The 1966 quarter is an important part of the history of the United States Mint and is tagged a transitional coin because it was minted during the coin shortage era.
Also known as the Washington quarter, prior to the 1966 quarter, the previous coin series was mainly composed of silver (90%), however, the 1966 quarter comprises 75% copper and 25% nickel.
If you are looking to exchange one or are interested in becoming a professional appraiser of the 1966 Quarter, this read is for you. We’ll explore how to determine a 1966 Quarter value.
1966 Quarter Value Chart
|1966 No Mint Mark Quarter
|1966 Special Mint Set Quarter
|$3 – $12
1966 No Mint Mark Quarter Value
All Washington quarters produced in the year 1966 were void of mint marks, and the reason for this is that the bulk of them were struck in the Philadelphia mint, which is known for not including mint marks on produced coins.
The design seen in the 1966 series was birthed in the year 1932. This was the year the United States congress established a bicentennial committee to plan the celebration of the 200th anniversary of America’s first president, George Washington.
That same year, the 1966 quarter permanently succeeded the Standing Liberty quarter, designed by Hermon Atkins MacNeil, and although Laura Gardin Fraser was initially chosen to design the new 1966 quarter, John Flanagan’s design was chosen for political reasons.
By August of 1932, the circulation of the new Washington quarters had already begun and the mints continued producing the Washington quarter using silver as the raw material until 1965 when the coin shortage hit.
In the year 1965, the demand for silver quarters began to exceed the face value of the coin. This led to the hoarding of already produced Washington silver quarters by collectors and silver stackers. Since this led to a fundamental economic problem, the U.S. Mint had to take steps to prevent further negative impacts.
First, it halted the use of silver to produce quarter and silver dimes. Secondly, the U.S. mint stopped focusing on proof sets and coin production in general; they focused more on circulation.
Finally, mint marks were removed. Although Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco struck coins in the 1960s, it took a lot of work to tell the difference. Ultimately, to relieve the coin shortage, the U.S. mint produced 821,101,500 1966 quarters.
On the obverse of the 1966 quarter, you’ll find the left-facing portrait of George Washington. In this portrait, the ex-president’s long hair is tied in a low ponytail.
To the left side of the obverse, the U.S. motto, ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’, is engraved. Also, around the top side of the obverse, just above the president’s portrait, the word ‘LIBERTY’ is inscribed.
Finally, on the lower side of the obverse, the date the coin was issued is engraved as well.
On the reverse of the 1966 quarter, the heraldic eagle is seen with its wings spread, it is facing forward and perched on a bunch of arrows that rest on two olive branches.
Above and around the reverse of the coin is the engraving- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Also, beneath this inscription is the Latin motto- E PLURIBUS UNUM, which means Out of many, one.
Finally, below and around, the coin’s denomination is the inscription QUARTER DOLLAR.
The 1966 quarter has a metal formation of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The midsection of this coin is 100% copper, and you’ll notice that the coin’s edge is reeded, with a total of 119 reeds.
When it comes to available varieties, apart from the Philadelphia mints, the only other mint is the special mint set. When measured, the 1966 Washington quarter measures 24.3mm in diameter and weighs 5.67 grams.
The category and condition of a coin directly impact its value. Whether good, scratched, damaged, or circulated, the 1966 quarter is only worth a little above its face value. However, the story is different for uncirculated mints.
For quarters in the averagely circulated state, their value is about 25 cents. While a certified mint state (MS+) Washington quarter is worth $33 or a little more.
Finally, it is also worth mentioning that 1966 quarters can be worth $400 if it is MS 67 graded and certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
1966 Melt Quarter Value
This refers to the spot value of the valuable metals like copper and nickel used in the manufacture of the 1966 Washington Quarter. Since the bullion value of these metals is lower than that of silver, any damage or wear on the coin will reduce its worth to face value or 25 cents.
After much research, we found that the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), as of November 2022, valued the 1966 quarter after melting at $0.05.
1966 Quarter Special Mint Set Value
During the period the 1966 quarters were being produced, the United States mint did not produce proof sets. However, Proof sets were transposed with a special mint set and they were also featured in the 1965 and 1967 quarters. These special mint sets were the Mint’s way of tackling the coin shortage ravaging the United States economy at the time.
In addition to this, the year 1966 was the year the U.S. government decided to stop producing coins with mint marks. As a result, even though the special mint set of the 1966 quarters was minted in San Francisco, they did not receive the mint mark- “S.”
One feature that makes the special mint set unique is its low mintage of 2,261,583, which makes it quite valuable in the numismatic world. This could be the reason why from 1966 till today, a typical 1966 Washington quarter special mint remains $4.
Another incredible unique feature of the special mint set is that its finishing is quite similar to that of the Proof set. However, they are less reflective than Proof coins and are not as polished-looking as uncirculated coins. The similarity in resemblance however still makes them look unique.
In addition to this, unlike previous coin packaging that came in whitish envelopes, the 1966 special mint set came in a navy blue box and a plastic casing.
The 1966 special mint set started up an era of new packaging for the United States of America’s coinage. For instance, the special mint set of quarters currently has a cameo feature that collectors price at a premium.
The value of low-grade 1966 special strike quarters is equivalent to its face value. This includes 1966 quarters graded good, very fine, and extremely fine. To get any real value for this coin, the coin’s grade must be at least SP64, this costs $80 – $100. Higher grades like the SP68 are extremely rare and cost from $1050 – $6500.
1966 Quarter Grading
1966 quarter coins are graded on a scale of good, fine, extremely fine, and uncirculated. Ultimately, high-value quarter coins are graded by professionals.
So, to determine your coin’s Washington quarter grade, be on the lookout for dents at the rim of the coin, examine the legibility of the engravement “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “E Pluribus Unum”, and how clear the portrait of George Washington is.
Rare 1966 Quarter Errors List
The most common errors that can occur in 1966 quarters include striking on the cent planchet, double die reverse, struck through, multi strikes, striking on nickel planchet, and struck on a dime planchet.
1966 Quarter Struck on Dime Planchet Error
Here, the error transposed was from the dime planchet. A dime planchet is smaller than a quarter die. Therefore, transposing it on a smaller planchet will result in 20% of the coin missing. Over the years, this error has fetched an average of $500.
1966 Quarter Struck on the Five Cent Planchet Error
In this error, while the quarter error coin was substituted onto a nickel planchet, it missed letterings and some numbers. Regardless of this error, this coin has the same shape and color as the regular 1966 quarter. In the past, this error coin has sold for up to $550.
1966 Quarter Strike on Cent Planchet Error
This type of error is usually transposed on 1C planchets. It is red and needs to include a lot of its lettering and rim. In 1966, the wheat center of these coins was smaller than the quarter coin. This always resulted in the coin missing some lettering. In auctions, this coin has fetched up to $900.
1966 Quarter Double Die Obverse/ Reverse Error
The double die error occurs when the planchet is struck by the die twice. These strikes could be on the obverse or reverse. A double die error happens when the coin die is not produced correctly. Therefore, this production error leads to two identical images on the same coin die.
To efficiently identify this error, numismatists and coin collectors need to examine the coin’s obverse and reverse. However, some double-die errors are so small that a microscope is sometimes used to examine the coin.
In the cataloging process of coins, numismatists and coin collectors usually designate the double die obverse errors, the letters “DDO”. While for double die reverse, the letter “DDR” will be designated.
1966 Quarter Cryptic Planchet Error
The cryptic error occurs when the edge of the 1966 quarter is struck by the coin die. As a result, the edges are clipped or curved. Cryptic planchets that are still in perfect shape have, in the past, sold for up to $100-$300.
1966 Quarter Double-Struck Error
Oftentimes, the double die error and the double struck error usually need clarification with one another. These errors are different from one another. The most crucial difference between these two errors is that coins that are affected by the double-struck error are struck more than once while in the coining chamber of the coining press.
Once these strikes happen, the previous impression on the coin is flattened out. Since the strike happens more than once, therefore, the subsequent strikes will flatten out previous impressions.
1966 Quarter FAQs
Is the 1966 Quarter real silver?
The 1966 Quarter is not made of silver. The metal content of the 1966 Washington Quarter is 75% copper and 25% nickel. Before 1965, quarters were made with silver and copper composition. However, the increase in demand for silver resulted in a shortage, and the copper-nickel alloy became the solution.
Is the 1966 Quarter rare?
The 1966 quarters are not rare coins. This is because the United States minted close to a billion of these coins. As a result, this made the value of the 1966 quarters low.
At average condition, 1966 quarters with no mint marks are sold for not more than 25 -50 cents.
Where is the Mint Mark on a 1966 Washington Quarter?
The 1966 Washington Quarters do not come with mint marks. In the year 1966, mint marks were removed as means to regulate collectors’ activities and resolve the issue of a coin shortage. As a result, regular mint marks like “P,” “S,” or “D” were not inscribed on the 1966 Washington quarters, making it hard to tell which mint a 1966 quarter is from.
How much is a 1966 no-letter worth?
The ordinary or circulated 1966 quarter is usually as valuable as the face value, which is $0.25.