Washington Quarter (1932-1998)
The bicentennial of George Washington’s birth in 1932 prompted Congress to authorize a circulating commemorative quarter dollar to honor our first president. It was not anticipated that the Washington Quarter would continue beyond 1932, but the popularity of this issue and its superior technical aspects prompted the Mint to abandon the Standing Liberty type when normal production resumed in 1934. Though collectors of the time hoarded many 1932 quarters from the Philadelphia Mint and somewhat lesser numbers from the Denver and San Francisco Mints, interest in succeeding issues lagged for decades. Of course, the practice of speculators squirreling away rolls of uncirculated coins began at about the time of this coin type’s debut, so there is an abundant supply of nearly every issue in the series. Several dramatic doubled-die and overmintmark varieties are known for the Washington Quarter, and these are eagerly sought by both variety specialists and collectors of the series as a whole. The generally low price of most dates, even in mint state condition, adds to the appeal of collectors to hunt out varieties in both rolls and singles, though a strong market exists for certified examples of the better varieties. NGC will attribute all the numerous Washington Quarter varieties included in VarietyPlus. The best known varieties include doubled dies for 1934, 1937 and 1943-S, overmintmark varieties of 1950, and some rather unusual varieties, such as the 1964-D silver quarters with the clad Reverse of 1965. The growing popularity of this series will certainly see the addition of many more entries in coming years. Comprehensive variety books for this series have been authored by John Wexler and Kevin Flynn, as well as by James Wiles. John Feigenbaum’s book is focused primarily on date/mint/condition rarity and includes just limited variety listings.
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