Are you in possession of a 1972 quarter and wonder whether the old coin is worth anything?
Millions of 1972 Heraldic clad quarters are in circulation, which can depress the coin’s value. That said, some rare 1972 quarters can be worth thousands of dollars.
If you know what to look for, you might be lucky to identify a high-value 1972 quarter in your pocket change.
I explain everything you need to know about the 1972 quarter value. You will learn some interesting historical facts, the coin’s various varieties, and some 1972 quarter errors that might be worth several hundred dollars.
So, let’s jump in!
1972 Quarter Value Chart
|Mint Mark||Good||Fine||Extremely Fine||Uncirculated|
|1972 No Mint Mark Quarter Value||$0.30||$0.30||$0.30||$225|
|1972 D Quarter Value||$0.30||$0.30||$0.30||$650|
|1972 S Quarter Value||–||–||–||$65|
History Of 1972 Quarter
The United States Treasury Department intended the 1972 Washington quarter to be a circulating coin in honour of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.
The Mint first created the design for the Washington quarter in 1932. It continued to be used until 1998, except for 1975 and 1976. These two years, the coin’s reverse featuring the heraldic eagle was temporarily replaced by the ‘’drummer boy’’ portrait designed by Jack Ahr.
The George Washington Bicentennial Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) held a contest to find a designer for the Washington quarter. The Commission instructed the participating designers to base their design of the George Washington portrait on the Washington bust Jean Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) designed. Houdon’s original design was inspired by George Washington’s life mask from 1786.
By the end of the competition, the judges received 99 designs. The artists returned five of the final designs, after which they had to revise them. The judges chose Laura Gardin Fraser’s design, but the final decision remained with the Secretary of the Treasury, who instead opted for a different finalist, John Flanagan.
The Bicentennial Commission and CFA protested the Secretary’s decision bitterly. But ultimately, the decision to go with Flanagan’s design stuck. The tussle between the commissions and the Secretary of the Treasury led to a delay in minting the coin.
The target date for releasing the coin was February 22, but minting began toward the end of May or around the beginning of June. The Mint officially released the Washington quarter into circulation on August 1, 1932.
From 1932 to 1966, the Mint made the Washington quarter out of 90% silver. In the years that followed, coins were struck on copper-nickel due to the rising prices of silver and the acute coin shortage. The 1972 quarter is, therefore, not made from silver. Rather, it is struck from a copper-nickel clad.
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Features Of The 1972 Quarter
Now that you know its history let us look at the features of the 1972 quarter on the obverse and reverse sides.
The Obverse of the 1972 Quarter
The obverse side of the coin, also known as the tops, head, or top-facing side of the Washington quarter of 1972, features the portrait of George Washington based on a similar bust created by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1786.
On the obverse of the 1972 quarter is a left-facing portrait of George Washington with his hair tied at the back.
Around the top of the coin is the word LIBERTY and on the left side, adjacent to Washington’s throat, is the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST.
Around the bottom of the coin, underneath Washington’s truncated bust, is when the coin was struck, 1972.
The mintmark can is inscribed on the right side, behind Washington’s ponytail.
The Reverse of the 1972 Quarter
The reverse is the tails or the back side of a coin. On the reverse side of the 1972 quarter is the iconic heraldic eagled designed in Art Deco style.
The eagle is perched on a bunch of arrows. The bird’s head and the arrows point to the left. A U-shaped wreath of olive branches flanks the eagle and the bundle of arrows.
The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are embossed at the top of the coin, followed by the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM inscribed just below.
Around the bottom, the coin’s denomination, QUARTER DOLLAR, is inscribed. The 1972 quarter has a reeded edge.
Other Features of the 1972 Quarter
Many hobbyists wonder whether the 1972 quarter is made of silver. There are no known 1972 silver Washington quarters as these coins are primarily made of 75% copper and 25% nickel and a copper center. That said, some of these copper-clad quarters from 1972 can be worth a lot if you know what to look for in a rare coin.
The 1972 quarter coin weighs 5.67 grams and measures 24.3mm in diameter. It will have a mintmark D (Denver), S (San Francisco), or no mintmark, depending on where the coin was struck.
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1972 Quarter Value Guide
Three types of the 1972 Washington quarter were struck and can be found in circulation. These include:
- The 1972 No Mintmark Quarter
- The 1972 D Quarter
- The 1972 S Quarter
The type of mintmark and the mintage (the number of coins struck and released into circulation) determine the value of the 1972 quarter.
Let us look at each coin variety:
1972 No Mintmark Quarter Value
Some Washington quarters from 1972 do not have a mintmark, indicating that the coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
Just because a coin does not have a mintmark does not mean it is an error coin. This is usually confusing for many new coin collectors—so we’ve clarified that.
A coin with no mintmark means it was struck at the Philly Mint, as is the case with the no-mintmark 1972 quarter.
A total of 215,048,000 1972 quarters were struck at the mint in Philadelphia. These are a lot of coins, and the currency is therefore considered common.
The 1972 no-mintmark quarter value is about 25 cents, the face value for a coin in circulation.
Although rare, you can find no mintmark quarters from 1972 in mint state with no sign of wear and tear. In mint state, 1972 quarters with no mintmark are worth between $1 and $5.
As mentioned, Washington quarters from 1972 minted in Philly are extremely common. Only those graded MS66 are rare, with just several hundred known examples. It is extremely difficult to come across 1972 no-mintmark quarters graded MS67, and according to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), there are only a few known examples.
According to the PCGS, in 2018, the highest-valued 1972 no-mintmark quarter was graded MS-67 and was auctioned for $1,320.
1972-D Quarter Value
Some 1972 quarters feature the “D” mintmark, meaning they were struck at the Denver Mint. You can locate this mintmark on the obverse side of the coin next to Washington’s hair tie.
In 1972, the Denver mint produced 311,067,732 Washington quarters, making these coins quite common. Circulation 1972 Washington quarters are typically valued at 25 cents, the coin’s face value.
Uncirculated 1972 quarters from the Denver mint are rare, but if you spot one, it will usually be worth between $1 and $5 if it has no mintmark signs.
According to the PCGS, the 1972 quarter with the most value was auctioned in 2014 for $3,055.
1972-S Quarter Value
If you are keen on the 1972 Washington quarters, you should look for the ones with the ‘S’ mint mark. The U.S. Mint commissioned the San Francisco Mint to produce 1972 proof set quarters for collectors.
The Mint specially made the collectors’ proof sets with highly polished planchets. They were struck twice by specially made coin dies using high-definition presses to highlight all of the coin’s detail. The result was an attractive, high-quality coin for collectors to enjoy.
The mint at San Francisco struck 3,260,996 1972 quarters available in proof sets.
The 1972-S quarter value is $3 to $5 in normal grade. Mint state proofs with cameo contrast, raised lettering, and no signs of wear and tear have a slightly higher value.
The PCGS records show that the 1972-S proof quarter bearing the highest value was auctioned in 2007 at $1,380.
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1972 Quarter Errors
This section will look at common error coins you might find in your pocket change. Only some error coins are worth thousands of dollars; others are not worth much and are the same as normal circulation coins.
That said, some errors are worth paying attention to not just for their financial value but also for their sentimental worth.
It is every collector’s dream to come across a valuable proof set. But since so few of these coins were made, the chances of finding them in mint uncirculated condition are low.
Let’s look at some common 1972 quarter error coins worth more than face value.
1972 Doubled Die Quarter Error
The doubled die error is typically quite valuable but you need to know the features to pay attention to. This error occurs when a die receives two impressions of the same coin design at different angles. The result is some details of the coins appear doubled.
It is important to differentiate between a real double die error and one that seems like a double die but isn’t. Sometimes, the die can slip off the press during striking, causing the details on the coin to appear smeared. This may look like a doubled die error, but it isn’t and is, therefore, not worth anything more than the coin’s face value.
So what should you look for in a 1972 doubled die quarter? A doubled die quarter error from 1972 will show a slight doubling in the motto IN GOD WE TRUST or E PLURIBUS UNUM. Look out for doubling in the president’s eye or the eagle’s outspread wings.
Depending on the intensity of the doubling, the value of 1972 doubled die Washington quarter can be between $25 and $50.
1972 Off-Center Quarter Error
1972 off-center quarter error is one of the most valuable you can come across. During the coin striking process, the coin may not be perfectly positioned in between the mining dies. This off-positioning causes the die to imprint the design slightly off toward the right or left instead of the coin’s center.
As a general rule, the off-center design should be imprinted at least 3% off the center for the error to be of any value—the more off-center the design, the more valuable the coin.
A 1972 quarter with a 5% to 10% error can be worth at least $20, while a 50% off-design with the lettering still visible and intact could be worth $250 or more.
1972 Smooth Edge or Broadstrike Quarter Error
Broadstrike errors can be quite valuable depending on the extent of the error. Also known as a smooth edge, this error occurs when a perfectly centred coin is struck outside the coin’s collar, causing the coin to appear flat and stretched out in some places and with a smooth instead of a reeded edge.
Keep in mind that some 1972 quarters may look like broadstrikes, but they are damaged and worn and, therefore, not worth more than their face value.
A damaged or naturally worn 1972 Washington quarter will have a normal diameter and thickness despite the edges being smooth instead of reeded.
A broadstrike, on the other hand, will be stretched out and appear flatter than your ordinary 1972 quarter. The value of a 1972 broadstrike quarter error is between $20 and $30.
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Let’s answer a few common questions collectors ask:
Where is the mint mark on the 1972 quarter?
You can spot the mint mark on the obverse of the 1972 quarter right close to Washington’s ponytail. Coins made in the Philadelphia Mint do not have a mint mark, but those struck in Denver and San Francisco will have the mint mark ”D” and ”S” respectively.
Is there a rare 1972 quarter?
The 1972 quarter is quite common, given that the mints produced so many of these coins. However, those produced in the San Francisco mint as proof sets are rare, as just a few examples were minted for collectors. Uncirculated 1972 coins graded MS67 are also very rare and can therefore be quite valuable.
Is a 1972 quarter good?
The value of a circulated 1972 quarter is $0.30 and $0.85, which is more or less the coin’s face value. If you are lucky enough to find a Washington quarter from 1972 in pristine condition, like it just came off the mint, the coin might be worth several hundred dollars.
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