The Washington quarter is one of the most popular US Mint coins. Its production began in 1932 as a one-year commemorative specimen, but the minting has continued until these days. An interesting fact is that it is the second-produced coin with the image of one of the former American Presidents.
Collectors often look for coins from an earlier period, but modern quarters are also collectible. They will pay off once because these pieces’ value increases over time. Several factors affect the 1973 quarter value, including its condition, the mint mark, the date of minting, and the copper value on the market.
1973 Washington quarter value Chart
|Condition||1973 No mint mark quarter||1973 D quarter||1973 S quarter|
*by USA Coin Book
History of the 1973 Washington Quarter
Initially, the Washington quarter was designed as a commemorative coin to mark the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. As it is an important jubilee, preparations started in December 1924. Congress then established the US George Washington Bicentennial Commission.
Although the anniversary was in 1932, Congress began planning the celebration much earlier. The then President Calvin Coolidge was also ex officio Chairman of the Commission, but it was relatively inactive until the next President, Herbert Hoover, took office and the Commission in 1929.
In February, Congress established the George Washington Bicentennial Committee as a replacement for the existing but insufficiently active one. Congress sent President Hoover a conceptual solution for a commemorative coin, but he vetoed it.
His concern about possible coin counterfeiting was justified since too many commemorative coin designs were created in the 1920s. Such a situation could quickly cause confusion.
Despite Hoover’s concerns, the Committee proposed that the commemorative Washington coin replace the current Walking Liberty half-dollar design.
Unfortunately, it was not only the possibility of counterfeiting that worried President Hoover. During the Great Depression, the need for coinage decreased, so some coins had low mintages of only a few thousand. That didn’t favor the release of the commemorative Washington quarter.
1973 Washington quarter
|Philadelphia||1973 No mint mark quarter||346,924,000|
|Denver||1973 D quarter||232,977,400|
|San Francisco||1973 S proof quarter||2,760,339|
However, the Committee decided to put out a competition for a new coin design without waiting for Congress to approve it. One of the competition conditions was to use Washington’s sculpture made by the sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. On the other hand, there were no conditions for making the reverse.
After reviewing the received applications, the Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts chose the work of sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser. Her design with Washington’s profile facing to the right was selected for the half-dollar coin and medal.
Although both commissions were thrilled with her design, Treasury Secretary Mellon disagreed and chose John Flanagan’s design. Despite the commission members’ votes, Mellon didn’t change his decision.
Even after Mellon’s departure and the new Treasury Secretary Ogden Mills’ arrival, the decision on the quarters’ design remained valid.
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Features of the 1973 Washington Quarter
The Washington quarter is one of the longest-lived US Mint coins. Most of these pieces produced in 1973 were in circulation, so many have visible signs of wear and tear. However, preserved specimens are often attractive to collectors because of their historical significance.
The obverse of the 1973 Washington quarter
The bust of the first President, George Washington, is on the quarter’s obverse. You can see that his profile facing the left is presented very simply, without unnecessary accessories.
The only noticeable thing is the bow tying his hair into a tail in a way characteristic of the male hairstyle of that time. Behind is the corresponding mint mark in coins minted in Denver and San Francisco.
The word LIBERTY is directly above Washington’s head, placed on the upper rim, while the mintage year is below his bust. Finally, you can read the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST in front of his throat.
The reverse of the 1973 Washington quarter
The reverse shows an American bald eagle with a head turned to the left and spread wings. This eagle represents the national bird of the US, and you can also find it on the President’s seal. The eagle holds a bundle of arrows in its claws, while two crossed olive branches are added below.
The coin denomination, QUATER, is below this proud bird’s talons, while the Latin saying E PLURIBUS UNUM is struck directly above its head. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA stretches along the upper coin edge.
1973 Washington quarter
|Face value||25 cents ($0.25)|
|Compound||Copper (75%) and nickel (25%) with a clad core|
|Coin weight||0.2 ounces (5.67 g)|
|Coin diameter||0.95669 inches (24.3 mm)|
|Coin thickness||0.06889 inches (1.75 mm)|
Other features of the 1973 Washington quarter
This Washington quarter is a coin composed of copper and nickel alloy. It is round in shape, with a reeded edge. This quarter has a diameter of 0.95669 inches (24.3 mm), a thickness of 0.06889 inches (1.75 mm), and a standard weight of 0.2 ounces (5.67 g).
1973 Washington Quarter Value Guides
The US Mint minted 582,661,739 Washington quarters in 1973, and the minting process took place in three mints. While two struck the mint mark on the coin obverse, the Philadelphia produced quarters without it.
1973 No mint mark Washington quarter Value
The Philadelphia mint had the largest mintage of Washington quarters in 1973 compared to the other two mints. You can quickly distinguish these coins by the mint mark absence. A mintage of 346,924,000 contributed to this coin’s availability on the coin market, lowering its significance.
The circulated coin value in average condition doesn’t exceed its face value, and you can buy most for 25 cents. However, specimens in the mint state are worth a little more.
For instance, a specimen with an MS 65 grade can cost you close to $6 on the open market if you want to get one. However, an auction is always a better option for selling your well-preserved coin. The most expensive quarter in an MS 67 grade reached $1,486 at a Great Collections auction.
1973 D Washington quarter Value
The mintage in the Denver mint was pretty high, with 232,977,400 produced Washington quarters with the D mint mark in 1973. Such a high number makes their value low on the current coin market.
In most cases, you can buy a circulated 1973 D Washington quarter in average condition for its face value, more precisely 25 cents. On the other hand, a coin with an MS 65 rating can bring you a profit of almost $7.
As always, the situation is different when it comes to auctions. For instance, one collector bought the 1973 D MS 68 Washington quarter for a whopping $2,750 on eBay in 2022.
1973 S proof Washington quarter Value
In 1973, the San Francisco mint produced only proof Washington quarter specimens. Precisely 2,760,339 quarters from that year came with the S mint mark on the obverse. These pieces’ relatively low value indicates their high availability on the coin market.
1973 S proof Washington quarter value
|Condition||1973 S quarter||1973 S CAM quarter||1973 S DCAM quarter|
The 1973 S proof Washington quarter in average condition has a price of only 25 cents. Even for a specimen in the mint state, you don’t need to spend too much money. In most cases, you can buy one with a PR 65 rating for a little more than $4.5.
Proof specimens marked CAM and DCAM have a slightly higher value, although it also depends on the grade. A highly-rated piece typically costs over $2,000.
However, you can expect to set aside nearly $6,000 when bidding on the 1973 Washington quarter with deep cameo contrast at an auction. One such specimen was sold for $5,875 at Heritage auctions in 2017.
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1973 Washington Quarter Errors
Although the US Mint has always tried to modernize the coinage to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of errors on coins, they are still there. As expected, you can see a few among the 1973 Washington quarters.
Flip-over double struck quarter in a collar
This rare error coin was punched once inside the coining chamber, flipped over for an unknown reason, and struck once more. The result was a quarter with a Washington portrait on the obverse and his outline on the reverse.
There are only a few such pieces, and they can be worth hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars, for dedicated collectors.
Quarter struck on a five-cent planchet
In rare cases, it is possible to find the 1973 Washington quarters with the D or S mint mark mistakenly struck on the wrong planchet. Since these specimens are scarce, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for one.
Quarter struck on a proof dime planchet
In this case, the 1973 Washington quarter was struck on the regular quarter planchet. However, the other side was struck on the planchet reserved for proof dimes. Since the wrong side was additionally struck off-center, some inscriptions are missing.
Such coins typically occur after striking on an old and cracked die. The unusual appearance of these specimens with bumps makes them fascinating for collectors. Sometimes, you can notice a fracture line on the coin surface, and such an error coin’s price depends on the imperfection size and location.
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The number of Washington quarters with clad composition released in circulation was millions of pieces, and some are still in use. In most cases, these specimens from circulation are only worth face value because they mostly show severe signs of wear.
Even uncirculated coins are highly available on the coin market, so you can expect their value to reach high sums. However, most experts believe that these coins’ value can gradually increase over the years.
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Coin counterfeiting is not an achievement of the modern age but has existed since the first minted coin in 600 BC. The difference is in victims. While the first counterfeiters deceived citizens and merchants, modern ones targeted collectors.
Most often, they produce fake coins that are rare or almost nonexistent on the coin market, but it is not the rule. To protect yourself from fraud, you need to follow the four golden rules:
- Avoid buying cheap coins on the Internet and flea markets
- Always try to purchase coins from the same dealer
- Buy only certified specimens
- When you suspect that a coin is counterfeit, ask a professional
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FAQ about the 1973 Washington Quarter
What makes a 1973 Washington quarter rare?
The 1973 Washington quarter is highly available on the coin market, so there are almost no rare pieces.
Which 1973 Washington quarter is worth a lot of money?
- 1973 S PR 70 DCAM Washington quarter reached $5,875 at Heritage Auctions in 2017
- 1973 D MS 68 Washington quarter reached $2,750 on eBay in 2022
- 1973 MS 67 Washington quarter reached $1,486 at Great Collections auction in 2013
- 1973 S PR 69 CAM Washington quarter reached $45 on eBay in 2022
- 1973 S PR 68 Washington quarter reached $40 on eBay in 2022
How much is 1973 No mint mark Washington quarter worth?
The value of the 1973 Washington quarter minted in Philadelphia is often insignificant on the current coin market. Therefore, you need to spend only 25 cents for a circulated specimen, while the one in the mint state costs approximately $6.
What is the rarest Washington quarter?
Washington quarters from an earlier period are challenging to find on the coin market nowadays. Plus, most of these coins were in circulation for years, so buying a piece in the mint state is almost impossible.
Collectors like quarters that were produced in the early 1930s when these coin production began. The 1932 D Washington quarter is the rarest and most expensive in the series, with the current auction record of an unbelievable $143,750.
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