Quarter Dollar Coins

A quarter is a coin worth one-quarter of a United States dollar, or 25 cents. The quarter has been produced since 1796, and is the highest denomination U.S. coin commonly in circulation, although this may or may not change due to the Presidential $1 Coin Program.

It is sometimes referred to as two bits because two bits of a Spanish Reales coin, which was often used in the early years of the United States, made up a quarter of that coin's value

List of designs

  • Silver quarters
    • Draped Bust, Small Eagle 1796
    • Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle 1804–1807
    • Capped Bust (Large Size), With Motto 1815–1828
    • Capped Bust (Small Size), No Motto 1831–1838
    • Seated Liberty, No Motto 1838–1865
    • Seated Liberty, No Motto 1866–1891
    • Barber 1892–1916
    • Standing Liberty (Type 1) 1916–1917
    • Standing Liberty (Type 2) 1917–1930
    • Washington 1932–1964, 1992–present (Proof Only)
    • Washington Bicentennial 1975–1976 (all were dated 1776-1976) (40% Silver-clad Proof, not intended for circulation)
    • Washington Statehood special silver quarters

  • Copper-nickel quarters
    • Washington 1965–1974, 1977–1998
    • Washington Bicentennial 1975–1976 (all were dated 1776-1976)
    • Washington statehood 1999–present

Obverse: Bust of Lady Liberty
Reverse: A bald eagle

The Draped Bust design was used from 1796 to 1807, with a change in the reverse design beginning in 1804. No Quarter Dollars were struck from 1808-1814.

Obverse: Lady Liberty
Reverse: A bald eagle

Minting of the denomination resumed in 1815, with the introduction of the Capped Bust design. In 1831, the diameter of the Quarter Dollars was reduced and standardized through the use of a close collar (a collar that restricted the outward flow of metal when the blank planchets were struck).

Obverse: Lady Liberty seated holding the Union Shield
Reverse: A bald eagle

The Seated Liberty design debuted in mid-1838 and lasted until 1891. From 1853 to 1855, arrowheads were placed on either side of the date to signify a reduction in the weight of the coin. In 1866, the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" was added to the reverse of the Quarter Dollar. From 1873 to 1874, arrowheads reappeared on the obverse, this time to signify the adoption of the metric system by Mint officials.

Obverse: Lady Liberty
Reverse: A bald eagle

In 1892, Charles Barber created a new design using a head of Liberty wearing a freedman's cap. This became known as the Barber type, one of the few American types that took the name of the designer, rather than the name of the main design elements (other notable examples are the Gobrecht and Morgan Silver Dollars).

Obverse: Lady Liberty standing
Reverse: A bald eagle

The Standing Liberty design appeared in 1916, featuring a classic figure in a long, flowing dress, carrying a shield in one hand and an olive branch in the other. In 1916 and 1917, Liberty appeared bare-breasted; from 1917 to 1930, she was given cover-up of chain mail.

Obverse: Bust of George Washington
Reverse: A bald eagle

The Washington Quarter that was minted from 1965-1998 is made up of the same metals as today's current Quarter. It also has the same size and weight. It is made of cupronickel (8.33% Ni and the balance Cu), weighs 5.670 grams (0.182 troy oz), has a diameter of 0.955 inches (24.26 mm), has a width of 1.75 millimeters (0.069 in), and has a reeded edge. Owing to the introduction of the clad quarter in 1965, it was occasionally called a "Johnson Sandwich," after Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President at the time. It costs 4.29 cents to produce each coin. Before 1965, quarters contained 90% silver, 10% copper.

Obverse: Bust of George Washington
Reverse: State Designs

The 50 State Quarters program was put into effect in 1999. Each state would get a design put on the reverse. The obverse was changed so that the date would go on the reverse. Five quarters are released every year through 2008.

Obverse: Bust of George Washington
Reverse: Territory/federal district

The District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program was a one-year coin program of the United States Mint that saw quarters being minted in 2009 to honor the District of Columbia and the unincorporated United States insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The coins used the same George Washington obverse as with the quarters of the previous ten years. The reverse of the quarters featured a design selected by the Mint depicting each territory/federal district.

Obverse: Bust of George Washington
Reverse: A national park or national site

The America the Beautiful Quarters is a series of quarters issued by the United States Mint from 2010 until at least 2021. The series may be extended at the option of the Secretary of the Treasury, potentially extending the series to 2033. The obverse of all the coins will depict George Washington in a restored version of the original portrait used for the 1932 Washington Quarter. There will be five new reverse designs each year (one in 2021) each depicting a national park or national site (one from each state, the federal district, and each territory).