The 1970 quarter coin is quite common and worth a little bit more than face value in circulated conditions.
However, only those in pristine condition are seen as valuable. There were lots of mint errors in the 1970 mintage, and these error coins are sometimes worth thousands of dollars.
Curious to find out more; keep reading.
1970 Quarter Details
- Category: Washington Quarters
- Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
- Total Mintage: Over 550 million
- Face Value: $0.25
- Observe Designer: John Flanagan
- Reverse Designer: John Flanagan
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Edge: Reeded
- Diameter: 24.3mm
- Thickness: 1.75mm
- Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel Clad
1970 Quarter Value Chart
|1970 No Mint Mark Washington Quarter
|1970 “D” Washington Quarter
|1970 “S” Washington Quarter
1970 No Mint Mark Washington Quarter
The 1970 Washington quarters made in the Philadelphia mint are still very much in circulation today and are worth their face value or more depending on the condition of the coin.
The Philadelphia mint produced 136,420,000 instances, and there’s no mint mark on the quarter. It was produced in a very large quantity about 50 years ago, and that’s why it’s a common coin even today.
The downside of this is that in circulated and fine condition, they’ll not be worth much. But if you have them in uncirculated condition, they’ll be worth more than face value, although not considerably more. In MS60 grade, the 1979-P quarter is worth about $1 or even less, but in quality grades like MS66, it can be valued at about $60.
There are very few 1970-P quarters in MS67 grade and above, but if you happen to find one, it’ll be worth hundreds of dollars at least. However, if your 1970-P quarter has a grade of MS67+, it’ll be valued at about $2,750, according to PCGS.
The only instance, when you’ll get real money from the 1970-P quarter is if you find an error variation.
The 1970 quarter has no silver content, rather its composition is a nickel jacket over a copper core.
1970 “D” Washington Quarter
Denver mintage produced 417,341,364 170 quarters, and that’s quite a lot! This was the highest quarters minted that year, and they are easy to find, making them worth just a little above face value.
When coins are minted in large quantities, they lose their uniqueness and value. The worth of a coin is usually tied to its rarity, so if you have a common coin, there’s a high chance that it’ll not be worth anything meaningful, and the quarters minted in Denver isn’t any different.
A 1970-D quarter in MS60 grade won’t be worth more than $1, and you can even buy it for less than that. For an MS67 1970-D, you can get it for about $70.
1970-D quarters with gem quality grades like MS67+ and MS68 are both worth $450 and $2,750 respectively.
According to PCGS, a 1970-D quarter graded at MS68+ is worth $10,000, which is quite a leap in value from those in MS60 grade.
Yes, it might be wishful thinking, and very unlikely that you’ll have an MS68+ 1970-D quarter in your change jar, but it wouldn’t hurt to just properly check. There are lots of rare coins, and you never know what you might find.
1970 “S” Washington Quarter
All the coins minted in San Francisco in 1970 were proof coins, and they were 2,632,810 quarters in total.
Proof coins are usually struck on unique planchets, resulting in their glossy finish and clear details. These coins are worth more than face value because they were specially produced for collectors who bought Proof sets.
You might expect them to be worth a fortune, but on the contrary, an entire set of proof coins can be sold for less than $10. For instance, a 1970 – S proof Washington quarter graded at PR69DCAM is worth $455.
In 2007, at the Heritage auctions, a PR69DCAM 1970-S quarter was sold for $2,760. The proof coins designated as CAMEOs (CAM) are more valuable and that’s because they have an ice-like design and glossy finish. Coins designated as DCAM (designated cameo) have an even higher value because they have a stronger contrast.
There were lots of errors in the San Francisco mintage, and luckily, they are currently worth a sizeable fortune.
The most valuable quarter that every coin collector talks about is the 1970-S quarter struck on a 1941 Canadian quarter. Sound far-fetched? Well, it isn’t.
This coin is a property of Mike Byers, and according to him, it’s the most fascinating error to be made, and it’s worth $35,000.
History of the 1970 Washington Quarter
Washington quarters were first produced in 1932, although before then there had been a mintage of other quarters.
Prior to 1965, the composition of quarters was 90% silver and 10% copper. However, as a result of the high cost of production (the rising price of silver), the U.S mint started the production of quarters using copper-nickel alloy. This new composition made the coins less valuable as a metal, but on the brighter side, it was a more practical and durable option.
The 1970 Washington quarters were produced in three U.S. mint facilities; Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco.
Each of these coins measures 24.3 mm in diameter, with a weight of 5.67 grams. It also has a reeded edge, and this was not done for the sake of aesthetics, but to curb the fraudulent activities by individuals. The reeded design was introduced in the 17th century when coins were made with 90% silver. People usually filled the edges from the coins because they were made of special metals (silver), and this in turn reduced the weight of the coins, and merchants would have to use scales to weigh silver coins before accepting them as payment.
So, due to the reeded edge, you can easily detect when a coin has been clipped at the edge.
The reverse of the 1970 quarter coin was designed by Flanagan, and it depicts the image of a bald eagle in flight. On the observation of the coin, there’s the portrait of George Washington which was also sculpted by John Flanagan.
1970 Washington Quarter Grading
Coins are usually graded based on appearance, and the 1970 Washington quarter isn’t any different. Your coin can be graded on a scale of 1 to 70, with 70 being the highest pristine state.
Having a 1970 quarter with a grade of MS70 is very impossible, because even after production, coins are stored in bags, hence they are very likely to get scratched.
Your best chance at getting a coin that’s relatively close to MS70 is the 1970-S proof sets because these proof coins were stored with utmost care. Some proof coins have been graded at PR69, and that’s the best you’ll get.
To learn more about the grading of the 1970 Washington quarters, watch this video.
Rare 1970 Washington Quarter Error Lists
When it comes to the quarter coins minted in 1970, the error coins take the lead, as they have more value.
Note that not all error coins are valuable, some are just counterfeits.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some error coins and how much they are worth.
1. 1970 Double Die Observe Error Quarter
This is a sought-after error coin by coin collectors, although it’s a fairly common error. When there’s a mistake in the production process, and the die transfers the image and details twice into all the coins that are being struck, you’ll have an error coin.
The doubling effect can either be visible on the dates, lettering, and portrait; and this causes it to have an unusual appearance that’s quite noticeable. The value of this error coin can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands.
In an auction, this error coin that was graded AU50 was valued and sold for $1,200. According to PCGS, the 1970 DD0 quarter-graded MS65 is valued at $2,800.
2. 1970 Scarface Quarter Error
The most notable difference between this coin and the normal 1970 quarters is the distinctive thinness and vertical line on the face of George Washington. This error is also known as a “thin quarter error”.
It occurred when a partially filled die was used in the Denver mint, resulting in a weak and incomplete strike on the portrait. The blanks used for this mintage are originally for the production of dimes, hence why they have the same thickness as dimes.
About 100,000 of these error coins were produced before the mistake was discovered. You might have a chance at finding this error coin in your stash of change. While it might not be as valuable as the 1970 DDO error, it’s valued at $30 to $350 depending on the coin’s condition.
3. 1970 Canadian Quarter Planchet
This error coin is quite an intriguing one, and it definitely stirred up a lot of interest in many coin collectors. However, you should know that this type of error coin is very hard to find, as it one-of-a-kind coin.
Planchets are used to stamp into a coin, as that’s what determines the coin’s denomination and value. In the case of this error coin, a Canadian quarter planchet was used instead of the U.S. planchet made of copper-nickel alloy. This mistake is quite difficult to explain, as it’s an obvious mistake that should not be made. According to the U.S mint in San Francisco, this type of error doesn’t happen accidentally, someone from the mint facility helped. So, it was said to have been minted by unscrupulous employees.
This error coin was graded PF65 by NGC, and the worth was appraised at $35,000.
4. 1970 Double struck and Colliding Dies Error
This is an extremely rare and valuable coin, as it creates a highly visible and unique design on the coin.
It happens as a result of a coin being struck twice by the same die, and colliding dies occurs when the die clashes without the planchet in the middle.
This error coin was graded PR66CAM and sold at an auction for over $1,900.
Learn more about different 1970 error quarters from this video.
1. How Rare Is The 1970-S DDO Quarter?
According to research, only a few thousand of this error coin were produced, hence why it’s difficult to find. Some coin experts believe that only a few hundred are still in existence.
2. Is The 1970-S DDO Quarter Only The Notable Error From 1970 Mintage?
No, the 1970 quarter saw a lot of unique and valuable errors during mintage. Other weird errors include; a 1970-S quarter double struck in the coin press collar and a 1970-D Washington quarter without the copper-nickel cladding on the reverse side.
3. Which Variation Of The 1970 Quarter Are Worth A Sizeable Fortune?
The error 1970 Washington quarters are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the intensity of the error. Normal 1970 quarters don’t have more than face value unless they are in mint condition.
4. What’s A 1970 Quarter Worth?
According to PCGS, in uncirculated mint condition, the 1970 Washington quarter is worth $11 or more.
5. What 1970 Quarter Is Worth $35,000?
The 1970-S error coin that has the remnants of the 1941 Canadian quarter design is worth $35,000. This error coin was sold on eBay, and upon close inspection, the inscriptions and details from the 1941 Canadian quarter are visible on the surface of the Washington quarter.
The 1970 quarters minted in Philadelphia and Denver are worth only face value, but sometimes a bit more if they are in uncirculated condition.
There’s every possibility that you’ll find a 1970 quarter in your possession, don’t roughly clean it, as you might end up reducing its value.
Carefully check out all the details, to know for certain if it’s an error coin or not. If you are unsure, contact a reputable coin appraiser to take a second look at it.