The Top 15 Most Valuable Quarters of Us

Remember when the US government released 50 different quarters representing 50 different states? A core memory of my childhood, I’m sure that most of us had earnestly attempted to collect all 50 of these special, albeit relatively invaluable, quarters.

Today, we will go a step further and explore the list of the 15 most valuable quarters of the United States.

15 Most Valuable Quarters

No.
Name
Grade
Year
Value
1
Proof Seated Liberty Quarters
PCGS MS-65
1846
$57,000
2
Seated Liberty Quarter
PCGS MS-60
1870
$108,000
3
CA Proof Bust Quarter
NGC PR-65
1833
$150,000
4
Draped Bust Quarter
PCGS MS-63
1804
$192,000
5
Proof Capped Bust Quarter
PCGS PR-67 Cameo
1834
$329,000
6
Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
NGC PR-66
1841
$345,000
7
Capped Bust Quarter- Repunched Denomination
NGC MS-67
1828
$352,000
8
Proof Liberty Seated Quarter-No Drapery
PCGS PR-63
1838
$381,000
9
B-2 Draped Bust Quarter
NGC MS-66
1805
$402,500
10
Draped Bust Quarter
NGC MS-66
1807
$411,250
11
Proof Liberty Seated Quarter-No Drapery
NGC PR-65
1839
$517,000
12
S Barber Quarter
NGC MS-68
1901
$550,000
13
CC Seated Liberty Quarter
PCGS MS-63
1873
$627,467
14
Proof Capped Bust Quarter
PCGS PR-66+ CAM
1827/3/2
$705,000
15
Draped Bust Quarter
PCGS MS-67
1796
$1,527,000

1. 1846 Proof Seated Liberty Quarters

Year: 1846
Price: $57,000
Grade: PCGS MS-65
Sold: unknown
1846 Proof Seated Liberty Quarters
1846 Proof Seated Liberty Quarters Image Source

Extremely uncommon, the 1846 Seated Liberty Quarter design only minted 12 quarters for proof under the request of collectors and dignitaries. The finest of these 12, the 1846 Proof Seated Liberty Quarter PCGS MS-65 is traced to the Norweb Collection. The coin shows off lovely rose-silver toning and patches of sky blue.

2. 1870 Seated Liberty Quarter

Year: 1870
Price: $108,000
Grade: PCGS MS-60
Sold: unknown
1870 Seated Liberty Quarter
1870 Seated Liberty Quarter Image Source

From 1838 to 1891, Seated Liberty Quarters were minted in United States mints. In 1853, arrows were added on the sides of the date, and rays were added around the eagle. Later, both arrows and rays were gotten rid of, as the 1870 Seated Liberty Quarter proves.

The phrase “In God We Trust” was added in 1866 and remained, also represented by the 1870 Seated Liberty Quarter. Out of the Seated Liberty Series, one of the rarest is the 1870 design, which was minted in the Carson City Mint’s first year of operation. Very few 1870 Seated Liberty Quarters were minted due to political reasons, with only around 8,000 coins minted at the Carson City Mint from 1870 to 1873.

3. 1833 CA Proof Bust Quarter

Year: 1833
Price: $150,000
Grade: NGC PR-65
Sold: unknown
1833 CA Proof Bust Quarter
1833 CA Proof Bust Quarter Image Source

I love the unique contrast between the sharp, crisp edges of the figure and the eagle with the dull, imperfect edges of the lower-left stars on the obverse of the quarter. The 1833 CA Proof Bust Quarter has beautiful sprinkles of gold and green throughout. Very rare, this quarter is one of only four proofs from the year 1833.

4. 1804 Draped Bust Quarter

Year: 1804
Price: $192,000
Grade: PCGS MS-63
Sold: unknown
1804 Draped Bust Quarter
1804 Draped Bust Quarter Image Source

With only 6,738 pieces struck, the 1804 Draped Bust Quarter has nearly the lowest mintage out of all the Draped Bust Quarters. Now, only around 400 such pieces exist. Although rare, what I believe is the most valuable about this quarter is its patriotic history.

This quarter began its life when mint painter Gilbert Stuart painted a gorgeous portrait of socialite Ann Bingham to beautify American coinage. The first Chief Engraver of the US Mint, Robert Scot, then sculpted the quarter, which became known as a symbol of the United States. The quarter was then redesigned to include a larger eagle with a banner printed E PLURIBUS UNUM, as shown above.

5. 1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter

Year: 1834
Price: $329,000
Grade: PCGS PR-67 Cameo
Sold: May 2015 Stack’s Bowers
1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter
1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter (Source: Stacksbowers)

Starting, we have a beautiful, iridescent coin with royal blue, magenta, and orange-gold- a coin that reminds me of the coral reefs in the ocean. Other than aesthetic appeal, this 1834 Proof Capped Best Quarter is also wonderfully preserved, with no flaws at a cursory glance. Only six of these Proofs are in existence, making this quarter exceedingly rare.

In addition, this quarter seems to have a curious history- in 1834, a set of coins was prepared and presented to the Sultan of Muscat, including the finest Class I 1804 dollar and an 1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter. Since then, the set has been split up and the 1834 Proof Capped Bust Quarter from the Sultan of Muscat set lost. Out of the six Proofs in existence, only two quarters, including this PCGS PR-67 Cameo one, are likely to be the missing Sultan of Muscat quarter.

6. 1841 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter

Year: 1841
Price: $345,000
Grade: NGC PR-66
Sold: January 2008 Heritage Auctions
1841 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter
1841 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter Image Source

The 1841 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter is one of only seven 1841 proof coins in existence and is as such extremely rare. The Liberty Seated Quarter was first designed by Christian Gobrecht, then produced at the United States Mint. Different from most Liberty Seated Quarters, this quarter was a proof and was specifically minted at the request of a coin collector.

Subject to special care at minting due to its identity as a proof, this quarter is of incredibly high quality and has aged very nicely. A stunning blue has crept through the coin, as has a light copperish gold.

7. 1828 Capped Bust Quarter-Repunched Denomination

Year: 1828
Price: $352,000
Grade: NGC MS-67
Sold: November 2013 at Heritage Auctions
1828 Capped Bust Quarter-Repunched Denomination
1828 Capped Bust Quarter-Repunched Denomination Image Source

Similar to the 1827/3/2 Proof Capped Bust Quarter, on the 1828 Capped Bust Quarter-Repunched Denomination, a number is also reprinted over an errored previous number. Here, the 25 cents is reprinted over the erroneous 50 cent symbol, a mistake an engraver had made while producing the coin die. Rare and defining, the mistake elevates the value of the quarter.

8. 1838 Proof Liberty Quarter-No Drapery

Year: 1838
Price: $381,000
Grade: PCGS PR-63
Sold: January 2013 Heritage Auctions
1838 Proof Liberty Quarter-No Drapery
1838 Proof Liberty Quarter-No Drapery Image Source

Even rarer than the quarters aforementioned, this 1838 Proof Liberty Quarter has only one proof, making it truly one of a kind. Created on September 13, 1838, this quarter was once sighted in 1954 at the Anderson-Dupont sale and three years later again in 1957 at the Edgar A. West consignment. Adding to the quarter’s value are its magnificent coppery gold hue and strikingly bold images.

9. 1805 B-2 Draped Bust Quarter

Year: 1805
Price: $402,500
Grade: NGC MS-66
Sold: In 2008
1870 Seated Liberty Quarter
1870 Seated Liberty Quarter Image Source

In 1805, the third year that quarters were minted at the United States Mint, the mint did something unusual- after minting mere thousands of quarters in previous years, the mint minted a total of 120,000 quarters in 1805. One would think that this fact would make the 1805 B-2 Draped Bust Quarter more common and less valuable, but it is to the contrary. In fact, due to the quarter’s near-perfect condition and beautiful appearance, with rare original mint luster, this specimen is worth quite a lot.

10. 1807 Draped Bust Quarter

Year: 1807
Price: $411,250
Grade: NGC MS-66
Sold: November 2013 at Heritage Auctions
1807 Draped Bust Quarter
1807 Draped Bust Quarter Image Source

The very first quarter was the 1796 Draped Bust Quarter, and Draped Bust Quarters were only produced in the years 1796, 1804, 1805, 1806, and 1807. Therefore, all Draped Bust Quarters are very rare. The 1807 Draped Bust Quarter is also amazingly beautiful, swirling with iridescent colors, making this coin unique and incredibly valuable.

11. 1839 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter-No Drapery

Year: 1839
Price: $517,500
Grade: NGC PR-65
Sold: April 2008 at Heritage Auctions
1839 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter-No Drapery
1839 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter-No Drapery Image Source

The only 1839 Proof Liberty Seated Quarter ever verified, this quarter selling for half a million is the definition of one of a kind. This coin lacks the usual drapery at Lady Liberty’s arm and has beautiful toning with a gray-blue shade and sprinkles of gold undertone. After spending 50 years in the Pittman Collection, the quarter was sold a decade later at the Central States Signature and Platinum Night Auction held by Heritage Auctions in 2008.

12. 1901 S Barber Quarter

Year: 1901
Price:$550,000
Grade: NGC MS-68
Sold: May 1990 at Superior Galleries
1901 S Barber Quarter
1901 S Barber Quarter Image Source

The 1901 S Barber Quarter is widely known as “the rarest 20th-century regular issue minor U.S. coin” and is as such subject to a wide array of counterfeits. Unique to this design, a miniature s is printed slightly above 1901. Another reason for this quarter’s rarity is the devastation of catastrophic events such as the San Francisco earthquake and the 1906 fire that greatly demolished this quarter’s numbers.

13. 1873 CC Seated Liberty Quarter

Year: 1873
Price: $627,467
Grade: PCGS MS-63
Sold: unknown
1873 CC Seated Liberty Quarter
1873 CC Seated Liberty Quarter Image Source

Moving on, we have the rarest coin in the Seated Liberty Quarter Series, the 1873 Seated Liberty Quarter. Only four such coins are in existence, due to an unexpected turn shortly after its minting. Although 4,000 quarters were minted, a sudden weight standard change made the newly minted coins useless and consequently melted, leaving only four survivors.

Picturing a seated Lady Liberty holding up a flag on the obverse, the quarter’s reverse has an illustration of a bald eagle grasping three long arrows in one claw and the olive branch of peace in the other. This coin’s dark colors are the absolute image of somber importance, reflecting the grave matters of the nation.

14. 1827/3/2 Proof Capped Bust Quarter

Year: 1827
Price: $705,000
Grade: PCGS PR-66+ CAM
Sold: May 2015 at Stack’s Bowers
1827 3 2 Proof Capped Bust Quarter
1827 3 2 Proof Capped Bust Quarter Image Source

The 1827 Proof Capped Bust Quarter possesses one of the rarest rarities in the history of coins- an overdate. Long story short, in 1823 the Philadelphia mint reused an 1822 die to mint the 1823 quarters. Thus, on all 1823 quarters was printed 1822, an overdate, and was modified by punching the die with a 3 and then a 7, giving the quarter its unique characteristics that skyrocket its value.

15. 1796 Draped Bust Quarter

Year: 1796
Price: $1,527,000
Grade: PCGS MS-67
Sold: In 2013
1796 Draped Bust Quarter
1796 Draped Bust Quarter Image Source

 

Quite possibly the most attractive quarter I’ve seen in my life, the 1796 Draped Bust Quarter is truly a pretty picture with a cold minty blue bordering warmer autumn gold in the center of the coin. Unsurprisingly, this quarter is the highlight of the D. Brent Pogue Collection. The head of the figure is relatively soft while the finer details such as the strands of hair are well defined.

As the earliest quarter ever created, the 1796 Draped Bust Quarter stirred an uproar throughout the nation upon its release and remains a valuable quarter today. According to PCGS estimates, only five quarters of this design are MS-65 or higher, making this 1796 Draped Bust Quarter PCGS MS-67 exceedingly rare.

What is a Proof?

A proof is a coin for which special attention is paid upon creation to make the coin finer, more perfect, and of higher quality than its peers of the same design. The definition of a proof changes with the decades, and coins once classified as proofs may no longer be one and vice versa. Proofs typically have mirrored fields, a frosted appearance, and sharper edges.

How Many Quarters Are in a Roll

In a roll of coins distributed by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, there are always 40 quarters, adding up to a total of 10 dollars. Other than quarters, the coin roll includes 50 pennies, 40 nickels, 50 dimes, 20 half-dollars, and 25 dollars.

When Did Quarters Stop Being Silver

After learning all about the top 15 most valuable quarters of the United States, you may have noticed that all of them appear to be made of silver. Well then, when did quarters stop being silver? In 1964, rather than being 90% silver like their predecessors, quarters began being made of a mixture of copper and nickel.

Which Years Do Valuable Quarters Hail From

As the graph above depicts, the most valuable quarters are from the late 1700s to the late 1800s. However, there are also quite a few valuable quarters minted in the 1900s.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about the top 15 most valuable US quarters, you may be wondering about, say, the top 50 most valuable US quarters or the most valuable dimes or the most valuable foreign coins. If you would like to learn more about different coins, you may visit our other articles. Comment any questions or thoughts down below.

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