Washington Quarter Overview
One of the most used coins in commerce, the Washington Quarter, has had a very interesting history. The quarter was made to celebrate the 200th birthday of the first US president, George Washington. Sculptor John Flanagan designed the entire coin, and the mint started production of the Washington Quarter in 1932.
Flanagan’s design featured a well-detailed bust of President Washington facing left, with the word “LIBERTY” centered above. The date can be found directly below the bust of Washington, and the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” in the left field. If minted in Denver or San Francisco, the appropriate mint mark will appear to the right of the ribbon in Washington’s hair.
The Washington Quarter’s reverse features an eagle with spread wings and a group of arrows and wreaths in its talons. Centered above Flanagan's eagle are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” The denomination “QUARTER DOLLAR” can be found directly below.
Although currently minted, Washington Quarters have changed slightly since their introduction in 1932. The reverse design was replaced in 1999 when the mint decided to start producing quarters that had designs to commemorate each state’s history. Presently, Washington Quarters are now being minted with designs that commemorate national parks across the United States.
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 1974 Washington Quarter
The absence of a mint mark means that the 1974 Quarter was minted at the Philadelphia mint. It is reported that 801,456,000 examples were minted throughout 1974. The Denver mint also minted another 353,160,000 Washington Quarters that bear a “D” mint mark.
Although mintages of recent quarters are much higher, the 1974 Washington Quarter is still quite common. Many examples can still be found in everyday circulation.
Each 1974 Washington Quarter weighs 5.67 grams and is made out of a copper core layered in nickel. It also features a 24.3mm diameter with reeding on the edges.
Collecting Modern Quarters
The “modern era” of coins are considered to be any coins that were minted in or after 1964. This designates the 1974 Washington Quarter as a modern coin and is included in any modern Washington Quarter collection.
Apart from the modern Washington Quarters minted between 1964 and 1998, the US mint started producing quarters that had Flanagan’s original obverse, but with a reverse that commemorated the 50 US states. This has made collecting modern Washington Quarters more exciting than ever!
Almost all years and mint marks of Washington Quarters can be found in circulation and this means they are easy to collect. Each year can also be purchased from either a coin dealer or an online store. Most modern collections will focus on either original Washington Quarters from 1964 to 1998 or the state quarter program from 1999 to 2008.
Because most modern Washington Quarters are easy to find or can be purchased for a low price, starting a collection is simple!
Value of the 1974 Washington Quarter
As with most modern coins minted after 1964, the 1974 Washington Quarter was minted in mass amounts. Because the 1974 Washington Quarter can still be found in circulation, the value of the coin is very low.
For 1974 Washington Quarters in MS-60 condition the value is about $0.75. Uncirculated examples can still be found in circulation, making the prices slightly deflated.
Higher grade examples such as those in MS-65 condition, are worth about $5. Even a one point increase from MS-65 to MS-66 results in the price jumping to $25.
Although not worth a significant amount, the 1974 Washington Quarter is a great coin to start a modern quarter collection. By starting a modern Washington Quarter collection, you will be able to enter the world of coin collecting with very little to no investment.