How thick is a quarter in inches? If you’re wondering about the thickness of a United States quarter coin and want a detailed answer, you’ve come to the right place.

In short – a quarter is 0.069 inches or 1.75 millimeters thick. But there’s more to understand about quarter dimensions and design, which we’ll explore in this comprehensive guide.

We’ll start by confirming the quarter’s thickness specification as set by the U.S. Mint, then look at how it compares to other coins. Next, we’ll get into specifics around quarter size, weight, composition, and more. We’ll also briefly cover the history of the quarter to provide context.

By the end, you’ll have a complete understanding of quarter thickness as well as other key details about this iconic American coin.

The Official Thickness of a United States Quarter

Diameter and Thickness Requirements

The specifications for United States coinage are controlled by the United States Mint. According to their official guidelines, the diameter of a quarter must be 24.26 mm (0.955 in) with a tolerance of 0.08 mm. The thickness should be 1.75 mm (0.069 in) with a tolerance of 0.10 mm.

This means an ideal US quarter should measure exactly 24.26 mm wide and 1.75 mm thick.

These strict diameter and thickness specifications are important for ensuring all US quarters are the same size and weight. This consistency allows vending machines and coin-counting devices to accurately recognize legitimate US currency.

Interestingly, the quarter’s thickness is only about one-sixth the diameter. With dimensions of 24.26 mm x 1.75 mm, the quarter is quite a flat coin.

Visual Representation

To help visualize the thickness, stacked Washington quarters would need to be six high to reach the height (diameter) of a single quarter lying flat. That’s how flat the coin is relative to the diameter.

Another way to picture the thickness is to think of common paper stocks. Printer paper is typically 0.10 mm to 0.18 mm thick. This means about 10 to 20 sheets of paper would need to be stacked to equal the thickness of a single quarter.

That’s surprisingly thin for a coin meant to stand up to wear and tear.

Diameter 24.26 mm
Thickness 1.75 mm

How Quarter Thickness Compares To Other Coins

Thickness of Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes

When compared to other common US coin denominations, the quarter falls right in the middle in terms of thickness. Let’s take a look at how it stacks up:

  • Pennies – Thinnest at 1.52mm
  • Nickels – Slightly thicker than pennies at 1.95mm
  • Dimes – Getting closer to quarters at 1.35mm
  • Quarters – A moderate thickness of 1.75mm
  • Half dollars – The thickest of the bunch at 2.15mm

So while pennies and dimes are thinner, the quarter exceeds nickels in thickness. And half dollars take the cake as the chunkiest coin of the group!

Differences Across Coin Denominations

There are a few reasons why coin thickness varies:

  • Material composition – Pennies are made primarily of zinc with only 2.5% copper. Nickels have 25% nickel and 75% copper. Quarters and dimes contain 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel. Half dollars are made of outer layers of 75% copper and 25% nickel surrounding an inner core of pure copper.
  • Durability – Thicker coins tend to hold up better against wear and tear over decades of circulation and use.
  • Ease of stacking/handling – Thinner coins like pennies and dimes are easier to roll, store in piggy banks, and carry in large quantities. Their slimmer profile makes them simple to count as well.
  • Security features – Some features like reading (ridges around the edge) on quarters, half dollars, and dollars require slightly more thickness.

So in the end, the quarter’s moderate thickness strikes a nice balance – durable enough for long-term use but still convenient to stack, store, and transport.

Other Physical Specifications of Quarters

Weight and Composition

The standard quarter measures 0.955 inches (24.26 mm) in diameter and 0.069 inches (1.75 mm) in thickness, making it the thickest coin currently issued for circulation by the United States Mint. Weighing approximately 5.67 grams, quarters are composed of a core of copper and nickel bonded to an outer layer of a copper-nickel alloy.

The total nickel and copper composition is 99.4%, with trace elements like manganese filling out the balance for durability. This has a higher copper content than dimes, cents, and nickels.

According to the specifications of the Coinage Act of 1965, which standardized the features of all U.S. coins, quarters must have a mass between 5.670 and 5.670 grams. The heavier weight and metal composition give the quarter a solid, substantial feel.

While some other coins like dimes have gotten thinner over time, quarters have maintained the same hefty dimensions for over 60 years. The thickness also gives the coin a bold visual look and makes the embossed designs stand out sharply.

Distinctive Reeded Edges

Along with their unique weight and composition, quarters can also be distinguished from other coins by the reeded edges along the rim. Quarters have 119 uniform ridges or reeds around the circumference.

These were originally implemented in the early days of the U.S. Mint as a way to deter criminals from shaving or clipping small amounts of precious metal from the edges of coins. While modern clad quarters do not contain precious metals, the historic feature has stuck around.

The reeded edges help prevent counterfeits and also make quarters easier to stack neatly when rolled or bagged. Some commemorative quarters buck the trend with smooth edges, but circulation strike quarters for general spending have traditionally featured a ridged border.

The distinctive grooves provide a tactile way for visually impaired people to discern quarters from similarly-sized coins.

Brief History of the Quarter Coin

Introduction in 1796

The ever-popular quarter-dollar coin that millions of Americans use every day has an intriguing origin story. Authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792, the first quarter coins were minted in 1796, making them one of the oldest denominations still in circulation today.

In the early days of the United States, coins were handmade by engravers. The first quarters featured Lady Liberty on one side. The other side had an eagle, representing American strength and independence. The inaugural quarters were made of 90% pure silver.

While beautiful, those early quarters were far from perfect. The hand-engraved dies often cracked during the minting process. As a result, many 1796 quarters have unique imperfections that make them valuable to modern collectors.

In fact, an extremely rare, nearly perfect 1796 quarter sold at auction in 2013 for $1.41 million!

Changing Compositions Over Time

Over 200 years later, the modern quarter looks and feels quite different from those original silver coins. Today’s quarters have a copper core with a nickel and copper cover. This cheaper combination allows the U.S. Mint to produce around 15 billion quarters per year!

While quarters started as 100% silver, the precious metal content has shifted many times:

  • 1796-1964: 90% silver, 10% copper
  • 1965-1970: 40% silver, 60% copper (due to silver shortage)
  • 1971-present: Copper and nickel, no silver

Another key upgrade was the introduction of the 50 State Quarters program in 1999. This initiative featured unique quarter designs to honor each U.S. state. Americans enthusiastically collected the sets, showing their passion for the iconic coin.

Today, new quarters celebrating national parks and historic events aim to recapture that interest and inspire the next generation of coin collectors.

How Thick Is A Quarter In Inches – Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot of ground on the simple question of quarter thickness. You now know that a quarter is exactly 0.069 inches or 1.75 millimeters thick – a specification set by the U.S. Mint for all quarters minted since 1965.

You also learned how quarter dimensions compare to other coins and key details around quarter composition, weight, and history. Understanding specs like thickness may seem trivial, but these details contribute to the quarter’s iconic status today.

So the next time you get a quarter in change and casually flip it over in your hand, you can appreciate the precise engineering and design that went into creating it.

Similar Posts