Where is the mint mark on a quarter? As you examine a quarter and admire the iconic image of George Washington, you may notice small letters stamped somewhere on the coin’s surface. These letters indicate where the coin was minted, serving an important purpose in the authentication and collection of quarters.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The mint mark on a Washington quarter can be found on the obverse (front) side below the date.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explain everything you need to know about finding mint marks on quarters, including:
1. What a mint mark is and its purpose
2. The different mint marks used on quarters and what they mean
3. Where to locate the mint mark on Washington quarters
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 it was manufactured. Mint marks have been used on U.S. coins since the late 18th century to designate branch mint locations.
There are currently four active mint facilities in the U.S. that produce coins for circulation:
- Philadelphia (P) – No mint mark
- Denver (D)
- San Francisco (S)
- West Point (W)
In the past, other mints were also operational:
- Carson City (CC)
- Charlotte (C)
- Dahlonega (D)
- New Orleans (O)
Coins struck at the main Philadelphia mint generally do not have a mint mark at all. So if there is no mint mark on a coin, it was likely struck in Philadelphia. The other mints will have their distinguishing letter or symbol.
Mint marks are almost always found on the reverse (tail side) of circulation coins near the bottom. On quarters, the mint mark is found to the right of the eagle’s talons underneath the wreath.
Knowing a coin’s mint mark, especially on older rare coins, can make a big difference in its collector value. For example, a 1932-D quarter with the Denver mint mark is worth significantly more than a 1932 Philadelphia quarter from the same year.
Mint Marks Found on Washington Quarters
Washington Quarters have been minted since 1932 and have had mint marks indicating where they were produced since the early years. Knowing where your Washington Quarter was minted can provide some interesting historical context and may impact the coin’s value to collectors.
When Did Mint Marks Start Appearing?
The first Washington quarters produced in 1932 did not have mint marks. However, starting in 1934, mint marks started appearing on some issues to denote which mint the coin was struck at. The early mint marks on Washington quarters indicate the following mints:
- D – Denver Mint
- S – San Francisco Mint
- P – Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark indicates Philadelphia)
So if your 1932 or 1933 Washington Quarter does not have a mint mark, it was made at the Philadelphia Mint.
Special Mint Marks
In addition to the standard D, S, and P mint marks, some special edition Washington quarters have unique mint marks:
- W – West Point Mint (produces commemorative issues)
- CC – Carson City Mint (historic mint no longer operating)
For example, a 1976-S Washington quarter made at the San Francisco Mint for the bicentennial celebration may carry an “S” mint mark. A 2022 Washington quarter with a “W” mint mark was struck at the West Point Mint for a special Marshals Service issue.
Where Are Mint Marks Located?
The location of Mint Marks has moved over the years to Washington quarters. Here’s a quick guide:
- 1934-1964: Above the dome of Monticello on the reverse side
- 1968-1998: To the lower right of Monticello on the reverse
- 1999-2008: Along the bottom edge below “In God We Trust” on the obverse side
- 2009-today: Below the “In God We Trust” motto slightly above the date on the obverse
So when checking your Washington quarter for a mint mark, be sure to check the commonly used locations on both sides. Magnification may be needed for very small and worn mint marks.
Value Differences Between Mints
While Philadelphia quarters tend to be the most common, examples from Denver and San Francisco sometimes have more value to collectors due to lower mintages. Coins struck at West Point and Carson City also tend to be worth more due to their commemorative nature.
|Face value circulating quarters
|Denver or San Francisco
|Slight premium over face values
|t Point or Carson City
|Large premium due to rarity/demand
Additionally, mint state and proof examples tend to garner higher prices as well.
So next time you get a Washington quarter, be sure to check for that mint mark to unlock its history and collectability!
Where to Find the Mint Mark on a Quarter
Knowing where to locate the mint mark on a quarter can be an important piece of information for coin collectors or anyone interested in identifying the origin of their coins. Unlike pennies and dimes, most quarters do not have an obvious mint mark stamped on them.
The History of Mint Marks
Up until 1932, quarters were minted at only one location in the United States – Philadelphia. This meant there was no need to designate coins with a mint mark since all quarters came from the Philadelphia Mint.
However, as more branch mints opened around the country in Denver, San Francisco, and other locations, a mint mark was added to coins to indicate their origin.
Finding the Mint Mark on Modern Quarters
On modern quarters minted from 1965 to the present, the mint mark is located on the obverse (heads) side of the coin, directly below the date. You will need to look closely, as the mint mark is tiny, only a few millimeters wide.
These are the mint marks used on quarters and what they indicate about the coin’s origin:
- No mint mark – Philadelphia mint
- D – Denver mint
- S – San Francisco mint
- W – West Point mint
So if you don’t see any letter below the date, the quarter was produced at the long-running Philadelphia Mint. Finding a small D, S, or W indicates the coin came from one of the branch mints instead.
In earlier quarters minted before 1965, the placement of mint marks varied. For example, on Barber and Standing Liberty Quarters made from 1892 to 1916, the mint mark is found on the reverse (tails) side, near the bottom, just under the eagle’s left talon.
On Washington quarters made from 1932 to 1964, the mint mark placement moved to the obverse side near the bottom rim below the date.
While tiny, the mint marks on quarters provide collectors with useful information on the year and origin of each coin they come across. So remember to check below the date the next time you pick up a quarter – you never know what interesting discoveries you may find!
Where Is The Mint Mark On A Quarter – Conclusion
Now that you know where to find the mint mark on quarters, you can easily use this information to authenticate coins or identify special versions for your collection. Checking for mint marks takes just a moment once you know the proper location below Washington’s neck on the front of all quarters since 1932.
Next time you receive a quarter in change, turn it over and see if you can spot the mint letter code to discover where it came from. You may have an interesting find from a less common mint right in your pocket!