Coin Specifications

Category: Washington Quarters (1932-1998)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 31,912,052
Obverse Designer: John Flanagan
Reverse Designer: John Flanagan
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 6.2500g
ASW: 0.1808oz
Melt Value: $3.08 (9/24/2017)
Diameter: 24.3mm
Edge: Reeded
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1934 25C MS obverse 1934 25C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

With the ongoing economic depression, there was no coinage of quarter dollars in 1933. When the need for additional coins finally arrived the following year, it was decided to continue the Washington type in place of Standing Liberty Quarters, even though the 1932 edition had been intended as a one-year-only commemorative. The coin had proved popular, and the mints discovered that it's central portrait was far less destructive to dies than the old type, with its uneven relief.

Coinage commenced at Philadelphia using dies taken from the hubs of 1932. Thus, the obverse features the motto IN GOD WE TRUST in very low relief, and the reverse has a boldly raised rim. It took only moderate circulation to obliterate the motto, so new hubs were introduced very early in that year's production. The motto was recut in more sharply raised letters, and the reverse border was lowered. It's not certain why this second change was made, but it condemned all subsequent Washington Quarters through 1964 to rapid wearing of the reverse. It's typical for a worn coin to have complete rims on its obverse, while the reverse is worn well into the lettering. Another change with this obverse hub is that the numerals of the date were noticeably changed to have a more conventional appearance than on John Flanagan's original model.

These changes have led to the early 1934(P) quarters being labeled Light Motto, while the revised version is called the Heavy Motto. Yet a third obverse hub appeared that year having the motto in sharp but more delicate letters. These coins are known as Medium Motto, and the distinction is easily seen in the letter W of WE. On Medium Motto coins, the center stroke ends below the left and right strokes, while on the Heavy Motto coins the peak of the center stroke is clearly above the others. Most writers have opined that the Heavy Motto coins were made last, but it's more likely that the Medium Motto was the third subtype. It is by far the one most commonly seen for 1934 quarters of both mints, and it was transitional with the 1935 coinage, which used this hub exclusively.

1934(P) quarters are plentiful in Mint State. The Medium Motto coins are most common, followed by Heavy Motto and Light Motto coins in that order. Gems are fairly available for the Medium Motto, but they're scarce for the Heavy Motto and very scarce with the Light Motto.

A very appealing doubled-die obverse variety is known for Medium Motto quarters. In fact, it is the motto that is doubled, and this variety is prominent enough to be illustrated in popular catalogs.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/3/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1934 25C MS
Base $ 8.00 8.50 9.00 9.50 10.00 10.75 11.50 13.00 20.00 27.00 30.00 35.00 45.00 60.00 120 170 1050 18500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - 300 1750 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 2444
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/6/2004 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg September 6-7, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 26/Lot# 756 $299.00
6/5/2005 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 2048, 2048/Lot# 1258 $60.50
8/22/2005 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #50, 55/Lot# 333 $69.00
4/27/2014 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/27/2014, 173/Lot# 189757 $138.60
7/6/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131428/Lot# 24417 $282.00
10/10/2014 PCGS Genuine UNC   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3503, 6057/Lot# 20182 $423.00
1/7/2015 NGC MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 10141 $493.50
5/15/2016 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131621/Lot# 27209 $423.00
4/26/2017 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2017 April 26 - 30 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(6), 1254/Lot# 7525 $2,056.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1934 25C MS
1934 25C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3447
Owner: Daniel McMunn
Grade: MS 64
Points: 653
Owner: BQcoins
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The Washington Quarters of 1934

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