Where is the mint mark on a 1966 quarter? If you have a 1966 quarter lying around, you may be wondering where to look for the mint mark indicating where it was made. With key dates like the 1966 quarter garnering numismatic interest, properly identifying mint marks is an important skill for collectors.
This article will provide a definitive guide on locating mint marks on quarters from 1966 to optimize your collecting and organizing.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: there is no mint mark on a 1966 Washington Quarter since they were all minted in Philadelphia.
What is a Mint Mark?
A mint mark is a small letter or symbol that is stamped onto a coin to indicate at which United States mint facility the coin was manufactured. Mint marks provide an important way to determine the rarity and potential value of a coin.
Indicates mint facility coin was struck at
There are currently four active mint facilities in the U.S. that strike coins for circulation: Philadelphia (no mint mark), Denver (D mint mark), San Francisco (S mint mark), and West Point (W mint mark).
So if you find a coin with a small “D” stamped on the obverse (front) or reverse (back), that means it was struck at the Denver mint.
Up until the mid-20th century, many more mint facilities were operating, mainly to serve the demand for gold and silver coinage. Now-defunct mints like Carson City, Nevada (CC mint mark) and New Orleans, Louisiana (O mint mark) operated for shorter periods, so coins bearing these marks tend to be more scarce and collectible.
Different mint marks have different levels of rarity
With billions of U.S. coins striking every year across the four active mints, most circulating coins without any mint mark are common, having been struck at the Philadelphia mint in large quantities. For example, there are over 2.1 billion Lincoln cents dated 1966 and all of them bear no mark since they originated from Philadelphia.
Where to Find the Mint Mark on a Quarter
Determining where the mint mark is located on a Washington quarter can provide useful information about the coin’s origins and potential value to collectors.
Located on the reverse below the wreath to the right of E in ONE
The mint mark on most quarters can be found on the reverse (tails) side of the coin, below the wreath design. Specifically, it is positioned to the right of the “E” in the word “ONE” printed along the bottom circumference of the coin.
There will either be no mint mark, indicating the coin was struck at the main Philadelphia mint, or a small letter denoting a different mint:
- No mint mark = Philadelphia
- D = Denver
- S = San Francisco
No mint mark indicates the coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint
As the main U.S. Mint at the time, the Philadelphia Mint struck the majority of quarters in 1966. On these coins, the space below the wreath where the mint mark would normally appear is blank.
The lack of a mint mark signifies its origin from the Philadelphia mint. This was the longest continuously operating U.S. mint facility until operations ceased in 2011, having produced coins since 1792.
Checking for the presence and location of the mint mark provides key manufacturing details and can reveal added numismatic prominence for the 1966 Washington quarters.
Quarter Mint Marks
P – Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint opened in 1792 and was the first official US Mint. It began producing quarters starting in 1796. The “P” mint mark denotes quarters made at the Philadelphia Mint. However, early quarters minted in Philadelphia before 1968 do not have a “P” mint mark stamped on them.
This leads to some confusion among coin collectors today about Philadelphia-minted coins from earlier eras. But we can safely assume that a 1966 quarter without any mint mark was produced at the Philadelphia mint.
The Philadelphia Mint made the highest number of 1966 quarters – over 2.1 billion! With no mint mark, these coins bore the standard Washington Quarter obverse and the colonial drummer boy reverse designed by John Sinnock.
As the main bullion storage and largest mint, Philadelphia churned out huge numbers of quarters to meet nationwide demand for westward expansion.
D – Denver Mint
The Denver Mint started producing coins in 1906 to serve the western regions. Located in the mineral-rich state of Colorado, it made sense for Denver to have its mint to convert precious metal ores into coinage. Denver-minted coins are marked with a prominent “D” mint mark.
Denver quarters feature the standard quarter designs for that year. On the reverse is the colonial drummer boy by John Sinnock, surrounded by the mottoes “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust”. The obverse depicts George Washington in profile. Under the bust is the minting year.
To the left is the prominent “D” denoting the Denver provenance. While not scarce, the D quarter is considerably more difficult to find than its Philadelphia counterpart in circulation.
S – San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint opened in 1854 to serve the coinage needs of the western US. It earned the nickname the “Grand Dame of Coinage” for its impressive Romanesque architecture.
The S Washington quarter looks similar to the Philadelphia and Denver varieties for that year. The front depicts the first president facing left in profile. The reverse features Sinnock’s colonial drummer boy design encapsulated between the inscriptions “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “In God We Trust”.
What makes the S quarter special is the tiny “S” mint mark located just below the wreath on the reverse. This letter is punched into the working die before striking so it appears incuse on the final coin.
With the lowest mintage figures and the allure of the exclusive San Francisco provenance, the Washington Quarter with an “S” mint mark is highly coveted by collectors today. It has an impressive value range too.
Identifying a Fake 1966 Quarter
Examine overall wear and quality of the quarter
When attempting to identify a counterfeit 1966 quarter, one of the first things to examine carefully is the coin’s overall wear and quality. An authentic quarter from 1966 will show general circulation wear consistent with being 57 years old.
The surface should not appear unusually shiny or new, but rather lightly worn with some tiny nicks, scratches, and dulling of the original luster and design details. Beware if the date and mint mark look unusually crisp and clear, as fakes often copy the design using modern technology which can make the detail too sharp.
Examine the coin’s edge under magnification if possible. An authentic quarter will show small irregularities, bumps, and rounded edges from use over decades. A fake quarter is more likely to have a perfectly smooth, machine-cut edge since it hasn’t circulated for long periods.
The font and spacing of the text elements should also match genuine coins, with slight imperfections on real vintage quarters.
Use magnet test to check material composition
An easy way to weed out simple counterfeits is by using a strong magnet to test metal content. Authentic quarters minted before 1965 are made from 90% silver, while real quarters made after 1965 contain copper-nickel with no silver content.
Run a strong fridge-style magnet over the coin – an authentic quarter will show no magnetic attraction. If a supposed 1966 quarter sticks strongly to the magnet, it is a fake made from a magnetic modern alloy.
You can also try weighing the quarter on a precision scale able to measure tenths or hundredths of grams. An authentic quarter weighs 5.67 grams – any significant deviation from this indicates a fake since counterfeits often use light zinc or other impure alloys altering the mass.
Note that a heavily worn circulation quarter might weigh slightly under 5.6 grams due to metal loss from long-term rubbing.
Compare weight to genuine quarter’s 5.670 grams
Using a jeweler’s scale or precision lab scale capable of measuring tiny amounts in grams, genuine U.S. minted quarters weigh 5.67 grams on average, from early years to now. This number varies slightly for older quarters which have seen heavy circulation, possibly down to 5.60 grams for extremely worn specimens dated before 1965 when silver content was reduced.
A freshly counterfeited quarter will likely weigh noticeably above or below 5.67 grams – Chinese fakes are commonly between 5.4 to 5.8 grams, while other counterfeits using alloys different than cupronickel may weigh outside a typical range for genuine coins.
Always compare any suspect 1966 quarter to other verified authentic quarters. If weights match extremely closely, with no more than a 0.010 gram difference, then the weight is likely real.
One resource recommended by numismatists for gauging expected weight tolerances for genuine coins is uCoin’s specifications database. According to their research, a normal circulation quarter should fall between 5.670 and 5.670+/-0.098 grams.
Anything beyond that range warrants closer inspection for authenticity.
By carefully examining wear patterns, using magnet tests, precision weighing, and comparing to known specifications, identifying fake 1966 quarters becomes much easier for collectors. Resources like collector forums, numismatic articles, and books give more useful tips as well.
With close inspection and by understanding what features can identify fakes, collectors have a better shot at avoiding counterfeit coins as great attention to detail is key.
1966 Washington Quarter Value by Mint Mark
P mint quarters worth $3+ in average circulated condition
The 1966 quarters minted in Philadelphia (bearing a “P” mint mark) are the most common date and mint mark for this series. With a generous mintage of over 2.1 billion coins struck, 1966 P quarters in average circulated condition are worth a modest premium over face value.
According to the PCGS CoinFacts, these quarters in grades of Very Good-8 through Extremely Fine-40 carry retail values ranging from $3 to $6 apiece.
While still fairly common, P mint Washington quarters exhibit condition rarity in the MS 63 to MS 65 grade range. Uncirculated examples with vibrant luster and sharp, fully-struck details are scarcer and trade for notably higher premiums.
Dealers and collectors are willing to pay upwards of $30 to $50 for MS 63 specimens, and over $100 for MS 65 coins certified by PCGS or NGC.
Graded MS examples priced upward of $30
For all three mint marks, certified Mint State 1966 Washington quarters enjoy sizable premiums thanks to their scarcity and collector demand. At the lower MS 63 level, quarters trade for around $30 to $50 each, while the keys date 1966-S register values from $125 to $200 in this grade.
Gem quality MS 65 examples see another large jump in value for all three mints. The 1966 Philadelphia quarters top out around $125 in MS 65 holder.
Where Is The Mint Mark On A 1966 Quarter – Conclusion
As you can see, properly identifying the mint mark on a Washington Quarter is vital for collectors to ascertain authenticity and value. Keep in mind that 1966 quarters do not bear any mint mark since they were all minted in Philadelphia. We hope this guide gives you the knowledge to easily locate the minting origin of any 1966 quarter.
Check your change – you never know when a rare coin may turn up!