Coin collecting can be a financially and mentally rewarding experience, especially if you’re familiar with coin values. Understanding the values of specific coins can also help you feel more confident when starting a coin collection.
But what is the 1942 quarter value, and is this quarter worth more than twenty-five cents?
This guide will answer that question and more, helping you learn everything you need to know about the 1942 Washington quarter and its current worth.
1942 Washington Quarter Value Chart
|1942-P Proof Quarter||$65||$110||$400|
1942 Washington Quarter: History
Although modern-day quarters have a silvery gleam, they contain no silver. This precious metal has skyrocketed in price over the last century. As such, it’s too valuable for circulated (regular strike) coins.
But this wasn’t always the case. From 1796 to early 1965, all quarter-dollar coins struck by the U.S. Mint contained silver. This includes the 1942 Washington quarter.
Notably, 1942 was also a record-setting year for the U.S. Mint.
During this year, the U.S. Mint struck more than 138 million quarters, a higher volume than ever before. It wouldn’t beat this record until 1962.
This high-volume mintage was only possible via the conjoined efforts of all active U.S. Mint facilities, including the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mint.
1942 Washington Quarter: Design
The 1942 Washington quarter is so-called because it features an image of George Washington (the first President of the United States) on its obverse (front) side.
The design for the Washington quarter wasn’t introduced in 1942. Instead, it was introduced in 1932. This design was also called the “Flanagan Reverse” design in honor of its creator, sculptor John Flanagan.
Since its introduction, it has undergone several slight changes, most notably the addition of ever-changing reverse designs (starting in 1999). But the obverse image showing Washington’s face in profile (facing left) was a consistent feature of U.S. quarters until 2022.
In 2022, the depiction of Washington was altered, though the new quarters are still colloquially referred to as “Washington quarters” despite the design change.
Still, the 1942 Washington quarter looks nearly identical to all other quarters struck between 1932 and 1998.
The design is one of the longest-lasting designs ever adopted by the U.S. Mint. For perspective, the Flanagan Reverse design lasted about 66 years. Its predecessor, the Standing Liberty design, only lasted 14 years.
1942 Washington Quarter Obverse
On the obverse (front) side of the 1942 Washington quarter, there’s:
- The legend “LIBERTY” at the top of the coin, above Washington’s head
- The raised image (device) of George Washington, face in profile, facing toward the left of the coin
- The motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” at the lower left-hand side of the coin, level with Washington’s neck
- The year date (1942) at the bottom center of the coin
1942 Washington Quarter Reverse
On the reverse (back) side of the 1942 Washington quarter, there’s:
- The coin denomination “QUARTER DOLLAR” on the bottom, beneath the image of the eagle
- The mint mark (D or S) above the denomination, absent from coins minted at the Philadelphia Mint facility
- The raised image (device) of a perched eagle with spread wings
- The motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM” above the eagle device
- The issuing nation “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” at the top of the coin, above the motto
1942 Washington Quarter: Features and Specifications
A shared design isn’t the only thing linking 1942 Washington quarters. These coins also have a few qualities and features in common, including shared weight, size, and metal composition.
For example, the 1942 Washington quarter:
- Is 24.3 millimeters (about 0.96 inches) in diameter
- Weighs 6.3 grams (about 0.22 ounces)
- Consists of 10% copper and 90% silver
- Has a reeded (grooved) edge
The primary differences between all 1942 Washington quarters are mint marks (or lack thereof) and the quality of the design. Proof strike quarters tend to have a more detailed design, while quarters made for circulation have slightly less sharp reliefs.
How Much Is a 1942 Washington Quarter Worth?
According to the NGC Price Guide, a 1942-P (No Mint Mark) Washington quarter is worth between $4.25 (good condition, G-4) and $4.75 (about uncirculated condition, AU-50). It can be worth between $10 (MS-60) and $8,500 (MS-68) or more in uncirculated condition (mint state).
1942 Washington Quarter: Value Comparison
The original value of the 1942 Washington quarter was $0.25. But the silver content of this coin makes it far more valuable today.
The amount of silver in a 1942 Washington quarter places its starting value at just around $4, regardless of its condition. But these quarters are worth far more when in about uncirculated (AU) or uncirculated (MS) condition.
The factors affecting a 1942 Washington quarter’s value include:
- The mint mark (where it was produced)
- The coin’s condition (represented by a PCGS or NGC grade)
- The coin’s strike type (regular strike or proof strike)
Let’s explore the values of this quarter by separating the coins via mint location. That way, you can quickly identify the potential worth of your 1942 Washington quarters based on their mint mark (or absence of one) and condition.
1942-P No Mint Mark Washington Quarter Value
The Philadelphia Mint facility is unique among the rest. It’s the oldest of all U.S. Mint facilities and the only one that consistently refuses to put a mint mark on its coins.
This is why coins (including the 1942 Washington quarter) struck at the Philadelphia Mint are often called “No Mint Mark” pieces. For this reason, you can often identify a coin produced at the Philadelphia Mint by its lack of a mint mark!
In 1942, the Philadelphia Mint led the way in quarter production, minting about 102 million Washington quarters. No other facility’s mintage volume came close to hitting this mark in 1942.
About 10 million 1942-P Washington quarters are believed to exist today. If this figure is accurate, it means that 1942 Washington quarters without a mint mark are more common than any other type of 1942 quarter.
However, 1942-P Washington quarters in mint state (uncirculated) condition can fetch higher prices than 1942 quarter from other U.S. Mint facilities (in the same condition).
A 1942-P No Mint Mark quarter in good condition (G-4) is worth about $4.25, while one in about uncirculated condition (AU-50) is worth about $4.75.
But an MS-60 1942-P Washington quarter is worth about $10, and an MS-68 1942-P No Mint Mark quarter can sell for $8,500 or more!
As you’ll soon see, MS-68 Washington quarters with S (San Francisco) or D (Denver) mint marks aren’t worth quite as much.
1942-D Washington Quarter Value
The Denver Mint produced more than 17 million Washington quarters in 1942. This mintage volume is the lowest of the three U.S. Mint facilities involved in quarter production that year.
As a result, the 1942-D Washington quarter is the least common regular strike quarter of 1942. It’s thought that about 1.7 million of these coins exist today.
In good and about uncirculated condition, these coins have a higher value than their more common 1942-P No Mint Mark counterparts. For example, a 1942-D Washington quarter with a grade of G-4 is worth about $8.50, while one with a grade of AU-50 is worth about $12.50.
However, values don’t climb as steeply upon reaching the mint state grade range. An MS-60 1942-D Washington quarter is estimated at $25, while an MS-68 version is worth about $4,000.
1942-S Washington Quarter Value
The San Francisco Mint struck about 19 million Washington quarters in 1942, making it the second-most productive U.S. Mint facility in terms of quarter production.
With an estimated survival volume of 2 million, the 1942-S Washington quarter is the second-most common type of 1942 Washington quarter.
The small letter “S” on their reverse sides makes these quarters easily identifiable. And although these coins are more common than their Denver Mint counterparts, they tend to be slightly more valuable.
For example, while a good condition (G-4) 1942-S Washington quarter is only worth about $8.50 (the same as G-4 1942-D quarter), one in about uncirculated condition is worth about $20.
That’s $7.50 more than a 1942-D quarter with the same grade!
As with other types of 1942 Washington quarters, 1942-S quarters are most valuable when in uncirculated mint state condition. An MS-60 1942-S Washington quarter is valued at about $65, while an MS-68 1942-S quarter is worth about $7,850.
1942-P Proof Washington Quarter Value
The Philadelphia Mint struck two types of Washington quarters in 1942; regular strike pieces designed for circulation and proof strike coins designed for collectors.
The Philadelphia Mint produced a little over 21,000 proof strike Washington quarters in 1942. Of these, only about 17,000 have survived to the current day.
The 1942-P Proof Washington quarter is the most valuable of all 1942 quarters. These quarters also tend to be in exceptional condition, rarely earning a grade less than PR-60.
However, a handful of PR-55 1942-P Proof Washington quarters exist. These coins have an estimated value of about $24.
PR-60 1942 Proof quarters are more valuable, being worth about $42. But the highest-value pieces are 1942-P Proof Washington quarters with a grade of PR-69. These have an estimated value of $17,000.
A PR-68 Proof quarter from 1942 is worth less than half that amount, with a worth of about $6,000.
1942 Washington Quarter: Rare Errors and Varieties
Mistakes are an inevitable part of the learning process.
Because the U.S. Mint is constantly improving its coin production process, error coins are unavoidable. This is as true of today’s mintage as the coins struck in 1942.
When discussing the 1942 Washington quarter, a few errors stand out because of their frequency (the number of coins exhibiting that error) or their value.
These rare quarters include the following:
- 1942-D Double Die Obverse (DDO) Washington quarter
- 1942-D Double Die Reverse (DDR) Washington quarter
- 1942-P Triple Die Obverse (TDO) Washington quarter
1942-D Double Die Obverse (DDO) Washington Quarter
The bulk of error 1942 Washington quarters come from the Denver Mint facility. This includes the Double Die Obverse (DDO) error quarter.
You can identify this quarter by looking for a doubling of specific design features along the coin’s obverse (front) face. For example, a doubling of the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” or the device (raised image) of George Washington’s face is common in this type of error coin.
About 500 1942-D DDO Washington quarters are believed to exist, with most selling for hundreds of dollars. In 2013, one of these error coins (in MS-64 condition) sold at auction for $6,463!
1942-D Double Die Reverse (DDR) Washington Quarter
The 1942-D Double Die Reverse (DDR) Washington quarter is similar to the previously mentioned DDO coin. The primary difference is that the doubled design features are found on the coin’s reverse (back) side instead of its front.
These error coins are worth about the same as their DDO counterparts, although the current auction record for the 1942-D DDR Washington quarter is slightly less impressive.
The highest price ever paid at auction for one of these error coins is $5,750, a record set in 2005.
1942-P Triple Die Obverse (TDO) Washington Quarter
DDO and DDR error quarters from 1942 can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. But not all 1942 Washington quarters with errors are quite as valuable.
The Triple Die Obverse (TDO) error (primarily found in No Mint Mark quarters) is a fantastic example.
This type of coin features a subtle tripling of design elements. A TDO coin that sold for $28 in 2000 had a tripling of the “IN GOD WE TRUST” motto.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although the 1942 Washington quarter might look similar to the quarters produced today, there are quite a few differences between these vintage coins and today’s quarters.
Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more about this unique $0.25 coin.
How Many 1942 Washington Quarters Exist?
Approximately 14 million regular strike (for-circulation) 1942 Washington quarters exist today. That’s a fraction of the original mintage, which was more than 138 million.
As a result, 1942 Washington quarters are increasingly rare and valuable.
How Rare Is the 1942 Washington Quarter?
In 1942, the U.S. Mint struck a little over 138 million Washington quarters. But in 2020, it produced more than 2.7 billion quarters.
As you might imagine, this makes contemporary quarters far more common than those struck in 1942. So, while the 1942 Washington quarter isn’t the rarest twenty-five-cent piece, it’s somewhat rare.
What’s the Most Ever Paid for a 1942 Washington Quarter?
In 2004 an MS-69 1942-S Washington quarter sold at auction for $18,975. It was the highest auction bid ever placed on a 1942 Washington quarter.
1942 Quarter Value: Final Thoughts
The 1942 quarter value varies depending on the mint mark, strike type (regular or proof), and coin condition. Rarity also impacts value.
The most common 1942 quarters (No Mint Mark quarters from Philadelphia) are generally worth less than other varieties. Generally, the 1942 Washington quarter is worth between $4.25 (1942-P, G-4 grade) and $17,000 (Proof Strike, PR-69 grade).
Learn everything you need to know about valuable coins by checking out these related articles!