US Coins

Market Analysis: What makes a 1962 Washington quarter worth $5,400?

First struck in 1932 to mark the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth, the Washington quarter dollar has endured for nearly a century.

At Heritage’s offering of “Charlie O’s Collection” at its recent June Long Beach Expo auctions, the collector shared that he once found a circulated key date 1932-D Washington quarter dollar in his change, which was a treasure to him at the time. Decades later he upgraded to a Professional Coin Grading Service Mint State 65 example that brought $5,400 on June 7. 

Unlike the 1932 Denver or San Francisco Mint quarters, the 1962 Washington quarter dollar struck at the Philadelphia Mint is a common coin that usually trades at prices near bullion, even in Mint State grades.

Its population thins in top grades and the collection featured one graded PCGS MS-67 — one of just 34 like-graded coins at PCGS with two in MS-67+ that are the finest known. His beautifully toned representative sold for $10,200. 

It had a long history at auction. Back in 2004 it was one of nine graded MS-67 by PCGS and it sold for $3,795. In 2008 the population increased by one, and it brought $4,887.50. That the population more than tripled in the following decade yet the price increased shows the continued demand for top-graded coins from registry set collectors. 

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