Coins released during the 50 State Quarters program are considered key specimens in American coin collecting history, so what are they worth?
The U.S. Mint State Quarters program spanned 1999 through 2008, releasing about five coins each year until all 50 states were honored. For one of the first times in American history, previously uninterested members of the public were paying attention to coins. Many even began collections because of their excitement and anticipation to get their hands on each of the State Quarters. About 40% of Americans participated in collecting pieces from the program.
A common question surrounding the program and its quarters asks what the state coins are worth today, more than a decade after the series was finished. Despite the anticipation that surrounded each coin’s release in the series, many state quarters were minted that many of these coins remain common finds in everyday pocket change. Like any coin series, however, the value of state quarters is not just as simple as declaring each piece is worth its 25-cent face value.
Overall, if not all, the overwhelming majority of circulated state quarters are worth their 25-cent face value. Certain uncirculated pieces may be worth just slightly more, typically about $1.25. However, particular examples exist, such as the uncirculated 2004-D Wisconsin quarters, that may be worth significantly more. With certain irregularities in its design, a State Quarter could be worth around $90.00 to $150.00 depending on its condition and coin grading.
It is important to note that a critical deciding factor in the value of a given state quarter is the piece’s type. As previously alluded to, circulated and uncirculated coins were minted as pieces within the program. However, there are a total of four types that contribute to the overall value.
The four types of state quarters released as a part of the 50-piece program include circulated, uncirculated, Clad Proof, and Silver Proof. Each of these plays a role in the assessment of a quarter’s value.
Circulated state quarters are those that any of us may see on any given day within our pocket change. Because they are such common pieces and so many were minted, circulated state quarters are valued at the originally intended amount of 25 cents.
Uncirculated state quarters include those that were minted to be circulated but instead were preserved by collectors or unused. This left these pieces in perfect condition and worth a slightly higher value than circulated coins. As previously mentioned, the uncirculated versions typically are worth about $1.25.
However, this generality does not come without exception. The Denver Mint Wisconsin state quarter is the one piece that holds significant value. It was minted in three versions known as “no leaf,” “low leaf,” and “high leaf.” The “no leaf” version is worth the standard $1.00. However, the two unique versions that include an extra leaf in their design are those worth near or just above $100.00.
Like other Proof Sets, the Clad Proof sets of state quarters were released annually during the program specifically for collectors and contained the releases for each given year. These pieces were made of primarily copper with little nickel and are worth about $1.75 each.
Silver Proof sets served a similar purpose to Clad Proof sets. However, the key difference is their make-up. These sets were made of 90% silver, meaning that their value is higher and is directly tied to the changing spot price of silver, particularly during times of high demand for the precious metal.
State Quarters brought a new level of interest in coins and coin collecting to a large swath of the American population. Even today, thirteen years after the last coin was minted, many take pleasure in finding a shiny State Quarter among the change in their pocket.