Did you know that Washington Quarter was planned to be produced only as a commemorative coin in 1932? However, the people had other things in mind. They loved the new design so much that the Government and the Mint decided to keep it. For the next 66 years, all Washington Quarters featured the same design.
However, even though they all look very similar, some series are more valuable than others. There are many reasons for that. In this article we will discuss the 1973 Quarter value, why is it special, how many varieties are there, and where to trade them. Read on and learn why you should invest in this particular coin.
Why Is The 1973 Washington Quarter Series Valuable?
The main reason why this series of Washington Quarters are valuable is that a certain amount of coins minted in Denver and San Francisco were minted on the wrong planchets. Considering it is pretty uncommon for proof coins to be minted with error these specimens are scarce.
Their price ranges are wild and can go up to a few thousand dollars depending on the condition, grading, and type of error.
Price Guide For Common 1973 Quarter Coins Worth Investing
While you might think that earlier versions of the quarter coins are more attractive to collectors the reality is different, newer quarters are as well very popular. You might be thinking how a 1941 Quarter value is far greater but if you take a better look at the coin market you will see that some coins minted a decade after that series are significantly more valuable.
Keep in mind that with each year passing coins grow older and older. Which means that in a few years from now, their worth may double or triple so why not invest in them on time?
As we like to say good coins are nothing less than a wise investment no matter how old they are. The 1973 Washington Quarter is of a newer age, however, the combination of historical significance, craftsmanship, and the potential for increased value with time makes it attractive to the coin community.
In the following paragraphs, we will take you through all the different varieties of this amazing coin and discuss their current and potential value.
Quick price overview
There is a major difference between the prices of uncirculated and circulated coins. For instance, 1973 Washington Quarters in circulated condition are estimated to be worth between $0,30 and $10, while those in mint state are $490.
However, a lot of circulated coins are still in good condition and suitable as collecting examples. Here is the list of the top 3 common coins worth investing in:
1973-P mint mark Quarter value
These ones are pretty easy to find considering the Philadelphia Mint produced 346,924,000 Washington Quarters in 1973. You can easily recognize them by the absence of a mint mark. The bad news is that high mintage volume is lowering its value.
A circulated 1973 Washington Quarter in average condition is worth its face value, but specimens in the mint state will cost much. For instance, a 1973 quarter with MS 65 grade will cost around $9 on the open market.
1973-D mint mark Quarter value
The quarters that were produced in Denver Mint aren’t extremely valuable just like previous ones due to the high minting volume. There were exactly 232,977,400 D quarters produced in 1973.
Nowadays, you can buy a circulated 1973-D Washington Quarter in average condition only for its face value. If you have a coin with an MS 65 rating you can sell it for at least $9 which is a great price considering the difference between it and the face value.
Logically, the situation is better with the higher-graded coins. For instance, a 1973-D MS 68 Washington Quarter with an error was sold for $1,997 at auction.
1973-S mint mark Quarter value
Coins produced in San Francisco Mint are only proof specimens. These coins feature a higher quality and extraordinary design. Around 2,760,339 quarters were minted in 1973 and you will recognize them by the S mint mark on the obverse. Their value is a bit higher than the regular coins considering the lower mintage volume.
In most cases, a 1973-S quarter in MS65 state will be worth around $10. While CAM and DCAM coins can reach a price tag of a few thousand dollars. One such specimen was sold for $8,700 at auction. What is special about the 1973-S series is that a certain amount of coins were minted with an error which is very rare for S coins.
Now let’s quickly go over two different varieties of contrast in proof coins – a cameo and deep cameo contrast. The difference between regular strike-proof coins and these are in clarity.
The main difference between CAM and DCAM coins and regular strike-proof coins is in a deeply polished and highly reflective surface. CAM-proof coins feature a mirror-like luster, and all the details like letters and bust appear milky white. These areas are not reflective.
On the other hand, a DCAM quarter will appear black and white due to the high contrast between the reflective field and design. All the details appear frosty white and creamy.
Most Valuable 1973 Quarter coins on the coin market
The Main Features Of The 1973 Washington Quarter Coins
If you are a passionate coin collector then you probably know that the Washington Quarter coin seres is one of the longest running. Most Washington Quarters look the same at first glance, but there are minor differences that you can only know if you learn about each coin separately.
As with all Washington Quarters, this one as well features an image of George Washington on the obverse side. Just above his head the word “Liberty” is engraved. On the opposite side, a mint mark and a minting year are imprinted. If you look at the left side of his bust, just below his chin, an inscription “In God We Trust” is placed.
The reverse side features an American bald eagle facing left and with fully outstretched wings. An eagle is standing on a cluster of arrows, while below him you can see two olive branches, symbolizing the peace.
Under these olive branches a denomination inscription “Quarter dollar” is engraved. Also, the Latin motto “E pluribus unum” and “United States of America” are placed on the reverse side, above the head of an eagle.
Keep in mind that all quarters minted after 1968, bear the mint mark on the obverse side. Also, a good thing to know is that all quarters minted before 1980 that originate from the Philadelphia Minting facility do not carry any mint mark.
All post-1965 Quarters are made from copper-nickel clad composition, and if any was struck on silver planchet it is considered a valuable error!
List Of Errors Found On 1973 Washington Quarters
Even though production technology evolved a lot there are still no coin series that was flawlessly minted. If you search the internet you will notice that the coin market is full of 1973 Quarter coins with minting errors. There are a few different varieties available and each one has a different value.
Here is the list of the most common minting errors found in the 1973 Washington Quarter series:
- 1973 Washington Quarter flip-over double struck quarter in a collar – This is a rare error. The coin was punched regularly once during the minting process then flipped over for an unknown reason, and struck again. This is how we got a quarter with a full Washington portrait on the obverse side, and portrait outline on the reverse side. There are only a few coins with this error and they can be worth from hundreds to even thousands of dollars.
- 1973 Washington Quarter doubled die error – Unfortunately, there are not that many 1973 quarters with doubled die error. Their value depends on the severity of the error but in most cases, their worth goes from $50 and up.
- 1973 Washington Quarter off-center error – As you know a coin may be struck with the image off-center. An error like this is a result of a misplaced blank. These off-center errors can be minor when only a few percent of the image is missing, or major when over 50% off-center image and the date and mint mark are missing. The 1973 quarters with less drastic off-center errors are valued between $20 and $30.
- 1973 Washington Quarter smooth edge error – All Washington Quarters have a reeded edge, but some rare coins come out of the mint with a smooth edge. This is a rare broadstrike error that could raise the value of the coin. If the coin is wider than regular ones this indicates the boradstrike error. The 1973 quarters with a smooth edge error are selling for $30 and more.
- 1973 Washington Quarter struck on a five-cent planchet – It is a possibility that you will come across the 1973 Washington Quarters with the D or S mint mark that was mistakenly struck on the 5C planchet. These specimens are rare and their value is a few thousands of dollars.
- 1973 Washington Quarter struck on a proof dime planchet – Also, the 1973 Washington Quarter was mistakenly struck on the planchet for proof dimes. You will recognize it with ease. The wrong side was additionally struck off-center, so some inscriptions are missing.
- 1973 Washington Quarter die cracks error – Coins with this error occur after striking an old and cracked die. If you look better you can notice bumps and a fracture line on the coin surface. Such an error is valuable and the final price depends on the imperfection size.
Where Can You Trade Valuable 1973 Washington Quarters?
Trading valuable collectible items can be very tricky if you are doing it on your own without consulting a professional. Unfortunately, nowadays there are a lot of counterfeited coins. The fact is that there were always some fake coins, but the problem is that today’s technology is so improved that you can hardly recognize fake from real coins if you aren’t a well-experienced collector.
There are a lot of ways to protect yourself from buying a fake coin and one of them is to work with reputable dealers. Here is our list of auction houses and coin web pages where you can buy certified coins risk-free. Make sure you check – Heritage Auctions, PCGS, Coins For Sale, Stack’s Bowers, or Littleton Coin Company.
If you are thinking about selling your coin make sure you first check the market and get all the necessary information like supply and demand, and the selling price ranges. Look for them on web pages such as eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers.
However, we will recommend you avoid buying coins on these web pages from dealers that aren’t proven. Fake coins are very commonly listed on web pages such as these. In case a coin of your interest is only listed on some of these pages make sure you research the seller properly. Look for the feedback, and comments, and consult with a professional before investing.
What mint marks can you find on 1973 Washington Quarter coins?
Quarter coins that were minted in 1973 come only with S and D mint marks, while coins minted in the Philadelphia facility traditionally have no mint mark. In case you come across a 1973 quarter with a P mint mark you can be sure that it is a fake coin considering that the first quarter series with P mint mark was released in 1980.
What are junk silver quarters?
Listed under junk silver coins are all circulated 90% US silver coins. These were minted before 1965. They are referred to as junk because they do not have any collectible or numismatic value. All junk silver coins are used for trading due to their silver content.
Why Should One Invest In The 1973 Washington Quarter Series?
We are sure that as a coin enthusiast, you feel the need to collect all the coins that belong to a certain series. As you know there are 66 different yet similar Washington Quarter coins that make a full collection worth a small fortune.
So why would you miss out on collecting a particular minting year just because it is not as valuable as some others? Hopefully, this article answered some of your burning questions about the 1973 quarter value. We have high hopes that it will help you figure out how to handle your precious coins and where you can trade them risk-free.
In case you know some information that we didn’t mention here, please do not hesitate to share your opinions and advice in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and good luck in your coin quests!