The 1988 Washington Quarter is one of the coins from the series that has been struck since 1932 and has become a mainstay of American currency. These relatively modern coins are usually worth their face value, with only a few exceptions.
In this guide, we’ll see what those exceptions are and whether your 1988 Quarter is a valuable one. There is also a lot more to know about this piece, and your guide to the 1988 Quarter Value will share all the essential details you need. All you need to do is read on to find out more!
1988 Quarter Chart
|1988 P Washington Quarter
|1988 D Washington Quarter
|1988 S Proof Washington Quarter
1988 Quarter Value by Mint Mark
The 1988 Washington Quarter was produced using both copper and nickel. So, its surface layer contains 8.33% nickel, and the core is made up of 91.67% copper. The coin weighs 5.67g, measures 24.3mm in diameter, and it also has a reeded edge.
Originally, 90% silver and 10% copper made up the composition of these Washington Quarters. But since silver was becoming scarcer and more valuable, the Washington Quarter was later changed into base metals.
It’s interesting to note that Denver and Philadelphia mints produced nearly the same numbers of Washington Quarters in 1988. On the other hand, the San Francisco mint only produced proof pieces. The total number of coins produced in these three locations was 1,162,125,636.
Given that they belong to the category of modern coinage, you can easily locate any of these coins. They are reasonably priced, and the majority of circulated ones are worth exactly their face value. Collectors primarily look for specimens in excellent condition.
Let’s look at the specific varieties of these coins so you can have a greater idea about their worth.
1988 P Washington Quarter
The Washington Quarter is often seen as America’s most decorated and popular coin series. Originally made to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth in 1932, his figure is still used in quarters today.
Since 1980, the Philadelphia-marked coins have featured the signature “P” mint mark, which you can identify by checking its reverse. Like other pieces from the ‘80s, the Philadelphia Quarter was among the first pieces to feature the new “P” mint mark. The presence of this mint mark makes coins from this period highly collectible.
If you base it on the history of coinage, the 1988 quarter is still considered recent. Additionally, since there is a high volume of produced pieces, the coins are still in circulation. As the Philadelphia Mint produced reached 562,052,000 pieces, they are generally inexpensive to collect.
Most prices of each circulated specimen equal their face value. Interestingly, most coins in mint state are only valued from $0.35 to $1. The 1988 quarter may not seem too valuable. However, some variations and errors can turn it into something worth hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
Only quarters that have a grade of MS66 are particularly valuable and are worth about $55 to $65. But just like any collectible, there are some exceptions that were sold higher than expected.
In 2021, one of the most expensive Washington Quarters minted this year sold for $750. However, there are still a few 1988 quarters that are rare and more precious compared to others, and these can sell for a couple of hundred dollars.
With such a vast quality produced and being only around 35 years old, it is hard to find valuable 1988 quarters. To get those higher prices, they’ll need to be in near-perfect condition coin that has been authenticated and graded.
1988 D Washington Quarter
As always, a mint mark of “D” indicates that the coin was minted in Denver. While production totals were close, this mint produced the most quarters in 1988. Denver became the most significant maker of US quarters around this time.
The Denver Mint produced 596,810,688 Washington Quarter Coins in 1988, thus, making them the most common kind of quarter from the year. Due to a large number of coin production and since most of the pieces spend some time in circulation, their numismatic value is at its minimum.
Standard-struck and circulated 1988 Washington Quarters are not worth much because there are millions of these pieces available. You can easily find them in the market because of their high supply, and simply put, because of their abundance, these coins have a lower demand for collection.
You can find most of these pieces for less than one dollar, and only those that have a higher grade than MS66 are worth a significant amount. At this grade level, the average price is estimated around $40 to $800, depending on its condition.
The record price for a 1988 Quarter is $1,645, which was a “D” coin sold in 2017. While that is higher than the Philadelphia record, we find that on average, coins from these two mints usually have the same value.
The reason for that is that they both had a very similar level of production, and both of them are easily available today. As with both mints, your coins will need to be in near-perfect condition to be worth anything. As the MS67 grading, you can expect to receive around $400 at auction for both mints.
1988 S Proof Washington Quarter
The final variant of the 1988 Quarter is the one produced in San Francisco. They were responsible for making the proof coins for this year. Due to this, their mintage was far less than the other locations. While not always the case, San Francisco has often been the mint chosen for proof quarters.
In 1988, their quarter mintage was exactly 3,262,948 coins. Most pieces had deep cameo contrast and are worth $5 to $15. With only 3 million produced, these coins aren’t readily available, unlike other quarters.
However, on average, these are still close to the face value of $0.25 to about $5. The exceptions are when they have been kept in pristine condition.
Proof coins are struck perfectly so they are more appealing to the eyes. These pieces have deeper, more detailed elements and inscriptions, plus a shinier background, making them more in demand among collectors.
However, while demand for high-quality proof coins will always be high, supply for the 1988 S Proof coins is also high. With a relatively recent mintage, there are plenty of perfect coins available, which helps to keep the price down.
Despite the lower value of 1988 S Proof Quarters, it is best to still watch out for valuable pieces. Some may still sell for a high amount at an auction. One of the perfectly preserved 1988 Washington Quarters minted in San Francisco won the auction record and was purchased for $403 in 2007. It has a deep cameo surface and is graded PR70.
You may now be thinking, if a 70-grade proof coin sold for a record of $403, how did a 67-grade Denver coin sell for $1,645. The reason is due to what we mentioned above, scarcity.
Proof coins are always meant to be kept in perfect condition, so there are plenty of PR70 coins out there. Non-proof coins are meant for circulation, so they start to receive wear very quickly. Due to this, an MS67 coin is much rarer than a PR70 coin.
While quality will always be important with any type of collection, rarity will always be a more significant factor. If you’re unsure of what these grading letters and numbers mean, check out our brief guide and video below.
1988 Quarter Grading
Like other coins, the 1988 Washington Quarters are graded using a system of 1 to 70. These numbers are usually preceded by MS when referring to mint state coins or pieces used for circulation. Other grades are preceded by PR for proof coins, which are rare and perfectly minted for collectors.
A set of criteria is followed to determine the condition of a coin. These include the appearance, level of detail, luster or sheen, and if there are noticeable errors. To the untrained eye, an MS60 coin may look perfect, but its value will be insignificant when compared to an MS67 coin.
1988 Quarter Errors
Washington Quarters were struck with several errors. Surprisingly, these imperfect samples have come with a higher value. In fact, some coins with rare mint errors are bought by collectors for a significantly higher price.
The 1988 Washington Quarters, specifically those minted in Philadelphia, come with numerous errors. Although regular strikes look better, those with errors can bring more money. Here are some of the notable mint errors in the Washington Quarters minted in 1988:
1. The Filled-in “P” Mint Mark
1989 quarters with the filled-in “P” mint mark feature a filled letter P caused by the die failing to hit the coin with enough force. The mint mark on these coins appears unclear and misshapen.
2. Doubled Die Error
Some 1988 Washington Quarters have the doubled die error with doubling in the “IN GOD WE TRUST” inscription. However, you will need to watch out for coins with these pieces since not all are actual doubled die errors; instead, these were simply smooshed.
3. Partial Collar
Partial collars happen when the planchet is not properly shaped during the minting process. This causes a striking press malfunction when the planchet strikes the collar die and results in deformities on the coins’ edges. The error is caused by constrained metal flow.
4. Capped Error
Capped errors are uncommon, and these happen when a coin is struck through grease, causing inadequate contact between the die and planchet. The two parts do not lie over each other completely, so the coin surface becomes unclear.
5. Missing Clad Layer
Some 1988 Washington Quarters minted in Philadelphia do not have a standard clad layer. These samples were improperly clad with nickel, resulting in a different color on the coin’s surface.
1988 Quarter FAQs
1. How much is a 1988 quarter worth?
The short answer is anywhere from $0.25 to $1,500. As we’ve looked at here, the value of a coin is based on a wide range of different factors. Most coins will be worth close to their face value, but there are a few exceptions.
One way to have a valuable 1988 Quarter is if it’s in near-perfect condition with almost no wear or damage. It’s worth noting that a coin would have to receive the very highest of grades to have any significant value.
The other way to have a valuable 1988 Quarter is if it had any of the errors that we listed above. If you have a quarter that looks odd, make sure to get it checked out.
2. What year is a rare quarter?
The 1965 Washington Quarter is a distinct piece for collectors since it is the last member of the silver quarters. These coins have a melt value that is much higher than the face value. There was an instance of hoarding in the year 1965. Due to this reason, congress shifted the use of silver for creating quarter dollars to copper-nickel alloy instead.
While silver quarters are uncommon today, you can find rare quarters from any year. If they are in perfect condition or have any significant errors, they may be highly valuable. If you think you have a valuable coin, it’s best to get it professionally graded.
3. Is a 1988 quarter silver?
The 1988 Washington Quarter consists of both copper and nickel. It has 91.67% copper, which forms the core, while the surface has 8.33% nickel. This has been the composition of quarters since the Coinage Act of 1965 took all silver coins out of circulation.
The reason that happened is that the value of silver went far above the face value of the coin, which meant that people hoarded the coins instead of spending them. Unless you have a quarter that was made before 1965, it won’t have any silver content.