 90% silver, they can quickly be liquidated to precious metals buyers/refiners and other investors. Since silver is regularly used in electronics, demand and liquidity will continue to stay high.
Finding Liquidity for numismatic value alone can sometimes be harder to accomplish, but is not impossible. Coin dealers and bigger online buyers may be the fastest way to convert your investment to cash. Selling the coins yourself can also be a strategy that works to get a better price per coin.
Overall, investing in silver Washington Quarters lowers risk through two-way diversification and allows for quick liquidation, if necessary. If precious metals continue to rise and the coin marketplace continues to grow, silver Washington Quarters will be a great investment.
Valuing the 1959 Washington Quarter
Like other modern dominantly silver coins, the 1959 Washington Quarter is not worth more than its silver value in grades lower than Uncirculated condition.
At the time of this writing, all 1959 Washington Quarters not in Uncirculated condition are worth $4.30.
Uncirculated examples start at $8.25 in MS-60 condition and increase to only $9.25 in MS-63 condition. A much larger increase to $30 can be seen if the coin is in MS-65 condition. Since few have been graded at MS-67, the price rockets to a staggering $5,250!
Prices for lower-grade Uncirculated 1959 Washington Quarters are still somewhat depressed because of the large numbers that are still available to collectors. If no more high-grade examples are found and graded, the prices for those coins in MS-66 and MS-67 conditions may continue to rise.