1932 was the first year for the Washington Quarter. It was introduced to celebrate the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. He was one of the Founding Fathers and went on to become the 1st President of the United States. We still mint Washington Quarters today, but being its debut, 1932 coins attract a lot of attention! Let’s verify the 1932 Quarter Value.
1932 Quarter Value Chart
|1932 (P) No Mint Mark Quarter Value||$5.90||$7.08||$8.02||$9.26||$10.51||$15||$29||$482|
|1932-D Quarter Value||$142||$200||$218||$287||$344||$455||$1,227||$13,909|
|1932-S Quarter Value||$171||$200||$218||$258||$315||$344||$508||$5,544|
History of the 1932 Quarter
Let’s start with a fun fact – did you know the 1932 Quarter was intended to be a Half Dollar? We’ll explain. As early as 1924, Congress set up a council called the George Washington Bicentennial Commission. Its role was to plan for the 200th Anniversary of this Founding Father’s birth since it was a precious national milestone and they didn’t want to rush it.
But the commission soon lost steam and had to be revamped as the George Washington Bicentennial Committee in 1930. One of the committee’s new ideas was to honor this 1st US President on a Half Dollar commemorative coin. But Herbert Hoover, the 31st US President, who had previously been the Secretary of Commerce, was against this unnecessary expense.
The committee tried to talk him into it by ensuring it would be a circulating coin rather than a commemorative one, and only minting the coin for one year. While they were still hashing things out, another faction of Congress suggested a Washington Quarter instead. It would replace the unpopular Standing Liberty Half Dollar and would be minted permanently.
Commemorative Coins and Counterfeits
The law passed, and that’s how we ended up with the Washington Quarter. Both factions agreed the Washington Coin should be designed by external artists, not in-house mint engravers. But because the committee and the congressmen weren’t on the same team, they ran their operations independently and lots of things slipped under the radar in the process.
For example, the committee announced and launched the commemorative contest before they had settled matters with Congress. And once the Washington denomination changed from a Half Dollar to a Quarter, they assumed their contest winner would still design the coin. But the Treasury Department wouldn’t cooperate since they weren’t formally involved.
In the resulting chaos, and despite determined lobbying by the commission, the Washington Quarter was designed by John Flanagan. We don’t know much about his design process, but he based the portrait on a bust by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. Interestingly, Flanagan once worked as an assistant in Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ studio from 1885 to 1890.
This may have contributed to the Treasury Department selecting him since the most popular circulating coins at the time were all connected to Saint-Gaudens. The Lincoln Cent, Buffalo Nickel, Mercury Dime, and Walking Liberty Half Dollar were all made by Saint-Gaudens’ assistants and students. But Laura Gardin Fraser had an intimate link to this cohort as well.
Meet the Frasers
James Earle Fraser, who designed the Buffalo Nickel, had trained her as a sculptor before they were eventually married, so she’s technically part of Saint-Gaudin’s legacy. As an artist, her reputation was distinct from her husband’s, and she won the Washington Commemorative Medal Competition before entering and winning the additional Washington Quarter Contest.
Ms. Fraser’s sculpture was based on Houdon’s work as well – it was a requirement in the contest rules. But while the Commission on Fine Arts and the Bicentennial Committee preferred her version to Flanagan’s, the Secretary of the Treasury had the legal right to make the final decision. He chose Flanagan, and his successor, Ogden Mills, upheld the decision.
Some say Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon picked Flanagan over Fraser because of her gender. Others say it was because the Frasers had collaborated to design the Oregon Trail Memorial Dollar in 1926. Massive numbers of this commemorative coin still sat in bank vaults due to low public interest. Either way, Ms. Fraser’s winning design was shot down.
But it was later used on the $5 Gold Bullion coin of 1999, and from 2022 to 2025, it was used on the American Women Quarters series. Still, the 1932 Quarter was quite popular with the public. The mint liked it too, because its evenly-spread design was gentler on steel dies, allowing them to be used longer and saving the mint money. This was a crucial concern at the time.
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Reduced Minting Expenses
The other circulating coins e.g. the Lincoln Penny, Mercury Dime, and Buffalo Nickel were beautiful, but their dies broke down two to three times faster than other denominations. The mint had to spend extra money repairing and replacing dies, which ate into mint revenues and undercut seignorage. Thus, the Flanagan Quarter was both a visual and fiscal success.
Notably, Denver and San Francisco minted low volumes of the coin because this was amid the Great Depression so coins weren’t being used much. They issued about 400,000 quarters each while Philadelphia made more than 5M. As a result, lots of counterfeiters made fake 1932-D and 1932-S Quarters. Even today, authentic D and S Quarters are more expensive.
An interesting characteristic of the 1932 Quarter is that it deteriorates equally on both sides. On most coins – including the quarters from other years – the back ages faster than the front because most people are self-conscious about touching the face. But on the 1932 Quarter, the rim at the back was higher and offered better protection. Oddly, a new hub was used in 1934.
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Features of the 1932 Quarter
When you’re working with coins, you look more professional if you use the right technical terms. Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated. We’ll go over the basics to start you off. The folk who study and collect coins are called numismatists, and the blank discs that form coins are called planchets. The words on a coin are formally known as either legends or mottos.
And the images are called devices while the background is called the field. On the coin itself, the heads side is called the obverse, the tails side is called the reverse, and the thin sides are called edges. Coins above a dime have ridges on the edges called reeds, while nickels and pennies have none, so they’re described as smooth or plain. Now for the physical features.
The Obverse of the 1932 Quarter
The obverse (heads side) of the 1932 Quarter shows a portrait of George Washington. He’s looking left in the profile, with the legend Liberty above his head and the motto In God We Trust on the left, below his chin. On the right side of the neckline cut-off, you see JF, the designer’s initials. In 1932, the mint mark wasn’t on the obverse – just the date and legends.
The Reverse of the 1932 Quarter
The reverse (tails side) of the 1932 Quarter shows an eagle perched with outstretched wings. It carries a bundle of arrows in its feet and is framed by two olive branches with the mint mark directly below them. The top of the coin reads United States of America with the motto E Pluribus Unum under that. The bottom of the coin has the denomination, Quarter Dollar.
Other Features of the 1932 Quarter
The 1932 Quarter was 90% Silver and 10% Copper to harden the coin and make it more durable. It’s 24.3mm in diameter (0.955 inches) and 1.75mm thick (0.06 inches). It weighs 6.25g and was designed to be exactly half the weight of a Half Dollar, with half its silver content. This coin has 119 reeds along its edges, and no proof coins were struck this year.
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1932 Quarter Value Guide
The first thing to look at while considering the value of any coin is its condition aka its grade. This is appraised by coin evaluating companies like NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Company), PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), and ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service) for a small fee. They all use variations of the Sheldon Grading Scale.
The scale goes from 1 to 70 (Poor to Mint State). These are the grades for circulating coins aka business strikes or regular strikes. In 1932, only business strikes were coined in Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Collectors’ coins use the same range of numbers, but they use different letters like PR or PF for proof coins and SP or SMS for special strike coin sets.
None were made in 1932 because President Herbert Hoover was concerned by the waste of commemorative coins. He vetoed the initial bill for the Washington coin so the Washington Bicentennial Commission persuaded him to allow it strictly as a circulating coin that didn’t target coin collectors. Let’s verify 1932 Quarter Values based on its three minting locations.
1932-P Quarter Value
In 1932, the Philadelphia Mint made 5,404,000 Quarters without a mint mark, since the Philadelphia Mint only got consistent mint marks after 1979. In April 2012, an MS 67 sold for $40,250. In February 2022, the price was down to $7,200 and an NGC-graded MS 67 was $4,800 in June 2020. So far, PCGS has only graded one MS 67+ estimated at $15,000.
1932-D Quarter Value
1932 saw 436,800 Quarters coined at the Denver Mint, all with the D Mint Mark. In April 2006, an MS 66 sold for $143,750. That was down to $64,500 in March 2020. PCGS has only graded two of these coins and estimates their 2023 value at $85,000. Half a step down, an MS 65+ sold for $29,375 in July 2021. With eight graded, the price estimate is $25,000.
1932-S Quarter Value
The San Francisco Mint made 408,000 Quarters in 1932 with the S Mint mark. In March 2020, an MS 66 sold for $45,500. In December 2021, that was down to $34,800 for a PCGS-graded MS 66 while an NGC-graded MS 66 was $22,800 in March 2023. PCGS has eight of these coins and estimates their value as $47,500 in 2023. It’s the highest known grade so far.
1932 Quarter Errors
Mint mistakes are typically more valuable than flawless coins in the same grade. And some can be quite expensive. Common mint errors include doubling, tripling, re-punched mint marks (RPMs), misalignments, foreign objects struck onto the coin, and coins struck onto blanks intended for different denominations. Let’s check out some 1994 Quarter errors.
1932 (P) Quarter DDO Error
DDO means doubled-die obverse. It happens when the second strike from the reverse hub lands on a slightly different spot. This doubling error is then copied on every coin the die mints, and it’s clearest on the words and numbers. In MS 66, a 1932 (P) DDO Quarter sold for $3,055 in December 2014. Only one is known, and its 2023 value is estimated at $3,600.
1932-D Quarter Double-Headed Error
A quarter with two obverses could occur in several ways. It could be a reverse die cap, meaning a coin got stuck on the reverse die, blocking the coin above it. So the next coin is pressed onto the obverse of the previous stuck coin, leaving it with a doubled obverse. Or it could be a coin that got sheared edgewise, leaving weaker traces of the obverse on both sides.
FAQs About the 1932 Quarter
Which 1932 Quarter is Worth the Most?
The 1932-D Quarter is worth the most. MS 66 is the highest known grade so far. With only two samples known, PCGS estimates the value of a 1932-D Quarter MS 66 at $85,000. For reference, a 1932 (P) Quarter MS 66 is estimated at $825, though over 15 samples of 1932 (P) Quarters exist in MS 67. Their 2023 value estimate is $9,500. As for the 1932-S Quarter MS 66, its current value estimate for 2023 is $47,500 and PCGS has received 8 coins to grade.
How Much is a 1932 to 1964 Silver Quarter Worth?
Based on their melt value, 1932 to 1964 Quarters were 90% Silver and weighed 6.25g. This means they contained roughly 5.625g of silver. In February 2023, the spot price of silver is $0.72 per gram, so a 1932 to 1964 Silver Quarter is currently worth $4.05 in melt value. If you’re thinking about the resale value, you’d have to consider the population and coin grade.
How Many 1932 Quarters Were Minted?
In total, 6,248,800 Quarters were coined at all three mint branches in 1932. The volume was so high that no additional coins were minted in 1933. The next year for quarters was 1934.