Looking for information on the value and history of the 1979 quarter coin? This article provides a detailed overview of its worth, rarity, and grading system. Discover the unique features of this coin and become more informed when buying or selling.
The 1979 quarter coin is a popular collectible item amongst coin enthusiasts. However, it is not an extremely valuable or rare coin, with the Philadelphia and Denver Mints producing well over a billion Washington quarters that year.
While most 1979 Washington quarters still in circulation are worth between $0.30 and $0.85, this value is greatly influenced by its mint state and condition. This article also examines the different methods for evaluating the 1979 Quarter Dollar and the coin's variations.
1979 Quarter Dollar Value
According to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), an uncirculated 1979 Quarter Dollar can have a value of around $2-$5 depending on the condition, and a proof coin can have a value of around $4-$6. These values may vary depending on the grading service and the current market demand.
The most valuable 1979 quarter coin is a PCGS MS-67 1979-D Quarter, sold for $1,078 in 2014.
The History Of The Us Quarter Dollar Coin
The US Quarter dollar coin has been in production since 1796, though initially it was intermittent. In 1831, its production became continuous, and the denomination underwent several design iterations. The silver Washington quarter, which featured George Washington on the obverse and the American Eagle holding a string of arrows on the reverse, was the last of these designs and was produced in silver from its inception in 1932 until 1964.
Initially, the obverse portrait of George Washington was meant to be a one-year design in honor of his 200th birthday in 1932. Nevertheless, it ended up becoming the official design for coinage and has been in use ever since. The reverse was produced in this manner until 1998 when the production of the “State Quarters” series of circulating commemoratives began.
The Rarity of the 1979 Quarter Dollar Coin
The US Mint produced approximately 500 million 1979-P Washington Quarters, resulting in widespread distribution. While the coin is prevalent in up to the MS66 state, those graded MS67 or above are regarded as uncommon.
In 1979, the US Mint produced Washington quarters as proof coins, featuring two different mint markings. One variation, known as the Type 1 Washington Quarter, displays a filled S mint mark, whereas the other, referred to as the Type 2, showcases a clear S mint mark. Notably, the Type 2 is less common than the Type 1.
The most common types of the 1979 dollar are as follows:
- 1979-S Proof Type 1
- 1979-S Proof Type 2
- 1979-P Washington Quarters
- 1979-D Washington Quarters
The Value of a 1979 Quarter Dollar with Different Varieties
The 1979 Washington quarter was a popular coin during its time, and while it had a standard diameter and weight, it was often confused with the Susan B. Anthony dollar. Let’s now delve into the different varieties of the 1979 Washington quarter and their respective values.
Type 2 1979-S Proof
The Type 2 1979-S proof Washington quarter, also known as the Clear S Proof coin, is estimated to be worth at least $11. It is also only available as a proof coin and has a considerably more distinct and clear S mint mark than the Type 1 variant.
1979-P Washington Quarter
The 1979-P Washington quarter can be purchased from a coin dealer for its face value, which is 25 cents for circulated pieces and $6.65 for uncirculated pieces. This variant was minted in Philadelphia and has no distinct peculiarities.
Type 1 1979-S Proof
The Type 1 1979-S proof Washington quarter, also known as the Filled S Proof coin, is estimated to be worth at least $9.14. This coin only exists as a proof coin and features a smaller, less distinct S mint mark that is partially filled. However, compared to the Type 2 variant, it is less desirable and has a lower numismatic worth.
1979-D Washington Quarter
The Denver Mint also minted its version of the 1979 Washington quarter, which can be bought from a coin dealer for 25 cents for circulated pieces and $6.65 for uncirculated pieces. What makes this variant unique is that it was minted in the same year as America's greatest nuclear disaster, which may add value to your collection.
Grading The 1979 Quarter Dollar Coin for Value
The value of a 1979 quarter dollar coin depends on its grade. Here are the different coin grades and their descriptions:
An Extremely Fine 1979 Washington Quarter has minor wear on its high sections. It has developed a flat region before Washington’s ear, and the details at the tips of the hair have been flattened.
The upper waves of Washington’s hair are delicately styled, but the larger waves are spectacular. The reverse side of the coin has a somewhat worn Eagle with a rounded chest, and the tops of the legs no longer have the details of the leg feathers.
An Uncirculated or Mint State 1979 Washington Quarter has not been circulated and retains its original surface. It has unblemished mint brilliance all over its surface, and the texture and luster of the metal are perfect.
The elevated cheek region directly below George Washington’s eye shows no signs of wear, and there is no color dulling or metal smoothing in high-profile areas. The reverse side of the coin also retains its original luster’s texture, with no evidence of metal smoothing.
A Good 1979 Washington Quarter is still bold and elevated but lacks most hair details. The reverse side of the coin still has many feather embellishments, although the Eagle is fairly flat.
A Fine 1979 Washington Quarter has many flat regions, and the top of the head has smooth hair detail. The cheek, temple, and forehead may be distinguished from the hair by little contrast. The reverse side of the coin has a somewhat faded Eagle with most feathers in the wings divided.
The 1979 quarter coin is greatly influenced by its mint state and condition, with most coins worth between $0.30 and $0.85. Coins graded MS67 or higher are considered uncommon.
The history of the US quarter dollar coin dates back to 1796, with the silver Washington quarter being the last of the designs produced in silver from 1932 until 1964. When evaluating the 1979 quarter dollar, it's important to consider the different coin grades and their descriptions, along with the coin's variations.