What is the mass of a quarter? The quarter is one of the most frequently used coins in the United States monetary system. If you’ve ever wondered just how much a quarter weighs, you’re not alone. Understanding the specifications of US coinage can be useful knowledge for tasks like counting large sums of coins or even just gaining a little more insight into the money we use every day.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: a modern-day quarter weighs 5.670 grams.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about determining the mass of a United States quarter-dollar coin. We’ll look at the quarter’s material composition and dimensions, how it compares to other coins in terms of size and mass, the reason a quarter weighs what it does, and even a step-by-step guide to weighing a quarter yourself.

The Quarter’s Material Composition

Copper-Nickel Clad Composition

Modern United States quarters are made from a copper-nickel-clad composition. The outer layers make up 25% of the coin’s weight and are 75% copper and 25% nickel. This copper-nickel alloy was chosen because it has an attractive bright silvery color and stands up well to wear and tear in circulation.

The inner core makes up 75% of the quarter’s weight and is essentially pure copper. Copper is a reddish-colored metal that nicely complements the silver hue of the outer cladding layers. The copper core gives the quarter most of its weight and substance.

Pure Copper Core

The quarter’s inner core is 99.9% pure copper according to the United States Mint. This high-purity copper gives the coin excellent durability, electrical conductivity, and a reddish-orange color when exposed at the rim or when scratched.

This pure copper core has a mass of about 5.670 grams. When combined with the outer clad layers, the overall mass of the coin is 5.670 grams or 0.2 ounces. This gives the quarter a nice heft and thickness for a small coin, making it easy to handle during transactions.

The specific composition percentages of the layers in a quarter are:

– Outer clad layer 1: 75% copper, 25% nickel – 2.5% of coin’s weight

– Outer clad layer 2: 75% copper, 25% nickel – 2.5% of coin’s weight

– Inner core: 99.9% copper – 95% of coin’s weight

Quarter Dimensions and Specifications


The diameter of a United States quarter coin is 24.26 mm (0.955 in). This has been the standard diameter since the Coinage Act of 1965 standardized the coins. The large size makes quarters easy to handle and recognizable. Stacked, only 4 quarters make an inch.

The wide diameter also allows for more detailed coin designs and inscriptions.


Quarters have a thickness of 1.75 mm (0.069 in). This thin profile makes quarters easy to stack and carry while still maintaining adequate durability for circulation. Since 1965 the thickness has remained unchanged to allow vending machines to automatically sort and accept the coins.

Rim Width

The width of the rim on quarters measures 2.15 mm. The rim is raised above the coin face and helps protect the surface designs from wear during use. Under magnification, coin collectors can examine the rim to determine if a coin has suffered improper cleaning or damage.

Alloy Composition

Copper 75%
Nickel 25%

Since 1965, quarters have been made from an outer layer of 75% copper bonded around a solid core of 25% nickel. This combination produces a durable, attractive silver-colored coin. Before 1965, quarters were 90% silver!

The change helped retain intrinsic value better during the rising prices in the 60s.

Total Mass

With dimensions and compositions precisely defined, a quarter has an official mass of 5.670 grams per U.S. Mint specifications. However, variations in production runs yield averages around 5.7 grams. Allowable differences in production account for quarters weighing between 5.64 to 5.8 grams in actual scale measurements.

Still, precise mass allows automated coin counting and handling machines to reliably use quarters in commerce every day. Quarter reverses have borne the slogan “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one) since 1873, reflecting the unity and consistency coins provide the American economy.

To learn more about quarters, see the U.S. Mint’s quarter page with specifications, images, and historical data. Quarter collectors may want to join the Professional Coin Grading Service and review their online guides for more info about properly handling quarters.

Quarter Mass Compared To Other Coins

When it comes to US coinage, the quarter is one of the most commonly used and recognized coins. But how much does a quarter actually weigh? Here we’ll compare the mass of a quarter to some other popular US coins.

Quarter Mass

A standard circulating US quarter weighs 5.67 grams. This means that 4 quarters would weigh about 22.68 grams. For reference, a nickel weighs 5 grams, while a penny weighs 2.5 grams.

Comparison to Other Coins

Here’s how the mass of a quarter compares to some other US coin denominations:

Coin Mass
Penny 2.5 grams
Quarter 5.67 grams
Half dollar 11.34 grams
Dollar coin 8.1 grams

As you can see, a quarter is considerably heavier than a penny but lighter than a half-dollar or dollar coin. The quarter strikes a nice balance of being substantial enough to feel like “real money,” while still being light and convenient to carry around.

Quarter Mass Over Time

The mass of a quarter has decreased slightly over the years as the US Mint has adjusted alloy mixtures. For example, quarters made before 1965 contain more silver and are therefore heavier at around 6.25 grams.

However, normal circulation quarters minted since 1965 weigh 5.67 grams and are made of copper and nickel alloy.

While the quarter may have lost a bit of mass, it’s still widely used today. In fact, around 1.7 billion quarters are produced by the Mint each year to keep up with demand. With over 150 years of history behind it, the humble quarter continues going strong both in mass and popularity.

Why a Quarter Weighs 5.67 grams

A United States quarter has a mass of 5.67 grams for several important reasons related to its composition and dimensions.

Composition of the Quarter

The quarter is composed of a homogeneous alloy of copper and nickel, with trace amounts of manganese. Specifically, it contains:

  • 75% copper
  • 25% nickel
  • Traces of manganese

This combination of metals gives the quarter durability and some corrosion resistance while maintaining a silvery appearance. Importantly, it also provides a specific density resulting in the quarter’s total mass.

Dimensions of the Quarter

In addition to its metal composition, the mass of the quarter is dependent on its physical dimensions defined by the United States Mint:

  • Thickness: 1.75 mm
  • Diameter: 24.26 mm

Given the density of the quarter’s Cu-Ni alloy and these specifications, the overall volume ends up being about 5.670 cubic centimeters.

With the density and volume defined, the expected mass therefore calculates to 5.67 grams. This has been the standard specification for quarters since 1965.

Mass Consistency for Commerce

The quarter’s weight has been kept highly consistent over time to maintain fairness and accuracy in financial transactions. According to the United States Mint specifications, newly minted quarters have masses between 5.67 and 5.78 grams apiece.

Quarters also wear over circulation, losing a very small percentage of mass through surface abrasion.

Nonetheless, the weight has been regulated closely enough that one can rely on an average quarter having a mass of 5.67 grams. This consistency has been crucial for commerce and trade using quarters valued at 0.25 dollars each based on the total silver and copper content.

How to Weigh a Quarter

Supplies Needed

To accurately measure the mass of a United States quarter dollar coin, you will need a few basic supplies. First, you will need a precision digital scale capable of measuring grams. Many inexpensive digital kitchen scales or pocket scales with a resolution of 0.1 grams would work well.

You’ll also need a quarter fresh from circulation to weigh. Finally, having a small plastic dish, cup, or bowl to place the quarter in while on the scale would be helpful to keep it stable.

Weighing Steps

  1. Make sure your scale is on a flat, stable surface before starting. Digital kitchen scales generally work best when placed on a hard, even surface like a countertop or table.
  2. Turn on your scale and make sure it is tared (set to zero) without anything on it. Refer to your scale’s instructions if you need guidance.
  3. Place your plastic weighing vessel or bowl on the center of the scale’s platform. Allow the display to stabilize and show 0.0 grams.
  4. Put your circulated quarter in the vessel or bowl. Most US quarter dollars minted in recent years have a mass of around 5.7 grams. However, quarters in circulation pick up dirt and lose tiny amounts of metal over time, so expect a range of 5.6 to 5.8 grams.
  5. Read the stable measurement on the display and record the quarter’s mass. You may need to gently adjust the position to find the lowest stable reading.
  6. For improved accuracy, repeat steps 3-5 two more times with the same quarter and average the 3 mass values.

Following this simple weighing procedure will allow you to discover the current mass of your quarter. Overall, a properly functioning digital pocket or kitchen scale with 0.1-gram resolution can reliably measure the mass of a used quarter-dollar coin to the nearest tenth of a gram.

Compare your recorded quarter mass to the historical US Mint specification of 5.67 grams for a new, uncirculated quarter. This provides an interesting reference point showing how much circulating quarters lose in average mass from wear and tear over decades of use.

Quarter Status Typical Mass
New (uncirculated from US Mint) 5.67 grams
Lightly circulated 5.6 – 5.65 grams
Heavily circulated 5.5 – 5.6 grams

For more details on properly weighing coins and mass specifications, see the United States Mint’s coin weight breakdown or resources from the American Numismatic Association.

What Is The Mass Of A Quarter – Conclusion

Now that you know precisely how much a quarter weighs and the details behind that specification, you’ve got all the information you need to accurately count large sums of coins, conduct science experiments using quarters, or just give accurate answers the next time your friends ask about quarter mass over drinks.

Understanding the intricate details of the money we use daily not only satisfies curiosity but can come in quite handy as well.

Similar Posts