US Coins

Market Analysis: 1976-S silver clad quarter, MS-69, sells for $19,200

One of the biggest surprises in Charlie O’s collection was a 1976-S Washington, Bicentennial silver-copper clad quarter dollar graded PCGS Mint State 69 that sold for a whopping $19,200. It is one of three like-graded coins at PCGS and was previously offered at a 2007 Heritage auction — then one of just two like-graded coins at PCGS — where it brought $5,888. 

Heritage wrote, “The subtlest hints of champagne patina are seen over the obverse, while the reverse is essentially untoned.” 

The 1976-S Bicentennial silver-copper clad quarters have outer layers of 80 percent silver and 20 percent copper bonded to an inner layer of roughly 80 percent copper and 20 percent silver, and a reported mintage of 11 million pieces. They were issued for sale directly to collectors and not struck for circulation, so the absence of many very high-grade coins is a bit of a head-scratcher. 

Jack L. Ahr’s reverse design of a military drummer facing left, with a victory torch surrounded by 13 stars is handsome and has endured. The copper-nickel clad Philadelphia and Denver Mint strikes continue to circulate and bring excitement to those who find one in circulation (although circulated Bicentennial quarter dollars have little premium over face value). 

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