1979 Quarter Value

1979 isn’t a big year for the Quarter. But important changes were happening in other coin denominations (e.g. the SBA $1) so some of the attention spilled over onto the quarter. Let’s analyze the 1979 Quarter Value as we learn more about its history, mintage, and pricing.

1979 Quarter Value Chart

Coin Mint State MS 60 Mint State MS 63 Mint State MS 65 Mint State MS 68 Proof PR 70 DCAM
1979 (P) No Mint Mark Type 2 Quarter $1 $2 $16 $10,000
1979-D Type 2 Quarter $1 $12 $20 $6,500
1979-S Proof Type 1 Quarter $30
1979-S Proof Type 2 Quarter $70

History of the 1979 Quarter

History of the 1979 Quarter

While George Washington never wanted to be on American currency (because he thought that was royal hubris), he was one of the most popular US Presidents. So it makes sense that he ended up on the most commonly used units of money – the 25c coin and the $1 bill. As the 1st US President, he was placed on the $1 bill in 1869 and on the Quarter coin in 1932.

But since we’re specifically discussing the 1979 Quarter, let’s talk about mint marks. Why? Because this year, the two notable varieties were the Type 1 Filled S and the Type 2 Clear S. We’ll dig into that later, but let’s start with a primer about Washington Quarter mint marks in general. Over the decades, the Washington Quarter has been struck in four mint branches.

These are Philadelphia (No Mint Mark), San Francisco (S), Denver (D), and West Point (W). While the front of the coin was the same for most of its run, the words and numbers moved around to accommodate other design elements. For example, in some years, the national motto In God We Trust was on the left of the coin while in other years, it moved to the right.

Clad Quarters and Mint Mark Changes

Notably, most coins have United States of America on the back of the coin. But some years moved it to the front of the Quarter, displacing Liberty to the lower left. These changes were directly dictated by adjustments to the back of the coin, so let’s dig into it. At first, when the coin was still silver, the mint mark was on the back, under the mid-point of the olive wreath.

Then in 1965 when the Quarter changed from silver to clad, the mint mark moved to the front, next to Washington’s ponytail. This meant users could identify the base metal coins at a glance. Later, from 1999 to 2009, the back of the coin had designs that celebrated the 50 US States, Washington DC, and the 5 Territories. The coins had lots of symbols and images.

To make space for all the extra details, United States of America moved to the front, Liberty moved to the left, and In God We Trust moved to the right, above the mint mark. The back of the coin showed the relevant imagery and the state or territory it represented. The top of the 50 States coins showed the year it joined the Union while the bottom showed the mintage year.

Digital Coins with Panoramic Imagery

This system was continued with the National Parks and Monuments Quarters from 2010 to 2021. The back had an outer ring showing the name of the park or monument, the state it was located in, and the mintage year, along with E Pluribus Unum. United States of America stayed on the front. With the most recent iteration of Washington Quarters, things changed.

The heads side was replaced by Laura Gardin Fraser’s portrait of George Washington. This time, he’s facing right. Liberty is back above his head although his hair partially hides BER. In God We Trust is back on the left of the coin, but it’s now behind his neck. And the mint mark sits beneath the mint date because the back now has the name of the coin’s heroine.

This series of coins is called American Women Quarters and features 20 key women in US history. The focus is on minorities, including several who identify as LGBTQ+. To balance out the coin design, United States of America moved from the front to the back, and some coins have a full or partial ring to facilitate all the design elements. That’s a lot to remember!

Also read: Top 13 Most Valuable State Quarters Worth Money

Features of the 1979 Quarter

When describing the features of the 1979 Quarter, you may come across certain technical terms. The heads side is the obverse. The tails side is the reverse. The thin side is the edge. The words are mottos or legends and the images are devices. The raised border is the collar or rim. The backdrop is the field, and coins themselves are struck on blanks called planchets.

The Obverse of the 1979 Quarter

1979 Quarter Obverse

It shows George Washington facing left, with the legend Liberty above his head. The motto In God We Trust is under his chin, on the lower left of the coin. The mint mark is on the lower right, beside his ponytail. The designer’s initials, JF for John Flanagan, are toward the right of the portrait cut-off. The mint date is at the bottom of the coin, below that signature.

The Reverse of the 1979 Quarter

1979 Quarter Reverse

It shows an eagle with its wings spread out and facing down. The tips of these wings are linked by an olive wreath and the eagle is holding 13 arrows in its feet. They represent the first 13 states to join the Union. The bottom of the coin displays the denomination, Quarter Dollar. The top of the coin reads United States of America. Under that is E Pluribus Unum.

Other Features of the 1979 Quarter

Starting in 1965, all Quarters were clad, meaning they had a pure copper core coated with an alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. That means the total composition was 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel. The coin measured 24.3mm in diameter (0.96”) and weighed 5.67g. It had a reeded edge. Its nickname comes from its face value since 25c is a quarter (1/4) of a dollar.

1979 Quarter Grading

Every Quarter minted since 1932 has been a Washington Quarter, so the process of grading their obverse hasn’t changed. But with multiple reverse designs, you need to be extra careful when you’re inspecting the back of the coin. Like all currency, 1979 Quarters use the Sheldon Scale and are graded from Poor (PO 1) to Mint State (MS 70). Proofs are graded as PR or PF.

# Grade
1 Basal State-1
2 Fair
3 Very Fair
4, 5, 6 Good
7, 8, 10 Very Good
12, 15 Fine
20, 30 Very Fine
40 Extremely Fine
50 About Uncirculated
60 Mint State
65 Mint State
70 Mint State

Please check our grading guides to know your coin scale, It’s the necessary step to know the exact value of your coin.

Check out now: How to Grade Washington Quarter?

1979 Quarter Value Guides

Before 1990, the Mint Mark was the final detail added to a Master Hub, and it was manually placed using a hand puncheon. This resulted in errors like doubled, tripled, over-punched, or misaligned mint marks on dies and coins from that hub. In 1979, the mint made two types of Quarters. Type 1s (only proof coins) had a Filled S on the Mint Mark. Type 2s had a clear S.

1979 No Mint Mark Quarter Value Type 2

1979 No Mint Mark Quarter Type 2

In 1979, the Philadelphia Mint made 515,708,000 Quarters without any mint marks. At first glance, they’re not especially expensive. On 28th August 2022, an NGC-graded MS 68 sold for $1,440. But PCGS has only received one coin in this grade so their value estimate is $10,000.

1979-D Quarter Value Type 2

1979-D Quarter Type 2

The Denver Mint made 489,789,780 Quarters in 1979, all with the D Mint Mark. And on 17th August 2014, an MS 67 sold for $1,078. PCGS has seen almost 30 so their evaluation for July 2023 is just $360. But they’ve only received one MS 68 so that one is rated higher at $6,500.

1979-S Proof Quarter Value Type 1

1979-S Proof Quarter Type 1

Normal coins are called business strikes or regular strikes, and they’re intended for everyday transactions. But proof coins are collectibles for speculation, display, or archiving. They’re made using special dies and planchets (i.e. blanks) that are polished before minting begins. The coins end up with a mirror-like field and a frosted device thanks to acid or laser frosting.

The San Francisco Mint coined 3,677,175 Quarters with the S Mint Mark. As we said before, Type 1 coins had a filled S. On 2nd February 2003, a PR 70 DCAM sold for $403. Deep Cameo described the first 50 to 100 coins with the strongest contrast between the field and device. Over 1,000 coins exist in this grade, so PCGS estimates their value at just $35 in July 2023.

1979-S Proof Quarter Value Type 2

1979-S Proof Quarter Type 2

Type 2 Proof Coins are a lot less common (although all circulating coins are Type 2). On 23rd September 2003, a PR 70 DCAM sold for $495. It’s the best possible grade for any proof coin and while it’s not rare, it’s half as populous as the Type 1s, with close to 600 samples sent to PCGS. They rate its July 2023 value at $75. But with over 6,000 PR 69s, that’s down to $18.

Also read: Top 16 Most Valuable Modern Quarters Worth Money

Rare 1979 Quarter Error List

Mint mistakes can raise the value of a coin far above its face value. Common ones include doubled die errors, re-punched mint marks, cud breaks, die caps, and more. Let’s look at the price history of some 1979 Quarter errors. We’ll also discuss how the errors happen to coins.

1979 (P) Quarter Double Curved Clips Error

The planchets that make coins start their lives as coiled metal sheets. It’s fed into a blanking machine and punched into disks. The leftover sheets are recycled, but sometimes chopped bits end up in the coin press. You can tell because of the curved or straight clips where other blanks were punched out. This MS 65 coin with curved clips sold as part of a pair for $500.

1979 (P) Quarter 20% Off-Centre on a 37% Clipped Planchet

This next coin has two errors. It was struck on a clipped planchet, just like the earlier mint mistake. But the planchet shifted before its first die strike, so part of the coin was unmarked by the design. The size of the empty portion and the clip are both described in percentages and they influence the resale value of the coin. Graded MS 64, this error coin sold for $190.

1979 (P) Double Struck with 2nd Strike 65% Off-Centre

1979 (P) Double Struck with 2nd Strike 65% Off-Centre

When coins are being made, feeder fingers push them into the slot between the dies. These dies strike the blank two or more times to transfer the details clearly. But sometimes, the blank starts to move out of position before the dies have finished, causing a double struck error with overlapping details. This damaged example has no number grade but was $165.

1979 (P) Quarter with a Missing Clad Obverse

1979 (P) Quarter with a Missing Clad Obverse

As we said, starting in 1965, Quarters were copper on the inside while the outer layer was 75% copper mixed with 25% nickel. Sometimes, the outer layer peels off as the coin is being made. In this case, the front or obverse is gone, so the back of the coin looks silver while the front has a distinct copper appearance. It’s lighter too! Graded MS 64, the coin sold for $80.

1979 (P) Quarter Struck on a Nickel Planchet

Planchet sheets are molded using the preset combination of metals before being punched into the designated size for a given denomination. So sometimes, a coin design gets stamped on a blank that was meant for a different coin. In this case, a 1979 Quarter was struck onto a 5c planchet which is slightly smaller and lighter. Graded MS 65, the error coin sold for $215.

1979-D Struck Thru with a Staple

1979-D Struck Thru with a Staple

On occasion, a foreign object can slip between the blank and the die during minting. The contaminant will often leave traces of its existence on the coin, and that could raise its value. It’s called a strike through or struck thru error. In this case, the interloper was a staple and it slashed through the bridge of Washington’s nose and neck. In MS 65, the coin sold for $325.

1979 (P) Triple Struck with 3rd Strike 40% Off-Centre

1979 (P) Triple Struck with 3rd Strike 40% Off-Centre

We’ve looked at a double struck coin. Now here’s a triple strike. After the second die strike, the fingers probably began to send the coin on its way. But there was a slight lag and the die came down for the third time while the coin was halfway out. This created an overlap and slightly deformed the coin. You’ll see traces of all three strikes. This MS 66 coin was $400.

Also read: 17 Most Valuable Quarter Errors Worth Money

Where to Sell Your 1979 Quarter ?

Now that you know the value of your coins, do you know where to sell those coins online easily? Don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of these sites, including their introduction, pros, and cons. 

Check out now: Best Places To Sell Coins Online (Pros & Cons)

1979 Quarter FAQ

How Much Money is a Quarter from 1979?

A 1979 (P) MS 68 Quarter went for $1,440 in 2022 but PCGS evaluates it at $10,000 in July 2023. Meanwhile, a 1979-D MS 68 Quarter sold for $1,078 in 2014. It’s now worth $6,500. Proof Quarters fetch a lot less, selling for about $400 in the past but currently $35 to $75.

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  1. Jerry Desesso says:

    With respect I’ve been amateurs coin collecting 50 years I believe I have a RARE SILVER 1979 Quarter

  2. Christopher A Coker says:

    I have been holding onto my 1979 Washington Quarter, no mint mark, with Very Obvious Double Die Reverse. I can’t seem to find a single similar coin on two major coin grading websites. I surely can’t have the only known coin, can I? Please help.

  3. Good afternoon, look I think I have a really rare 1979 quarter. Error on the IN GOD WE TRUST, error on the LIBERTY, error on the mint mark, and error on the 1979, and on the back some of the letters on the AMERICA are touching the wing

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