US Coins

'Coveted' 1965 Washington quarter error sells

A 1965 Washington quarter dollar struck on a 90 percent silver planchet intended for use on quarters from 1964 and before, graded AU-53, sold for $7,050.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Oct. 30 Rarities Night auction held during the Whitman Baltimore Expo was led by the 1853 Collection, but also included a variety of other numismatic items with fascinating stories. 

Here is one of three coins from the auction we're profiling in this week's Market Analysis. 

The Lot:

1965 Washington quarter dollar, wrong planchet error, About Uncirculated 53

The Price:


The Story:

The period between 1964 and 1965 was a busy time at the U.S. Mint as it transitioned away from 90 percent silver dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars, moving the first two to a copper-nickel clad composition and the half dollar to a silver-copper clad composition (40 percent silver). As a result, a few 1965 coins struck on planchets intended for the pre-1965 90 percent silver issues are known. These are coveted by collectors. The error type is also sometimes called a “wrong metal” error.

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This 1965 Washington quarter dollar is struck on a 90 percent silver planchet and graded About Uncirculated 53 by Professional Coin Grading Service. The lot description notes, “Brilliant silver surfaces with a bit of light wear from a short time in circulation prior to it being noticed as something special and saved.” A different example, graded Extremely Fine 45, brought $5,462.50 at a September 2010 Heritage auction. 

Washington quarter

Washington quarter: The Washington quarter dollar, which has been circulating since 1932, was born out of the Treasury Department's desire to produce a coin to mark the bicentennial of the birth of the first president of the United States. How much are Washington quarters worth?

Possibly the most noteworthy examples of wrong metal/planchet errors are with the 1943 Lincoln cents struck on copper alloy planchets rather than the zinc-plated steel planchets that were used that year.

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