1979 Quarter Value: How Much Is It Worth Today?
The 1979 Quarter value may not be the highest compared to many other coins. However, this coin is still popular among collectors due to its extravagant reverse. There are two main reasons why these quarter coins won’t break the bank: they’re relatively modern and exist in such large quantities.
The quarter coin series is also known as the Washington quarters. Naturally, this is because of the image of the obverse which is an image of the founding father, and the United State’s first president, George Washington.
The Washington quarter’s design was made by John Flanagan, an American sculptor. 1,012,174,955 coins were produced in 1979. Since 1932 the quarter has remained fundamentally the same, albeit with some minor tweaks and updates throughout the decades.
The general value of the coin is close to its face value, you can find some uncirculated and well-preserved, or proof coins, which can reach a value of a few hundred dollars. We’ll discuss each coin variation in greater detail below.
1979 Quarter Value Chart
|Series||MS 60||MS 63||MS 66+|
|1979 No mint Mark Quarter value||$1.50||$6||$10 – $140|
|1979 D Quarter Value||$2||$5||$20 – $800|
|1979 S Quarter Value||$1.5||$10||$10-$20|
In 1932 when the Washington coin first appeared it was made out of mostly silver – like most coins at that time. This was the composition of the coin for over 30 years. In 1664 the clad composition replaced the silver quarter. It was not a mixture of copper and nickel.
This was the coin composition until this particular coin series was discontinued in 1998.
The initial Washington coin in 1932, was a way to commemorate George Washington’s 200th birthday (or birth anniversary, rather). By putting him, thus honoring him, on the coin they replaced the Standing Liberty Quarter which had been in circulation for the past 14 years.
Initially, the idea was actually to only have the Washington quarter circulate for one year, during the 200 birth year anniversary. Instead, the Washington Quarter ended up being one of the longest-running coin series in American history.
The design of the coin came about from a competition. Flanagan was not the competition’s original winner. The Washington quarter was initially supposed to be designed by Laura Gardin Fraser, who won the competition.
Andrew Mellon, Treasure Secretary at the time, deemed it inappropriate for a woman to design a coin of such importance. Despite Gardin Fraser’s design being far superior, they back-tracked and gave the victory to John Flanagan instead – a man.
1979 Quarter No Mint Mark Value
There are four different kinds of 1979 quarters. This includes two different types of proof coins too. We’ll cover the difference between them below. The coins were either struck in Philadelphia, Denver, or San Francisco.
The mint located in Philadelphia is often where the majority of all coins are made, and this one is no exception. Slightly more than half a billion quarters were minted there. This is the most common coin in the series and rarely exceeds a value beyond its face value. It’s possible to find a 1979 quarter with a value of a few hundred dollars, but generally, if it’s beyond face value the condition of it must be close to impeccable.
The composition of the 1979 quarter is 90% copper and 10 nickel. It has a reeded edge and weighs about 5.67 grams.
John Flanagan’s design was so successful, it’s only seen minor changes and updates for over 90 years. Like other coins in the same series, the obverse of the 1979 quarter features a left-facing George Washington. The word Liberty is the upper rim, above the head of Washington.
Right underneath his chin are the words “in God we trust” written. This motto is minted on most American coins. The year, 1979, is underneath the neck of Washington, close to the bottom rim. There’s also a rather detailed bow tied to Washington’s hair behind his neck.
The reverse of this coin leaves little empty space. Many American coins are less crowded and where as this one is almost the opposite.
In the center of the reverse is a large bald eagle with its wings spread. The wings alone reach almost from one end to the other. Along the upper rim is the name “United States of America” engraved. The eagle’s feet are clutching several arrows in its claws. Many American coins have an eagle holding onto arrows.
Above the eagle’s head, and between its spread wings, is the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum” which means “out of many, one”. This refers to the many states which unite and becomes one country.
The coin denomination is written on the bottom rim. Right above the words, and right underneath the eagle is an olive branch. This reverse is indeed a busy design.
A reverse with such a large design resembles special-anniversary coins more than it does the normally circulated coins. The rare design is popular among collectors. even if that itself has no impact on the monetary value. It does, however, become a rare coin type which is what collectors looking for.
Due to the relatively low value, yet rare reverse design, this is a great coin for beginner collectors. It’s easy to find, and much to analyze and compare to other coin types.
Flanagan’s design has more or less remained the same since 1932. However, at that point and up until the 1980s, the coins minted in Philadelphia had no mint mark. This was changed in 1980 when the coin received the letter “P”. The new mint mark was placed behind Washington’s bow tying his hair.
1979 D Quarter Value
The Denver mint, much like the one in Philadelphia, produced a great number of coins in 1979. Its value will also be diminished due to the share amount of coins in circulation.
However, this coin does have a slightly higher worth than both the Philadelphia coin, and the proof coin. There have been cases where particularly well-preserved coins have reached a high value of several hundred dollars.
But, for the most part, the 1979 D quarter value is relatively modest – at least compared to many other coins.
The mint mark “D” is right behind the bow of George Washington’s neck.
1979 S Quarter Value – Type 1 & Type 2
This is the rarest of the 1979 Washington coin series, but not often the most valuable one. With a production of 3.6 million, the proof coins are not impossible to come by. Proof coins are supposed to remain uncirculated which is generally part of their higher value than the other coins in the series.
Proof coins are made for collectors, not public transactions. They do work as legal tender, but more emphasis is put on designing the coin. The details are often greater, they have more luster and glow, and they are generally nicer to look at.
This particular 1979 quarter has two versions of it: Type 1 and type 2. For the most part, the two types are identical. The difference is in the mint mark.
They both feature the letter “S” in the same location on the obverse as on the other coins in the series – behind the neck of Washington.
However, the style of this “S” mint mark is what differentiates the two coins. Type 1 has the gaps within the letter “S” filled in.
Type 2, on the other hand, is a visible and empty space in between the curves of the letter.
This does not affect the value of either version of the coin. However, the type 2 coin with the clear “S” is generally the collector’s preferred choice.
1979 Quarter Value Grading
Like with all coins, the expert will evaluate the details and condition of the coin to assign a value to it. Every coin has its own special features. Therefore the wear and damage a coin sustains will affect the value of various coins differently.
For example, the details of Washington’s face ought to be clear to get a higher grading. Blemishes and marks in the most distracting locations will reduce the grading and value of the coin.
The top-valued and top-graded coins are the uncirculated ones. Since they never see public transactions they don’t have the wear and tear that most normally used coins possess.
Rare 1979 Quarter Value Errors
Perfect mints do not exist. There are many reasons how and why errors will occur during the process of minting coins. These manufacturing errors can sometimes make a coin even more valuable than it would’ve otherwise been. This is because collectors deem them even more unique.
If you are wondering if the coin you have at home is of a specific value, look for anything that looks unusual on the coin. Some people sit on unique coins without realizing it.
Different coin series can have different common errors. While this 1979 Washington series was generally a well-struck series without many production errors, there are still some out there to look out for. Here are some of the more common errors in the 1979 Washinton quarter.
1979 Quarter Mint Mark Filling Error
This error occurs when there you’ll see an atypical mint mark. Due to defective dies during the minting process, the mint marks can be filled in. This would appear similar to the Type 1 S Proof with a filled-in mint mark.
The reason it’s an error in the 1979 D series and not the proof, is because the Denver mint wasn’t supposed to produce them with a filled-in D.
1979 Quarter Off-Center Designs
This may not be the most common error, but it is one of the more valuable one in the 1970 quarter series. Off-center means that the planchet, or die, was missing its mark as it was being struck. This results in parts of the coin’s design missing from the planchet of the coin.
1979 Quarter Curved Clips
Another valuable error is the curved clip. This time the error occurs when the striking of the coin misses the mark but the result is that a piece of the coin falls off. Coins with missing material and an unusual shape can be valuable.
1979 Quarter Double Strike
One of the more common errors in any coin series is the double strike. This simply means that the coin in question was struck more than one time. The result is that two images are struck on top of each other. Often the result is that one is slightly off-center, making it obvious that an error occurred during the minting process.
1979 Quarter Value FAQ
Is a quarter from 1979 worth anything?
Most times, it’s worth slightly above face value. Most quarters from 1979 have a value between $0.30 – $0.80. Depending on the exact conditions or errors on the coin the value can increase. Some coins from this year have been sold for several hundred of dollars.
What is the error in the 1979 quarter?
One of the desired errors on this particular coin is the double filling on the min mark D. The result of this error is that the mint mark “D” has been filled in accidentally during the minting process.
The double-strike error is popular, too. This is when the die struck the planchet twice which results in a distorted doubled image on the coin.
What year of the quarter is rare?
The quarter from 1965 is often considered the rarest quarter. This is because the value of silver exceed the value of the quarter, so many of the coins were melted and sold as silver instead. This makes the remaining coins rare.