How Much is a 1940 Silver Quarter Worth? (Price Chart)

The US nation loves George Washington, the first President and one of the US Founding Fathers. Therefore, it is not surprising that one-issue commemorative Quarter from 1932 became one of the longest minted Quarters in the history of American numismatics.

In 1940, the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver mints produced 46,756,846 coins. Most went through massive circulation, so those in mint state are scarce. Many collectors seek these coins in the best condition possible and are willing to pay well for them. Let’s see a 1940 Quarter value and how much you can expect for it.

 

1940 Quarter History

1940 Quarter History

The Great Depression hit the US hard in the 1930s. Unemployment went skyrocket high since the economy stalled, and there was almost no production and exchange of goods. That was definitely not the right time to issue a new coin because there was no demand for money.

Still, the bicentennial anniversary of the first US President’s birth approached, and the US Mint decided to issue a one-year commemorative half-dollar.

1940 Quarter

Location Year Minted
Philadelphia 1940 35,704,000
Philadelphia 1940 proof 11,246
San Francisco 1940 S 8,244,000
Denver 1940 D 2,797,600
Total / 46,756,846

Laura Gardin Fraser won the competition, but the then Treasury secretary preferred John Flanagan’s design. Finally, Congress changed the original half dollar coin denotation to 25 cents, thus replacing the Standing Liberty quarter.

1940 Quarter

Face value $0.25
Compound Silver (90%) and copper (10%)
Coin weight 0.20094 troy ounces (6.25 g)
Coin diameter 0.95 inches (24.26 mm)
Coin thickness 0.069 inches (1.75 mm)
Shape Round
Edge Reeded

The Flanagan winning design was uncomplicated, with the George Washington profile bust occupying the coin obverse central part. The engraving LIBERTY was above him, the IN GOD WE TRUST motto on the left side, and the date behind the President image.

1940 Quarter value*

Quality 1940 1940 S 1940 D
Good $5.9 $5.9 $5.9
Very good $5.9 $5.9 $5.9
Fine $5.9 $5.9 $9.3
Very fine $5.9 $6.5 $13
Extra fine $7.1 $8 $29
AU $8 $16 $75
MS 60 $17 $25 $136
MS 65 $68 $75 $344
PR 63 $200 / /

*by USA Coin book

The reverse side showed a bald eagle. The bird with spread wings held a shaft of arrows with two olive sprays in its claws.

The designer also added three required engravings, including the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM above the eagle and a QUARTER DOLLAR denotation below it.

 

1940 Quarter Types

The 1940 Washington quarter was a silver coin struck of silver and copper. As you can see, it differed from the so-called clad Quarters issued after 1964, made of copper and nickel.

In other words, this coin always has a melt value. Since a silver price is $22.54 per 1 troy ounce (31.1 g) in February 2022, you can do the quick math and calculate that the Quarter melt value is $4.08.

However, melting well-preserved coins is a loss of money. Sentimental and historical value aside, most coin shops will pay you more than $4 for a 1940 Quarter in extra fine or about uncirculated condition.

1940 Quarter

1940 Quarter
Image

The Philadelphia mint issued most Quarters in 1940, a total of 35,704,000. You won’t find the mint mark on them since this mint only started using the P letter on Quarters in 1980.

1940 Quarter value*

Year Extra fine quality Mint state
1940 $24 $65
1940 S $9 $16

*by JM Bullion

You can effortlessly find these coins for around five to eight dollars in decent condition. However, Quarters in the mint state are rare and more expensive. For instance, one 1940 MS 68 Quarter reached $19,975 at auction in 2013.

1940 proof Quarter

1940 proof Quarter
Image

In addition to regular coins, the Philadelphia mint also struck 11,246 proof Quarters in 1940. These coins didn’t go into circulation since the mint produced them with coin collectors in mind.

1940 Quarter value*

Quality 1940 1940 S 1940 D
Very good $8.7 $8.7 $8.9
Fine $8.9 $8.9 $9.2
Very fine $9 $9 $10.3
Extra fine $9.1 $9.5 $22.5
AU $10.3 $17.5 $60
MS 63 $32.5 $37.5 $175
MS 65 $55 $60 $290

*by WashingtonQuarters

Unlike regular pieces, proof coins were struck multiple times with more pronounced design details. That is why you can notice a typical mirror finish on the coin surface.

1940 S Quarter

1940 S Quarter

The San Francisco mint produced 8,244,000 in 1940, way more than average. As a result, the dies were overused, causing these coins to be polished several times, so many have design flaws and polish marks.

1940 Quarter value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1940 $3.8 $3.8 $4.2 $25
1940 S $3.8 $3.8 $4.5 $32
1940 D $3.8 $3.8 $16 $82

*by CoinStudy

All Quarters minted in San Francisco have the S mint mark, and you can find it on the reverse side, under the eagle.

1940 D Quarter

1940 D Quarter

The D letter is the only detail separating 2,797,600 Denver Quarters minted in 1940 from the rest of the total mintage. You can recognize it on the coin reverse, at the same spot as the letter S in San Francisco Quarters.

1940 Quarter value*

Quality 1940 1940 S 1940 D
Very good $4 $5 $5
Very fine $8 $10 $20
Extra fine $10 $20 $30
AU 50 $15 $50 $44
AU 58 $18 $126 $60
MS 63 $20 $135 $126
MS 65 $30 $140 $300
PR 64 $94 / /
PR 65 $1,063 / /

*by COIN HelpU

The low mintage that year resulted from the overproduction of previous years. Simply said, the mint had a reserve of these particular coins, and there was no need for massive production.

 

1940 Quarter Grading

1940 Quarter Grading

As I have already mentioned, coins in the mint state and proofs have much greater value than the circulated Quarters. How much is worth the 1940 Washington quarter will primarily depend on its grade.

Remember that coin dealers always pay attention to detail preservation, letters flattening, and possible design flaws. So, you should take care of these things when judging your Quarter.

Uncirculated – This coin potentially has a few light discolorations with preserved original mint luster. Since it was never in circulation, you couldn’t find any scratches on its surface.

1940 Washington Quarter value*

Year Quality
Good Fine Extra fine Uncirculated
1940 $3.5 to $3.7 $3.7 to $4 $5 to $5.2 $12+
1940 S $3.5 to $3.7 $3.7 to $4 $5.5 to $6 $19+
1940 D $3.5 to $3.7 $4 to $4.2 $14 to $16 $75+

*by Coinflation

Extra fine – The hair curls and other fine details like the eagle feathers are clearly noticeable in the Quarter in this grade. It was in circulation for a while, and light scratches and stains were visible on the surface.

Even though you can still read all engravings on this appealing coin, the President’s cheek and neck are possibly flat.

1940 Quarter value*

Quality 1940 1940 S 1940 D
Good $8.1 $8.1 $8.1
Very good $8.3 $8.3 $8.5
Fine $8.5 $8.5 $9.5
Very fine $8.8 $8.8 $14.3
Extra fine $9 $9 $23.7
Uncirculated $19 $28.5 $120
Brilliant uncirculated $62 $71 $335

*By Hobbizine

Fine – You won’t have any trouble finding a 1940 Washington quarter in fine condition. It will be in a decent state with the original design preserved and undamaged rim and date.

This Quarter was in circulation for years, so severe discoloration and scratches were clearly visible, while some coin parts became flat. Fine details such as eagle’s claws and President’s curls have also disappeared over time.

1940 Quarter value*

Quality 1940 1940 S 1940 D
Good $5.6 $7.8 to $9.3 $7.8 to $9.3
Very good $5.6 $8.1 to $9.7 $8.1 to $9.7
Fine $6.3 to $10.5 $8.8 to $11.3 $8.8 to $13
Very fine $9.8 to $13 $10.1 to $13 $16.2 to $35.6
Extra fine $12.1 to $16.2 $13.5 to $17.8 $40.5 to $73
AU $14.8 to $24.3 $20.5 to $27.5 $88 to $148
MS 60 $32.4 to $38.9 $36.4 to $43.7 $143 to $172
MS 61 $32.4 to $38.9 $39.1 to $47 $146 to $175
MS 62 $32.4 to $38.9 $44.5 to $53 $156 to $187
MS 63 $33.7 to $40.5 $51 to $62 $176 to $211
MS 64 $43.2 to $52 $54 to $65 $228 to $262
MS 65 $54 to $68 $65 to $81 $260 to $312
MS 66 $74 to $101 $122 to $143 $358 to $429
MS 67 $234 to $292 $364 to $455 $650 to $780
MS 68 $8,000 to $10,600 $11,900 to $12,600 /

*by Greysheet

Good – You can see the President’s bust on the good-graded coin, but there are some significant flattening. The hairband has gone, and the area between the hair and forehead is not sharply separated anymore.

You can see the most damage on the coin rim that blends with edge letters and the date. On the reverse side, olive branches and arrows are almost unrecognizable, and the whole coin surface lacks shine and original texture.

 

Summary

Three mints produced nearly 47 million Washington quarters in 1940. Nowadays, these coins have both melt and numismatic values, and they both are ways higher than their denotation. The Philadelphia mint also struck 11,246 proofs in 1940 but finding one is a true challenge on the current market.

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