What Year Quarters Are Silver

Are you an enthusiastic silver numismatic? Would you like to add a few silver coins to your collection? Here, we’re piling up a comprehensive silvern guide to help you get the most pricey and valuable silver quarters. The easiest way to collect silver is by stacking coins.

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But what year quarters are silver? Quarters minted in or before 1964 are all 90% pure silver and 10% copper.

But the pre-1964 quarters aren’t the only coins made of silver. In this post, you’ll find out how to spot a quarter coin that’s made of silver.

Features & Info About Silver Quarters

Feature Value
Name Quarter
Face Value $0.25
Weight 6.25 grams
Portrait Image George Washington, America’s First President
Metal Content 90% silver and 10% copper

Silver Coin History: The Year Quarters Stopped Being Silver

The United States Mint made silver quarters from the Year 1796 until 1964. The most popular silver coins are the Washington quarters which contain 90% silver while the rest 10% is copper.

Junk silver quarters were in fashion at the US mint until 1964. Then the mint shifted from the silver to the copper-nickel alloy. Other currencies made from this silver included the dimes. The dimes and quarters form some of the cheapest ways to start building your first silver bullion.

Summary of Silver Quarter Coins

Silver Quarter Variety Year of Minting
Wright Wright 1792
Draped Bust Siver Quarter Draped Bust, Small Eagle

Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle



Capped Bust Siver Quarter Capped Bust With Motto


Capped Bust Without Motto





Seated Liberty Siver Quarter Seated Liberty Without Motto


Seated Liberty With Motto




Barber Quarter Barber 1892–1916
The Standing Liberty Siver Quarter Type 1: Liberty’s one breast exposed


Type 2 or Type 2a:


Type 3 or Type 2b:







The Washington Siver Quarter Washington Bicentennial  (40% silver-clad, not for circulation)


Washington 50 States (commemorative quarters)


Washington District of Columbia and U.S. Territories (Commemorative coins)


Washington America the Beautiful













Identifying Silver Quarters

You can know if the quarter is the 90% silver coin by looking for specific features. A real silver quarter has distinct general designs that make them collectible.

First, check the mintage year. Washington quarters were made between 1933 and 1964. Any quarter dated before 1965 is a silver coin.

Find The Mint Mark, a small letter at the rivers near the bottom of your coin. The Mint Mark shows the US mint which made the coin. The Philadelphia Mint coins have no mintmark. Quarters with mint marks are rare collections.

Washington quarters have the characteristic luster of 90% silver.  Few coins may have some slight coloration. But both the mintage year and the silver metal luster should confirm its content.

Make sure to look at the edge for any different metal. The silver quarters have a total silver covering, and there is no other metal sandwiched inside.

The 1965 silver quarter weighs 6.25 grams, while the copper-nickel Washington quarters are 5.65 g.

Also, determine if the coin is a unique variety or just an error. Special coins were minted on purpose. But the errors are primarily transitional coins that were accidentally hit with silver.

Value of Silver Quarters

Value of Silver Quarters

Most silver quarters are cheap junk coins. The junk silver goes for nothing more than its melt price. But, there are specific quarters that would fetch as much as $7000. These coins are rare, and that’s why they are expensive in the first place.

The silver coin quarters, for instance, would go for just one or two US dollars. But, a collector recently got a 1965 coin with 90% silver. This was one of the rare error coins which were accidentally struck with the silver planchet. The history behind the manufacture of such a rare coin is more expensive than its exact cost of silver content.

To sell the silver quarters you have in possession, you, therefore, have to analyze them to know whether they have any historical value attached. If they have no rarity attached, you will sell them at the melt price.

The amount of money you get for the quarter depends on the silver content in them. Also, check whether their Barber Standing Liberty or Washington silver quarters.

While quarters have a face value of 25 cents, their real value could be worth more than ten times. Even the junk silver coins still have at least ten times their face value. So, in total, the average silver quarter goes for about $3 or $5.

Why 90% Silver Coins Are Junk Silver

In the UK, US, Canada, and Australia, junk silver is any silver coin in circulation with little collectible value.

While some silver quarters are expensive and have a good value, the majority are not collectible because they have little numismatic value. The large quantities of coins in circulation make their value low.

The pejorative ‘junk silver’ terminology refers to the coin’s collectability but not necessarily the silver it contains. In most cases, junk silver coins are worth just as much as they melt value. In short, the value of a junk silver coin is the spot value in the market times the total amount of silver metal in it.

If you are starting off investing in silver, you may want to try junk silver fast. The coins are worth a slight premium above the Silver Spot price.

Silver coins have higher prices than the other silver collections. Although official US coins are more expensive, junk silver is readily available. If you don’t have a problem processing lots of liquid cash and want to trade silver easily, then silver quarters are an excellent way to go.


Why do some coins beyond 1965 contain silver?

Simple answer: because they are transitional error coins. The United States mint had already transitioned away from using 90% silver planchets to make quarters half dollars and dimes. But, some coins still got struck with 90% silver, and that’s why you may find 1965 coins may containing silver.

It was up to 1964 when the 90% silver quarters were made, and as from 1965, every quarter contained copper nickel. But a few of these quarters still got truck accidentally with the 90% silver. The transitional error coins are rare and worth several thousands of dollars.

How rare are 1965 quarters?

The only reason why 1965 coins are rare is due to the hunt. Everyone is trying to get a coin or two of these.

The copper-nickel alloys quarters are only exciting because it was the first year when these were issued. Any type of coin that is part of the first year of issue tends to be popular but not rare.

How many pre-1965 silver coins are equal to an ounce?

The pre-1965 silver quarter makes about 0.181 troy ounces of silver. So, you would need eleven silver quarter coins to have 2oz of pure silver.

Which are the most expensive silver quarter dollar coins?

The very first quarter dollar came into existence in 1796. It’s not exactly their silver content that makes coins expensive but the history behind them.

Numismatists identify the specific dates, varieties, and features that make up a rare coin. The 1796 Small Eagle Reverse Draped Bust quarter silver coin is the most expensive coin.

Suppose you found this coin; you would possibly have the most expensive collection. This early federal mint quarter has a value of about $10,000. Only 6146 pieces of these coins were minted in 1796.

Other expensive coins include 1804 with Herald Eagle Reverse, 1805 Draped Bust Quarter, and 1823 Over 2 Capped Bust Quarter.

Where do I sell my silver quarters?

Several reputable collectionists and coin dealers are willing to buy your silver coins. Also, the pawnshop may be a good place, but it’s important to sell to the people who need it most.

A coin dealer knows exactly what features to look for in your collection. So, they’re likely to give you a better price than at the pawnshop.  Also, consider selling the silver quarter at online auction websites.

Winding-up: Should I stack my collection with silver quarters?

If you find quarters minute between 1796 and up to 1964, you have 90% silver! The melting value is about two or three dollars, and you can turn them into jewelry, bullion ingots, or anything!

The United States law allows you to melt and restructure any coin as long as it’s not for profit. So, you can stash your safe with as many silver quarters as you want!

So, is collecting silver quarters profitable? Should you start stacking pre-1965 quarters in your numismatic safe? Yes, if you’re doing it as a hobby. But, it’d take you over 160 quarters to make one silver kilo bullion bar.

Investing in silver quarters is a good start, especially for amateur collectors. Junk silver from coins commands some premium over the silver spot price. Of course, the official American coins have a high price.

Any questions about silver quarter years? We’ll be glad to answer!

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