The 1990 quarter value is surprisingly high for a modern coin without precious metal content. The first pieces in the series were minted in 1932 as commemorative coins dedicated to the 200th birth anniversary of the 1st American President.
Later, they became regular coins, and their minting continued until these days. Even though modern quarters are made of copper and nickel, unlike silver ones struck before 1965, they are still collectible. Let’s take a look.
1990 Washington quarter value Chart
|Condition||1990 P quarter||1990 D quarter||1990 S quarter|
*by USA Coin Book
History of the 1990 Washington Quarter
Washington quarter history started in 1932, three years after Great Depression crashed the lives of most Americans. Despite rainy days, the officials believed that a man like George Washington deserved to get a coin with his image because he was:
- An American military officer and continental Army commander during the American Revolutionary War
- A Father of his Country and one of the Founding Fathers
- A Statesman and the 1st President of the United States from 1789 to 1797
The suitable occasion occurred in 1932 when the US commemorated 200 years of the first President’s birth. Then, the first Washington quarters’ minting began, and the new design replaced the Standing Liberty quarters. After an irritating affair about a chosen work, sculptor John Flanagan created the new coin.
1990 Washington quarter
|Philadelphia||1990 P quarters||613,792,000|
|San Francisco||1990 S proof quarters||3,299,559|
|Denver||1990 D quarters||927,638,181|
Most experts of that time questioned the quality of his creative solution, plus these quarters were hard to strike. As a result, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was barely readable in some sets.
The US Mint tried a few versions, and you can find coins minted in the first three years (1932, 1934, and 1935) with different motto types:
- Light Motto
- Medium Motto
- Heavy Motto
The first version (Light Motto) appeared on coins minted in 1932. In 1933, the production of quarters was suspended, only to resume in 1934. That year, the Philadelphia mint made coins with all three Motto styles, while pieces from Denver contained Medium and Heavy Mottos on the obverse.
The Medium Motto was the matter of choice for all three mints in 1935. After that year, mints chose the Heavy Motto as the only version and never returned to the previous two options.
On the eve of Washington’s birthday, the Treasury Department looked for a new coin to honor this important date. The Bicentennial Commission and Commission of Fine Arts organized a design competition and established requirements for the new design’ look.
They chose the nationally admired Washington celebrated bust. Jean Antoine Houdon created it based on the life mask in 1785, making it incredibly accurate.
Laura Gardin Fraser sent the best work among 98 competitors. James Earle Fraser’s wife was a prominent designer of a few commemorative American coins and a respectful artist.
The Commission voted unanimously for her superior solution, reminiscing ideas popular during numismatic golden years. Unfortunately, Andrew Mellon, then-Treasury Secretary, was too stubborn to accept other people’s suggestions.
He chose a conservative John Flanagan’s creation and ignored advisory panel protests. Ogden Mills, his successor who replaced him in the position, refused to change the decision to accept the better design.
Washington quarters contained 90% silver by 1964, while pieces struck after that year were nickel-copper-clad coins. Quarters minted in 1990 are in a group of modern coins, but their value will undoubtedly rise over time.
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Features of the 1990 Washington Quarter
The 1990 Washington quarters are beautiful cupronickel coins produced in three mints. Unlike pieces minted by 1965 that contained silver, these are modern pieces made of cheaper alloy, reducing their prices. However, many collectors look for these affordable and easily accessible quarters to complete the series.
The obverse of the 1990 Washington quarter
President George Washington’s bust is positioned in the obverse center and framed with the appreciated word LIBERTY and the date of minting. Like other American coinage, they contain the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST, required by federal law.
The mint mark is struck on the right next to the bow holding Washington’s hair. The letters, JF, representing the designer’s initials, are discreetly written below the truncation.
The reverse of the 1990 Washington quarter
The legends E*PLURIBUS*UNUM and the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA dominate the reverse design from the top rim. They are struck above the outspread-winged bald eagle placed in the center.
You can see arrows in its claws as a warning that Americans are prepared to defend their country at all costs. On the other hand, their devotion to peace is personified in the olive branches. Finally, the bottom rim is reserved for the denomination.
1990 Washington quarter
|Face value||25 cents ($0.25)|
|Compound||91.67% copper: 8.33% nickel in total (a cupronickel-clad coin with a copper core)|
|Coin thickness||1.75 mm (0.06890 inches)|
|Coin diameter||24.26 mm (0.95512 inches)|
|Coin weight||5.67 g (0.20000 ounces)|
Other features of the 1990 Washington quarter
The 1990 Washington quarter is a coin with a face value of $0.25. It is made of a copper core and a copper-nickel layer in a ratio of 75%: 25%, making a total compound of 91.67% copper and only 8.33% nickel.
This reeded-edged coin is 1.75 mm (0.06890 inches) thick and has a diameter of 24.3 mm (0.95669 inches). The standard weight is 5.67 g (0.2 ounces).
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1990 Washington Quarter Value Guides
The total Washington quarters mintage in 1990 was 1,544,729,740. Two mints produced regular coins, while the one in San Francisco was reserved for minting proofs intended for collectors.
1990 P Washington quarter Value
Exactly 613,792,000 modern 1990 Washington quarters came from the Philadelphia mint, and most are still not collectible. Depending on the condition, they are commonly worth $0.25 to $25, and only a few rare first-class pieces cost more.
1990 Washington quarter value
|Condition||1990 P quarter||1990 D quarter|
|MS 66||$20 to $24||$10 to$12|
|MS 67||$1,300 to $1,560||$140 to $168|
For example, you can already find coins in an MS 67 grade, which prices going to $1,300 or even $1,550, but these almost perfect specimens are scarce. Despite the high estimated prices, the most expensive quarter cost even more. One collector bought it on eBay for $1,625.
1990 D Washington quarter Value
Contrary to the usual coin ratio, the Denver mint produced about 30% more quarters than the one from Philadelphia. Thanks to the high mintage of 927,638,181 pieces and their age, you can expect these coins to be affordable on the market nowadays.
Unlike quarters worth their face value or a little more than that, high-rated ones will cost you about $10 to $12. Only the best existing pieces reach the price of $140 or sometimes $170.
As you know, there are always deviations from the usual rule. So, one collector purchased the 1990 D MS 67+ Washington quarter for $1,440 in 2018, making an excellent investment for the future.
1990 S proof Washington quarter Value
The San Francisco mint was the place where proof coins were struck in 1990. Since they are still modern pieces and their mintage was relatively high, 3,299,559 specimens, their price is still modest.
1990 Washington proof quarter value
|Condition||1990 S DCAM quarter|
Most of these quarters are worth $3 to $16, but that fact didn’t stop one collector from setting aside more money for one 1990 Washington quarter with the S mint mark. This specimen with a PR 70 rating and beautiful deep cameo contrast cost $349 on eBay.
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1990 Washington quarter Errors
If you are an error hunter, you should pay attention to the 1990 Washington quarters since the set includes a few valuable imperfections.
Quarters with a missing design part can be worth differently, depending on the off-center percentage and the size of the crescent without design. However, only specimens with the visible date are collectible because it is the only way to categorize each coin.
Scarce quarters minted this year cost up to $200. However, the price of the most common coin errors with 5% to 10% off-center is $20 to $30.
At least one 1990 quarter with a significant doubled die error is officially confirmed in proof sets minted in San Francisco. You can see the doubling on the mint mark and date. Similar coins with less doubled die error are usually worth $50 to $100.
However, one auction organized in January 2017 showed that you can always count on surprises. One DCAM 1990 S Washington quarter with the double die obverse became the most pricey piece in the set with an achieved price of $7,050.
1990 quarter with a plain edge (no reeded edge)
Several 1990 quarters came without reeded edges, but they are plain. Be careful with these coins because most are just heavily worn out, which is not a minting error. Therefore, they are practically worthless.
On the other hand, genuine errors came from the mint without ridges, probably due to a broad strike. Such pieces are thinner and wider than regular coins and are worth approximately $15 to $35.
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FAQ about the 1990 Washington quarter
What characteristics make 1990 Washington quarters rare?
No, Washington quarters minted in all three mints in 1990 are not rare, and you can buy them for affordable prices at any time. However, a few errors are worth your attention, and you should set aside $10 to $100 per piece.
Which 1990 Washington quarters reached the highest prices at auctions?
- At Heritage Auctions, one collector paid $7,050 for the 1990 S PR 70 DDO DCAM Washington quarter (January 2017)
- On eBay, one collector paid $1,625 for the 1990 P MS 67 Washington quarter (February 2021)
- At Heritage Auctions, one collector paid $1,440 for the 1990 D MS 67+ Washington quarter (January 2018)
- On eBay, one collector paid $349 for the 1990 S PR 70 DCAM Washington quarter (May 2020)
How much are 1990 Washington quarters minted in Philadelphia worth?
Since coins minted this year in Philadelphia are still considered modern, their price is typically equal to their denomination. Better preserved quarters can cost up to $25, while first-class pieces are worth $1,300 to $1,550 at auctions.
What are the most valuable Washington quarters?
The most precious silver Washington quarters Type 1 are:
- 1932 D MS 66 quarter with a cost of $143,750
- 1932 S MS 66 quarter with a cost of $45,500
- 1949 D MS 68 quarter with a cost of $43,475
- 1948 MS 68+ quarter with a cost of $43,200
- 1932 MS 67 quarter with a cost of $40,250
The most precious clad Washington quarters Type 2 are:
- 1983 P MS 65 quarter with a cost of $15,862.50
- 1965 MS None Gem BU quarter with a cost of $12,650
- 1966 MS 68 quarter with a cost of $11,750
- 1982 P MS 68 quarter with a cost of $10,200
- 1968 MS 68 quarter with a cost of $9,400
The most precious silver Washington quarter proofs Type 1 are:
- 1950 PR 68 quarter with a cost of $31,200
- 1937 PR 68 quarter with a cost of $18,400
- 1942 PR 69 quarter with a cost of $16,800
- 1941 PR 68 quarter with a cost of $15,863
- 1953 PR 69 quarter with a cost of $15,600
The most precious clad Washington quarter proofs Type 2 are:
- 1974 S PR 70 quarter with a cost of $10,925
- 1998 S PR 65 quarter with a cost of $9,987.50
- 1971 S PR 69 quarter with a cost of $7,475
- 1990 S PR 70 DC quarter with a cost of $7,050
- 1973S PR 70 DC quarter with a cost of $5,875
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