Even if you are not an American, you have probably heard of the Founding Fathers. After all, most of us watch Hollywood movies and shows and learn bits and pieces of American history that way.
Well, this article is all about a coin that features one of the Founding Fathers – George Washington. The coin in question is, of course, the 1957 Quarter, also known as the 1957 Washington Quarter. Join us as we explore the 1957 Quarter value, specifications, and history…
1957 Quarter Value Chart
|Mint State 60
|Mint State 65
|1957 No Mint Mark Quarter
|1957 D Quarter
|1957 Proof Quarter
1957 No Mint Mark Quarter Value
George Washington, born on 22 February 1732, is one of the most important figures in the history of the United States since he was not only their first president but also the commander in charge of the Continental Army that would win the American Revolutionary War.
In 1924, the US Congress decided to commemorate Washington for the 200th anniversary of his birth year and formed the US George Washington Bicentennial Commission.
They probably acted prematurely with this decision because the commission would go on to do not much besides making press releases. That is why in 1930, a new group called the George Washington Bicentennial Committee was formed.
As one way of celebrating one of the seven Founding Fathers, the committee wanted to change the design of the Walking Liberty Half Dollar. They wanted the 1932 Half Dollar to be the only coin issue that would depict Washington and decided to hold a competition for the design.
One of the guidelines for the artists who would participate was to base the Washington portrait on a well-known sculpture of the first president of the US, which was made by a French sculptor, Jean-Antoine Houdon, in 1785.
After going through submissions, the committee, in cooperation with the US Commission of Fine Arts, chose the design by Laura Gardin Fraser.
Those of you who are really into coins might remember the Fraser surname. James Earle Fraser was the designer of the Buffalo Nickle, and Laura was his wife.
Anyways, the George Washington Bicentennial Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts were happy with their choice and expected Fraser’s right-facing portrait of George Washington to appear on the half-dollar and the medal that was also to be made as a part of the commemoration.
However, in 1931, legislation for the change of the quarter’s design was introduced in Congress. According to that legislation, the quarter would be the coin with Washington’s portrait.
Another thing that it asked for is that the Washington quarter not only be struck in 1932 but in the years after that since the then design of the quarter, Standing Liberty was causing too many problems.
The committee did not like these requirements, but the worst was yet to come for them.
The US Treasury decided to hold a new competition for the design of the future Washington quarter. To make things even more interesting, the Treasury asked for help from the US Commission of Fine Arts, which was already cooperating with the George Washington Bicentennial Committee.
After reviewing submissions, the Commission of Fine Arts voted in favor of Fraser’s work once again. But the then Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew W. Moore, decided to go with the design made by John Flanagan, and the US Congress passed the bill that authorized the change of the quarter’s design.
Even though the George Washington Bicentennial Committee protested, they were not able to dissuade Moore. They even tried changing the mind of Moore’s successor. Ogden L. Mills, but their efforts were futile.
Mintage & Value
The mintage of 46,532,000 pieces struck for the 1957 No Mint Quarter variety was a normal one for the 50s and 40s. Of course, more than 45 million pieces produced means that this variety is not particularly rare.
However, it is not worthless – mainly due to the coin’s composition.
If you have a 1957 No Mint Washington Quarter in Good or Very Fine condition selling, it will net you more than nine dollars, which, if you ask us, is quite a decent value for a coin whose production was in the tens of millions.
1957 No Mint Quarter in Almost Uncirculated is valued at $10.48, while Mint State 60 brings $13. Mint State 65 is double the last figure.
When we take a look at our good friend PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), which not only grades coins but keeps track of all kinds of auctions.
The top price that this coin variety has ever sold for is $3,819, while the average price for specimens in MS67 and 68 is around $1,200.
1957 Proof Quarter Value
The portrait that John Flanagan created was based on the bust made by Jean-Antoine Houdon, just like the Fraser’s. In fact, most of the depictions of the first US president were done using that same famous bust.
However, unlike Fraser’s design, Flanagan portrayed Washington facing the left. The silver coin’s obverse also has the writing LIBERTY just above Washington’s head and the year of minting, 1957, below his neckline.
The official motto of the United States of America, IN GOD WE TRUST, is just beneath Washington’s chin on the left side.
The reverse of the 1957 Washington Quarter was also designed by John Flanagan. The most prominent detail on the reverse is the bald eagle.
The bird is portrayed with its wings spread and sitting atop a bundle of arrows. Two olive branches can be seen below the eagle, stretching from its left wing to its right one.
This depiction of the well-known symbol in American culture sparked a tiny controversy as some questioned if it was really a bald eagle on the reverse or a different type of eagle.
To find out the truth, The New York Times consulted an expert on eagles who determined that it was indeed a bald eagle.
Besides the eagle, this Washington quarter also features the writing UNITED STATES OF AMERICA on the top periphery of the reverse and the denomination QUARTER DOLLAR on the bottom. The traditional motto of the US, “Out of one, many”, written in Latin, is above the eagle’s head.
Mintage & Value
The mint in Philadelphia produced 1,247,952 Proof Washington Quarters in 1957, which was the highest figure for a Proof Quarter in the 50s.
If you are a coin connoisseur or just someone who reads our articles regularly, you know that proof coins are almost always worth more than those from the business strike. There are fewer of them, and they do not enter circulation.
However, the 1957 Quarter is one of the coins that requires us to use “almost always” instead of “always” since 1957 Proof Quarters are not more valuable than 1957 No Mint or D Quarters in high grades such as Mint State 65.
Their exact value is 23 dollars, which is similar to the No Mint and D varieties’ value but lower nonetheless.
The value of the top tier 1957 Proof Washington Quarter is also similar to the No Mint variety’s value – most of them are around one or two thousand, with the highest valued one being somewhat close to four thousand – $3,630, to be precise.
1957 D Quarter Value
The mint mark “D” on the 1957 Quarters, which were struck at the mint in Denver, is just below the point where two olive branches intersect.
As we already said 1957 Quarter’s value is not low because of the materials that were used in its production.
Those two materials – metals, to be precise, are silver and copper. And it is the ratio of 90% silver to 10% copper that makes the Washington Quarter valuable since silver is a far pricier metal. The coin’s exact melt value is $4.32.
By the way, the ratio of the weight of a fine metal, such as silver or gold, to the weight of a non-fine metal in a precious metal object is called fineness. The 1957 Quarter’s fineness is, of course, 0.9.
When it comes to the coin’s mass, it is equal to 0.220 ounces (6.25 g). The diameter is 0.956 inches (24.3 mm), while the thickness is 0.068 inches (1.75 mm). Lastly, this 25-cent coin from 1957 has a reeded edge.
Mintage & Value
The mintage of 1957 D Quarters, aka the number of 25-cent coins, struck at the mint in Denver in 1957, was 77,924,160.
Even though this number is almost twice the mintage of No Mint specimens, 1957 D Quarters are worth the same as No Mint ones in Good, Very Fine, Almost Uncirculated, and MS60 grades.
We only find differences in the highest quality coins. For example, the 1957 D Washington Quarter is worth 29 dollars compared to 26 for the No Mint variety. Another example would be the top price – $11,400 for the D variety compared to the aforementioned $3,819 for the No Mint one.
1957 Quarter Grading
If the 1957 Quarter’s melt value of $4.32 just does not cut it for you, or if you think you might have a really valuable specimen, then learning all about how to grade one is a must!
1957 Quarter List Of Errors
1957 Quarters were struck with some of the mint errors we encounter all the time. Keep on reading to learn all about them.
1. 1957 Quarter Misplaced Mint Mark Error
Since mint marks were struck manually and not automatically for a long time, almost every old coin out there has a variety with a repunched or misplaced mint mark. The 1957 D Quarter features the latter, which makes it worth around $100 in Mint State 63.
2. 1957 Quarter Double Die Reverse Error
Even though machines are much more precise than us humans, they are not perfect and make mistakes. In the coin business, those mistakes are few and far between, but they do happen, and they do make us coin enthusiasts quite happy.
One such mistake is the double die, located on the 1957 D Quarter on the reverse side. The best way to notice it is to look around the edges of the letters and numbers.
If you want to own a coin with this error, you can buy one on eBay for $26.50!
3. 1957 Quarter Partial Collar Error
The last error we will talk about in this article is the partial collar. It occurs when the striking press malfunctions, causing the blank planchet to be positioned slightly off-center on the collar die.
You can see this error on some 1957 Washington Quarters around left and right rimes on the obverse and around the top rim on the reverse side. One coin with this mint error in the Almost Uncirculated state was purchased for $18.
1957 Quarter FAQ
Is there any value in a 1957 Quarter?
Yes, there is. Even if you just melt it, you will get 4.32 dollars. You can get around 10 dollars for one in a Good or Almost Uncirculated state. 1957 Quarter graded as MS60 brings $13.
Are all 1957 Quarters silver?
Yes, all 1957 Quarters are silver. In fact, all Washington quarters prior to 1965 are made of 90% silver and 10% copper.