How tall is a quarter? If you’ve ever held a quarter and wondered just how thick this coin is, you’re not alone. As one of the most frequently used coins in circulation, many of us hand quarters back and forth without thinking much about their dimensions.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: a quarter is 1.75mm thick.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about quarter dimensions. You’ll learn the quarter’s thickness, diameter, mass, composition, and how it compares to other coins in size.

Determining Quarter Dimensions and Specifications

The Thickness of a Quarter

The thickness of a United States quarter is 1.75 mm, which converts to approximately 0.069 inches. This uniform dimension is set by the U.S. Mint for all circulating quarters. The quarter is the thickest coin among currently minted U.S. coins, with the penny (1.52 mm), nickel (1.95 mm), dime (1.35 mm), and half dollar (1.50 mm) all being slightly thinner.

Quarter Diameter and Circumference

All U.S. quarters minted since 1965 have a diameter of 24.26 mm (0.955 inches). This gives quarters a circumference of 76.2 mm or exactly 3 inches.

Earlier quarters were slightly bigger. Quarters minted from 1932-1964 had a diameter of 24.3 mm. The first U.S. quarters minted from 1796-1828 measured 27 mm across.

Quarter Mass and Weight

The mass of a quarter is 5.67 grams. With the standard acceleration due to gravity (9.807 m/s2), this gives quarters a weight of about 0.2 ounces or 5.670 grams-force.

A quarter’s weight has changed little since the first quarters appeared. The Coinage Act of 1792 set the weight at 104 grains (6.74 grams). In 1837 the standard quarter weight became 103.125 grains (6.68 grams). And in 1965 it changed to the current 5.67 grams where it has remained since.

Silver Quarter Composition

Modern U.S. quarters have an outer layer that is 75% copper and 25% nickel. They have a pure copper core. Older silver quarters (made before 1965) were 90% silver and 10% copper.

Here’s a comparison of quarter coin metal composition over time:

Year Range Composition
1965 – today Copper nickel-clad: Outer – 75% copper, 25% nickel Inner – 100% copper
1932 – 1964 90% silver, 10% copper
1796 – 1828 89.24% silver, 10.76% copper

So if you find an old U.S. quarter, checking its composition is an easy way to see if it contains valuable silver!

How Quarter Size Compares To Other Coins

Quarter vs. Nickel Comparison

The quarter, which has a diameter of 24.26 mm and a thickness of 1.75 mm, is considerably larger and thicker than the nickel coin, which measures 21.21 mm in diameter and 1.95 mm thick. When the two coins are placed side by side, the size differential is clearly noticeable to the human eye.

The quarter is about 12% larger in diameter than the nickel.

Quarter vs. Dime Size

Comparing the quarter with the dime coin, there is an even more substantial size difference. The dime has a diameter of only 17.91 mm and is 1.35 mm thick, making it 26% smaller than a quarter in terms of diameter. The quarter is also taller than the dime.

So if you placed a dime on top of Washington’s head on a quarter lying flat, the top ridge of the dime would likely not reach the top edge of the quarter.

Quarter vs. Penny Dimensions

Coin Diameter Thickness
Quarter 24.26 mm 1.75 mm
Penny 19.05 mm 1.52 mm

The humble penny is drastically smaller than the quarter coin in physical size. According to the United States Mint coin specifications, a quarter has a diameter roughly 21% larger than a penny. The quarter is also slightly thicker than a penny.

So if you took 4 pennies and stacked them on top of each other, the stack height would roughly match the thickness of a single quarter coin.

The History of Coin Thickness and Changes Over Time

The thickness of coins has gone through changes throughout history. In early coinage, thickness was less standardized and depended on the minting process and metals available at the time. As coin production advanced, certain standards emerged.

Understanding the history of coin thickness provides insight into manufacturing improvements and economic conditions over time.

Early Coin Production Methods and Thickness Variation

In ancient times, coins were produced by hand using hammering or casting methods. This resulted in uneven thicknesses since consistency was difficult to achieve.

  • Thickness ranged dramatically between coin issues and mints
  • Coins wore down through circulation, becoming thinner over time

Advancements in Coin Minting for Increased Consistency

With technological improvements like rolling mills and automated punching machines, coin production became more standardized over the centuries.

  • Tolerances narrowed on thickness variation
  • Average thicknesses could be analyzed over time as consistency improved

Coin Shortages and Metal Composition Changes

In times of coin shortage or increased metal prices, coins were sometimes minted using less metal to conserve resources.

  • U.S. coins changed composition during WWII due to copper and nickel shortages
  • Thickness likely impacted by some composition changes

Modern High-Precision, Automated Coin Production

With today’s automated technology, U.S. mints can produce billions of coins per year with extremely accurate consistency.

  • Tolerances on thickness down to 0.01mm
  • Statistical process control tracks dimensions

Measuring Quarter Size Yourself

Using a Ruler

The most straightforward way to measure the size of a quarter is with a standard ruler that has millimeter or inch markings. Simply lay the quarter flat on a table and use the ruler to measure across the diameter. A quarter is exactly 24.26 mm or 0.955 inches in diameter.

You can also measure the thickness. Stack several quarters on top of each other and measure from the table surface to the top of the stack. A single quarter is 1.75 mm or approximately 0.069 inches thick. So a stack of 4 quarters would measure about 7 mm or 0.276 inches.

Weighing on a Scale

Another way to ascertain the size of a quarter is by weighing it on a precision scale. This won’t give you the linear dimensions but will reveal the overall heft and mass.

An individual quarter weighs exactly 5.670 grams. Earlier quarters were made from pure copper and weighed more, but since 1965, quarters have been made from a copper-nickel-clad combination. Special commemorative versions contain different compositions.

Determining Composition

The quarter’s composition has changed over time, so determining the materials can give clues about its dimensions. Here are some handy ways to test composition at home:

  • Examining with a magnifying glass— A post-1964 copper-nickel quarter will show a clear seam between the core and outer cladding.
  • The magnet test— A magnet will be attracted to the nickel in clad quarters but not to pure copper in earlier types.
  • Ring test— Copper-nickel quarters make a distinct “ring” sound when flipped, unlike pure copper which produces more of a “thunk.”
  • Ice test— A copper quarter will feel warmer on ice than an aluminum token, due to differences in thermal conductivity.
Quarter Type Years Minted Composition Mass
Early 1796-1964 100% copper 6.25 grams
Modern (copper-nickel) 1965-present Outer layers 75% copper, 25% nickel with pure copper core 5.67 grams
Commemorative Various Varies, e.g. 90% silver, 10% copper for some 1976 types Varies

Consult resources like the U.S. Mint’s specifications table to date and verify composition details if required. Understanding the quarter’s materials provides more clues about the exact dimensions.

How Tall Is A Quarter – Conclusion

As you can see, determining the thickness of a quarter is fairly straightforward once you have the right tools on hand. But this everyday coin has a rich history that has shaped its current dimensions.

With a better understanding of quarter size specifications and how they compare to other coins, the next time you handle a quarter, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for this coin.

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