Discover the true value of your 1972 quarter with this guide. While most 1972 quarters are not worth much, some rare versions can fetch thousands of dollars. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the value of a 1972 quarter, including historical facts and the coin’s different varieties.
The United States Treasury Department issued the Washington quarter in 1932, in honor of the first president of the United States, George Washington. While the quarter's design remained unchanged from 1932 until 1998, except for 1975 and 1976, some rare 1972 quarters could be worth thousands of dollars.
This article provides interesting historical facts, including the coin's design, the story behind its creation, and various varieties of the quarter. Whether you are a hobbyist or just curious about your 1972 quarter's value, this guide is a must-read.
1972 Quarter Value Overview
The value of a 1972 quarter, like any other coin, is determined by supply and demand in the collector's market. While a 1972 quarter in average circulated condition may not be worth much more than its face value, a rare or unique specimen can fetch a high price among collectors.
An uncirculated 1972 quarter can be worth anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on its grade and any unique characteristics it may have.
For example, a 1972 quarter with a “D” mint mark (indicating it was minted in Denver) in uncirculated condition could be worth more than a quarter with no mint mark or with an “S” mint mark (indicating it was minted in San Francisco). This is because the Denver mint produced fewer quarters that year than the other two mints, making them rarer and more valuable to collectors.
Another factor that can affect the value of a 1972 quarter is any errors or unique characteristics it may have. For example, a quarter with a doubled die error (where the image on the coin appears to be double-struck) can be worth thousands of dollars to a collector.
The Value Of 1972 No Mintmark Quarter
The 1972 No Mintmark Quarter is one of the three types of Washington quarters that were struck and released into circulation that year. It is essential to understand the features and minting process of this coin to determine its value accurately.
The absence of a mintmark on a 1972 Washington quarter does not necessarily make it an error coin. The Philadelphia Mint struck coins without a mintmark that year, and it is common to find such quarters in circulation. However, uncirculated 1972 No Mintmark Quarters are rare and valuable.
If you come across a 1972 No Mintmark Quarter in mint state with no signs of wear and tear, it could be worth between $1 and $5. The value of circulated 1972 No Mintmark Quarters is usually around 25 cents, the face value of the coin.
In 2018, the PCGS reported that the 1972 no-mintmark quarter with the highest value received an MS-67 grade and was sold for $1,320 at an auction.
The Value Of the 1972-D Quarter
The 1972-D Quarter is another type of Washington quarter struck in 1972, this time at the Denver Mint. As with the 1972 No Mintmark Quarter, understanding this coin's characteristics and the minting process is crucial in determining its value.
The 1972-D Quarter is identified by the “D” mintmark located on the obverse side of the coin next to Washington's hair tie. With over 300 million Washington quarters produced at the Denver Mint that year, it is quite common to find circulated 1972-D Quarters valued at 25 cents, the coin's face value.
Uncirculated 1972-D Quarters, however, are rare and valuable. If you spot one, it is likely to be worth between $1 and $5, depending on its condition and mintmark signs.
The highest-valued 1972-D Quarter, according to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), was auctioned in 2014 for $3,055.
The Value Of the 1972-S Quarter
The 1972-S Quarter is the third type of Washington quarter struck that year, produced specifically for collectors. It is different from the other two types in that it has an “S” mintmark and was struck at the San Francisco Mint.
The San Francisco Mint produced 3,260,996 1972-S Quarters for collectors, making it more common than the other two types of 1972 Washington quarters. The 1972-S Quarter is worth between $3 and $5 in normal grade, and uncirculated mint state proofs with cameo contrast, raised lettering, and no signs of wear and tear have a slightly higher value.
The PCGS records show that the 1972-S Proof Quarter with the highest value was auctioned in 2007 at $1,380.
The Value Of the 1972 Quarter Errors
In 1972, the US Mint produced millions of quarters for circulation, but as with any mass production, errors can occur. Some of these errors resulted in valuable coins that are sought after by collectors today.
Doubled Die Quarter Error
one of the most renowned errors from 1972, comes about when a die receives two impressions of the same coin design at different angles. This leads to certain details being doubled in appearance.
Doubling in a 1972 Washington quarter can be different – ranging from minor to extensive. Consequently, the value of such coins also depends on the degree of doubling – right from $25 to an impressive $50.
Off-Center Quarter Error
This type of error happens when the metal planchet isn't accurately centered in between the two dies during the coin minting process. The die can be misaligned during the stamping process, resulting in the design being slightly shifted away from the center of the coin.
This off-positioning causes a variance to occur. An error in the degree of the design can range from 5% to 50%. A minor mistake of 5-10%, while still visible, could command $20. On the other hand, a major mistake of 50%, where the design remains recognizable, could be worth up to $250 or more.
The Smooth Edge or Broadstrike Quarter Error
This specific error occurs when a completely centered coin is struck outside the coin's collar. When this happens, the coin appears to be stretched out and flattened in certain areas, although it has a smooth edge instead of a grooved one.
A broadstrike quarter has a much different look than your typical 1972 quarter, with it being elongated and flatter. It's usually worth anywhere from $20 to $30, making it an ideal coin to collect for those interested in coin collecting.
The History Of The Washington Quarter
The Mint produced the Washington quarter in 1932, and it remained in circulation until 1998, with the exception of 1975 and 1976 when it was briefly replaced by the ‘drummer boy' portrait created by Jack Ahr. The United States Treasury Department had intended the Washington quarter to be a circulating coin to pay tribute to George Washington, the country's first president, in 1972.
The Washington quarter's designer was selected in a contest hosted by the George Washington Bicentennial Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts. Out of 99 entries, Laura Gardin Fraser's design won the judges' approval and was chosen as the winner.
Nevertheless, the Secretary of the Treasury had the final say and decided to go with John Flanagan as the winner despite what the judges had initially recommended.
The tussle between the commissions and the Secretary of the Treasury delayed minting the coin, but it was eventually released on August 1, 1932. From 1932 to 1966, the quarter was made out of 90% silver, but due to rising prices of silver and an acute coin shortage, the 1972 quarter was struck from a copper-nickel clad instead.
Features Of The 1972 Quarter
The 1972 quarter is a unique and interesting coin that has captured the attention of many hobbyists over the years. Let's take a closer look at its features on both the obverse and reverse sides.
- Features a left-facing portrait of George Washington with his hair tied at the back
- The word “LIBERTY” is inscribed around the top, while “IN GOD WE TRUST” is located on the left side adjacent to Washington's throat.
- The year of issue, “1972,” is inscribed around the bottom, underneath Washington's truncated bust.
- The mintmark is located on the right side behind Washington's ponytail.
- Features an Art Deco-styled heraldic eagle perched on a bunch of arrows, pointing its head and the arrows to the left
- A U-shaped wreath of olive branches flanks the eagle and the bundle of arrows.
- The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” are embossed at the top, followed by “E PLURIBUS UNUM” just below.
- The coin's denomination, “QUARTER DOLLAR,” is inscribed around the bottom
- The 1972 quarter has a reeded edge
- The 1972 quarter is primarily made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, with a copper center.
- There are no known 1972 silver Washington quarters
- The coin weighs 5.67 grams and measures 24.3mm in diameter
- It will have a mintmark of D (Denver), S (San Francisco), or no mintmark, depending on where the coin was struck
The 1972 quarter was an important coin in the history of the Washington quarter, which was first introduced in 1932. Although most 1972 quarters are not worth much, rare varieties of the coin can fetch thousands of dollars.
The three types of 1972 quarters are the No Mintmark Quarter, the 1972-D Quarter, and the 1972-S Quarter. Understanding the characteristics and minting processes of these coins is crucial in determining their value.