For most collectors hunting for rare coins is a fun and rewarding hobby that can bring some extra money on the side. However, the challenge is not just in finding the rarest coin, it is in assessing its value as well. Well, since this presents a major problem to most people we decided to offer a helping hand and write a short and informative guideline.
In this article, we will share with you everything we learned about the 1983 Quarter value, as well as which errors to look for, where to sell and buy your coins, as well as a comprehensive list of coins sold on auctions.
Why Is The 1983 Washington Quarter Series Valuable?
What makes the 1983 Washington Quarter series special is a unique error that occurred during minting. As you know, all quarters minted after 1965 are made from the copper-nickel composition. To learn more about the value of silver quarters you can read about it more in our 1964 Quarter Value guide.
However, in 1983 a small number of Washington Quarters were mistakenly struck on planchets intended for Nickels. These coins were minted on planchets with higher copper content rather than the copper-nickel alloy.
The fault for this error was a failure of coin-operated presses to detect the incorrect planchets. These error coins became very sought after by collectors when they were released into circulation.
With time, the value of these error coins has increased significantly. However, the majority of the 1983 Washington Quarters are created with the standard copper-nickel composition and are worth only their face value.
Price Guide For Common 1983 Quarter Coins Worth Investing
To understand the value of a 1983 Washington Quarter, you’ll need to explore different types and varieties of this particular coin. Once you do that, you will figure out why some coins are sold for premium prices even though they weren’t in perfect condition. In the table below we enlisted regular, as well as error varieties, and the price they were sold for.
Quick price overview
There is a major difference between the prices of uncirculated and circulated coins. For instance, 1983 Washington Quarters in circulated condition are estimated to be worth between $0,30 and $30, while those in mint state are $1,300.
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:
1983-P mint mark Quarter value
If you already encountered our previous article (you can read it on this link), you probably remembered that all quarters minted in Philadelphia after 1980 carry a P mint mark. Considering that 1983 is one of the first series that bears the Philadelphia mint mark they are pretty sought-after among collectors.
But do you know the reason why Philadelphia Mint didn’t use the mint mark until 1980?
For a long time, this facility was the only one in the country that minted coins. So there was no point in labeling the coins. Even after the Denver and San Francisco facilities were opened, the Philadelphia facility remained without a mint mark for years to come. In fact, the first coins that had a P mint mark were nickels minted from 1942 to 1945, the next ones were dollar coins minted in 1979, and lastly, quarter coins that were minted from 1980.
Due to a high mintage volume many 1983-P quarters can still be found in circulation. These low-grade version coins will sell for face value or a few bucks in best cases. However, a coin in mint MS67 condition is estimated to be worth $600 and above $2,500.
1983-D mint mark Quarter value
Just like the Philadelphia quarter coins, those minted in Denver are made for circulation and in high mintage volume. To be more precise in 1983, the Denver mint produced 617,806,446 quarter coins! This tells you that D quarter coins aren’t as valuable as we would like them to be. You can find them in circulation but these coins are in most cases heavily damaged due to time and usage.
Coins from circulation do not go over their face value. On the other hand, high-grade coins are rare and more expensive, and they can be sold for $1,400.
1983-S mint mark Quarter value
As usual, coins minted in San Francisco Mint are made for collectors and presentations. These are called proof coins and they all carry an S mint mark. Due to their high quality and low mintage volume, these coins are much more valuable than regular ones. Their average price is around $30, while those higher in grade can be sold for around $500.
If you are a newbie then you need to learn that there are 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.
What makes the difference between CAM and DCAM coins from regular strike-proof coins is a deeply polished and highly reflective surface. CAM-proof coins have a mirror-like luster, here all the details including letters and bust appear milky white and these areas are not reflective.
But when you take the DCAM quarters they will appear black and white. The reason is the high contrast between the reflective field and design. All the details on the DCAM coins appear frosty white and creamy.
Most Valuable 1983 Quarter coins on the coin market
The Main Features Of The 1983 Washington Quarter Coins
Everyone already knows this, yet we still need to mention some of the main features that will help you recognize a real Washington Quarter. On the obverse side, you will notice an image of the first President George Washington facing left.
The word “Liberty” is engraved just above his head, while on the opposite side, a mint mark and a year of mintage are imprinted. On the left side of his bust, just below his chin an inscription “In God We Trust” is engraved.
When you turn a coin on its reverse side, you’ll see an eagle with its wings outstretched. He is standing on a cluster of arrows, below him two olive branches are placed symbolizing the peace.
Just under the olive branches a denomination inscription “Quarter dollar” is engraved. The inevitable Latin motto “E pluribus unum” and “United States of America” are placed on the opposite side, above Eagle’s head.
An information worth remembering is that all quarters minted after 1968, bear the mint mark on the obverse side. The 1983 Washington Quarter coins are the third series of quarters to bear the P mint mark which makes them attractive to collectors.
All Quarter coins minted after 1965, are made from copper-nickel clad composition! All quarters released post-1965 that are minted on silver planchet are in most cases error coins.
List Of Errors Found On 1983 Washington Quarters
Do not be surprised if you run on a few oddly shaped or designed coins when you search the coin market on the internet. In fact, these error coins are money makers and luckily the 1983 Washington Quarter series has a few different varieties. Let’s explore those errors.
Here is the list of the most common minting errors found in the 1983 Washington Quarter series:
- 1983 Quarter finned rim error – This is an error that happens when excessive striking pressure is used on one side of the coin or on the whole coin. In that case, an excess metal escapes to the gaps between the collar and die neck and forms a flange around the rim of the coin. These flanges can occur on one side of a coin or both. N error like this is rare and adds value to a coin.
- 1983 Quarter reverse indent error – An indent error occurs when one planchet is struck on top of the other. Coins can be stuck together on either the reverse or obverse side. Logically, if it’s the reverse side that’s stuck, the error is called a reverse indent error. This error is very valuable in coins, for instance, an MS63 1983-P quarter with a finned rim and a reverse indent sold for over $310.
- 1983 Quarter overstruck on an amusement token – What makes this error a very unique is the fact that there is only one example of it. This particular 1983 Quarter coin was struck on an amusement token instead of a planche. There is only one similar error like this, a half cents struck on TAL tokens. What is interesting is that you can still see the details of the token, like the words “THIS IS MY LUCKY DAY” engraved across the obverse. This quarter was sold for almost $16,000.
- 1983 Quarter spitting eagle error – A coin with this error features a vertical line on the reverse side. It starts from the eagle’s beak and it goes all the way to its feathers. This line occurs when two die clashes without any planchet between them, and it is only present in 1983 quarters minted in Philadelphia. The 1983-P coins with this error are more expensive than ordinary 1983 quarters, one example was sold for $504.
- 1983 Quarter struck on a Nickel error – When a coin ends up struck on a blank made for a nickel you get this interesting error. This coin is easy to recognize since it is smaller and lighter than a regular quarter. In some cases, a few coin design elements may even miss out. For example, a 1983-P quarter strike on nickel planchet was sold for $250.
- 1983 Quarter struck off-center error – If you are reading us, you know that this is an error that we love the most. When the design ends up imprinted more on one side of the coin and it doesn’t completely fit it is called an off-strike error. The more off-center the design is the higher the value of a coin.
Where Can You Trade Valuable 1983 Washington Quarters?
Collecting coins means you’ll need to invest a lot of time, effort, and money. Since not all coins can be obtained for free, from circulation you’ll need to buy them on the coin market. This is when you need to carefully choose reliable dealers and platforms.
Remember, coins are easily replicated, and unfortunately, the market is full of replicas that can fool even professional graders. Luckily for you, we are here to help you out! Here is our list of auction houses and coin web pages that are proven and reliable – Heritage Auctions, PCGS, Coins For Sale, Stack’s Bowers, or Littleton Coin Company.
We also recommend you explore the market on platforms like eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers. Here you will find valuable information if you are selling your coins, like price range, demand, and supply. This will help you form a final price.
However, a word of advice for all of you who are thinking about buying coins from these platforms. As we mentioned, fake coins are very commonly listed on platforms like these, so be extra careful. Make a habit of looking for feedback, comments, or anything else that can help you find out if the seller is reliable.
Are there different types of Washington Quarters?
In fact, from 1932 all quarters feature a Washington image on the obverse side of the coin. Through the years, designs changed a bit and mainly on the reverse side to fit the needs. There are regular and commemorative issues of Washington Quarters.
- Silver Quarter (1932-1964)
- Clad composition Quarter (1965-1998)
- 50 State Quarters (1999-2008)
- District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarters (2009)
- America the Beautiful Quarters (2010-2021)
- Washington Crossing Delaware Quarters (2021)
- American Women Quarters (2022-2025)
- Semiquincentennial Quarters (2026)
- Youth Sports Quarters (2027-2030)
- United States Bicentennial coinage Quarter in clad & 40% silver with the date 1776-1976 (1975-1976)
- Silver proof set Quarters (1992-1998)
- America the Beautiful Silver bullion Quarters in 5-ounce silver (2010-2021)
Which series of Washington Quarters have the spitting eagle error?
One of the most sought-after errors is a spitting eagle due to its rarity. What makes it rare is the fact that this error occurred only on quarters minted at the Philadelphia Mint in 1983. You will find this error on the obverse side of the coin. It can be easily recognized since it looks like the eagle is spitting rather. A coin with an error like this can bring you a nice amount of money.
Finally, as you can see 1983 Washington Quarters are pretty attractive among collectors due to the many different minting errors that occurred in this series. Even though this series is special, the majority of 1983 quarters will still be worth only their face value. In case you are searching for rare and unique 1983 Quarter examples be prepared to spend some money.
Hopefully, this article answered some of your burning questions about the 1983 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. Good luck and happy hunting!