1979 Quarter Coin Value Checker: History & Worth
How do you determine the value of a 1979 quarter? Is it through its physical attributes, available varieties, or its rich history?
It will interest you to know that to determine the value of a 1979 quarter, you need to be made aware of factors ranging from coin rarity, coin color, and mint errors, as these have a huge impact in determining how well a coin performs in the coin collectors world.
For this reason and to ensure that you get the highest value for your coin this detailed guide is expertly curated to guide you on ways to determine that 1979 quarter value.
1979 Quarter Value Chart
Here is a breakdown of the 1979 penny price. You’ll find the coin’s grade, variety and their respective prices as determined by PCGS.
|Mint Mark||Good – Extremely Fine||Uncirculated
|1979 No Mint Mark Quarter Value||$1||$5||$28||$825|
|1979 D Mint Quarter Value||$1||$16||$34||$2,250|
|1979 S Mint Mark Quarter (Proof Set)||$2||$6||$8||$10|
|1979 Proof Set Quarter Value Type 2||$1||$5||$5||$7|
We recommend using this coin value checker to help you determine the value of the 1979 no-mint mark quarter in your possession. Also, you need to know that the coin’s price will vary depending on the grade, which is determined by its condition.
History of the 1979 Quarter
The first time the U.S. Mint struck the Washington Quarter was in 1932. With its arrival on the scene, the standing Liberty quarter was discontinued.
Although the intention was to create a coin that would be produced for one year alone in honor of the first American president, George Washington, on his 200th posthumous birthday anniversary, the 1979 quarter would go on to be used till 1998.
The design adopted spanned longer than planned because the design of the 1979 quarter was in every regard preferred to that of the standing liberty quarter, which it replaced.
To determine the design to be featured on this coin, hundreds of artists submitted designs based on the famous Washington bust sculpture created by French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon.
After reviewing all the entries by different designers, the Coin Commission chose Laura Gardin Fraser’s design. However, when the commission submitted the designs to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, he refused Fraser’s design.
This led to a controversy about whether Mellon refused this design because he didn’t believe a female designer should design such a significant coin or if there was another reason he didn’t agree with the selected design.
Fraser’s design eventually lost out as Mellon picked John Flanagan’s design. However, her design came back to life when it was issued in 1999 as the 1999 George Washington Commemorative Gold $5 Coin.
Features of the 1979 Quarter
This section paints a mental picture of the physical and distinguishing features of the 1979 quarter.
As stated earlier, the 1979 Washington quarter obverse is based on a pre-existing sculpture of George Washington originally sculpted by French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon.
Here, a left-facing image of George Washington takes center stage.
Common phrases you’ll find here include;
- LIBERTY: At the top of this Washington’s image and close to the rim
- IN GOD WE TRUST: To the image’s left is the famous phrase
Finally, the 1979 quarters had their mint location inscribed on the obverse. You’ll find it by the right carrying a “D” or “S” mint mark to signify either the Denver or San Francisco mint. Only Philadelphia minted quarters didn’t carry such a mark.
The reverse of the 1979 quarter is totally different from the obverse, as the American eagle occupies the center of the coin here. The eagle clutches a quiver with its talons; this represents war. It also has an olive branch beneath it, representing peace.
In addition, here are some phrases you’ll find on close examination of the coin’s reverse.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: At the top of the coin and very close to the rim
E PLURIBUS UNUM: Right above the eagle’s head
QUARTER DOLLAR: At the lower end of the coin
The 1979 Washington Quarter features a reeded edge. This means there are 119 carefully carved-out lines around the edge of every coin that defines its appearance.
1979 Quarter Details
|Coin Series: Washington Quarters
Total Mintage: 1,009,174,955
Designer: John Flanagan
Mint Location: Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver
Composition: 75% Copper and 25% Nickel
Diameter: 24.3 millimeters
Weight: 5.67 grams
Melt value: $0.0545
In addition to the physical details above, you should also know that this coin is 75% Copper and 25% Nickel over a pure Copper center. The 1979 quarter weighs 5.67 grams and has a melt value of $0.0540.
Finally, this coin holds a face value of $0.25 and comes with a diameter of 24.30 mm and a thickness of 1.95 mm.
Varieties of the 1979 Quarter
Depending on the presence or absence of a mint mark and the mint mark itself, 1979 quarters are divided into three different varieties. These mint marks serve as an indication of where the coin was produced.
|1979 No Mint Mark Penny||Philadelphia||515,708,000|
|1979 “D” Mint Mark Penny||Denver||489,789,780|
|1979 “S” Mint Mark Penny||San Francisco||3,677,175|
1979 No Mint Mark Quarter
First, let’s begin with the 1979 quarters from the Philadelphia Mint. These quarters possessed no mint marks and total 515,708,000, making it the highest mintage in the Washington quarter series.
You’ll find that this coin variety generally holds a market value higher than its actual face value. A 1979 Philadelphia mint quarter in an MS 64 grade which is more common, is worth $5, while a rarer MS67+ grade is worth as much as $825.
In addition to the above, you should also know that the record for the most expensive 1979 no-mint mark quarter sold is held by an MS68 coin worth $1,440. It was sold by heritage auctions in August 2022.
1979 “D” Mint Mark Quarter
In addition to the Mint at Philadelphia, 1979 quarters were also minted in Denver in large numbers, with a total mintage of 489,789,780. Coins from these two mints bore the same physical features. However, the Denver mint possessed the “D” mint mark, while the Philadelphia mint did not.
Although “D” mint 1979 Washington quarters tend to be a little higher in value than those from Philadelphia, factors like the grade of a particular coin will also help determine the disparity in price when valuing the coin.
A low-grade D mint mark 1979 quarter in okay condition will only sell for $1 or $2; those graded higher, like the MS66, can sell for as much as $34, while an MS67+ grade 1979 quarter can rise to as high as $2,250.
The record sale for this coin currently stands at $1,078.
1979 “S” Proof Quarter
In 1979, the San Francisco mint produced 3,677,175 proof quarters in two known types. One proof was called Type 1, and it possessed a filled “S” mint mark on the right side of the coin’s obverse, while the second was tagged Type 2 and has a clear “S” mint mark.
The Type 2 1979 “S” proof quarters are more sought after than their Type 1 counterpart. This is because they possess a clear “S” mint mark. As seen in the table above, this translates to a slight price disparity between the two types.
1979 Quarter Errors
Error coins are common during production. These errors often affect the coin’s value, mostly resulting in an increase in the price. Here we’ve put together known 1979 quarter errors
1979 Quarter Filled D Error
The thought of a mint mark being filled immediately brings to mind the type 1 San Francisco proof quarter and not a Denver mint which is why finding a filled D error is quite interesting.
This error makes the coin one of a kind and is in demand by collectors making it worth double the regular asking price. An error coin of this kind sold for $450 on eBay.
1979 Quarter Triple D error
Due to a die error, the D on a quarter may appear to be tripling. This is not a common error. Quarters with this error tend to have a higher value due to this defect.
On eBay, a 1979 quarter with this error currently stands at $500, making it one of the most valuable 1979 error coins available.
On What Side Of The 1979 Quarter Will You Find The Mint Mark?
Philadelphia mints do not have any mint marks on the coin. However, you’ll find marks on the Denver Mint and San Francisco proof coins on the right side of the coin’s obverse.
Are The 1979 Washington Quarters Rare Coins?
These quarters are not rare because they have very high mintages from the Philadelphia and Denver mint. However, there are rare error coins among them that are high in value.