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Discovering the Value of the 1941 Washington Quarter

Discovering the Value of the 1941 Washington Quarter

The 1941 Washington quarter is a fairly typical mid-century silver coin issue. Numerous coins originally minted means that collectors can find a variety of attractive specimens at decent prices. Higher grade specimens are progressively more expensive, however, at the lower end, a lack of collector interest means that some coins can be purchased for slightly more than spot silver prices.

Production of the 1941 Washington Quarter

All three branches of the U.S. Mint struck quarters in 1941. Numbers were robust, as the country seemed to shake off the lingering malaise of the Great Depression. Philadelphia struck far and away the most quarters, with about 60% of the total. Denver and San Francisco struck roughly equal numbers of quarters, or approximately 20% of the total. This number of quarters seems more than sufficient to meet collectors’ demands today.

DatePhiladelphiaDenverSan Francisco
1941 Proof15,28700
Source: Red Book

How Much Are 1941 Washington Quarters Worth?

1941 Quarter Value Chart
Business Strike
Uncirculated MS63Uncirculated MS65Uncirculated MS67
1941 25C$16.20$40.50$247.00
1941-D 25C$58.00$76.00$585.00
1941-S 25C$54.00$74.00$468.00
Proof Strike
1941 25C$92.00$108.00$208.00
Source: CDN CPG® (Retail)

If a collector is contemplating working with any of the silver issues, whether dimes, quarters, half-dollars, or dollars, the crucial thing to bear in mind is that the bullion value of the coin as a melted piece of 90% coin silver sets an absolute floor for the issue, below which the price cannot fall. If a particular coin is unusually rare across all grades, the price may rise above this level at lower grades.

The converse of this rule is that, if a coin is not particularly scarce, collectors will focus on the higher circulated grades, and the uncirculated grades, and ignore lower graded coins. Such coins have, essentially, no numismatic value and become an exercise in precious metal speculation or stockpiling.

The 1941 Washington quarter is a case in point. Between them, the three branches of the U.S. Mint struck well in excess of 100,000,000 coins. Some uncertain number of these coins were melted at various points during run-ups in the commodity price of silver. There remain enough survivors to sate collector demand. As long as that situation continues, collectors won’t ascribe any rarity to the issue. Such coins can still look very attractive in a binder similar to an old-fashioned blue coin holder book, while still preserving a significant bullion value ready to hand for those concerned with a zombie apocalypse.

Many coin dealers are willing to purchase lower graded silver coins at a bulk price of around 15% below the bullion price of silver and to sell them at a bulk price of about 15% above the bullion price of silver. A reliable coin dealer can provide current prices.

Values for 1941 Quarters

1941 25C
Image credit: PCGS

The 1941 Washington quarter minted in Philadelphia is commonly found and easily available in any desired circulated or uncirculated grade up to MS-65.

Circulated 1941 quarters at grades below About-Uncirculated sell, essentially, for their silver bullion value. A collector simply desiring to assemble a type set inexpensively can thus find very nice examples of Extremely-Fine coins for little more than the spot price of 90% coin silver, plus the coin dealer’s mark-up. Even an About-Uncirculated specimen, graded AU-55 should sell for only slightly more than that amount, perhaps $8 or $9.

Uncirculated 1941 Washington quarters are readily available in grades up to MS-67. A nice MS-63 specimen should cost $16.20, or about twice an About-Uncirculated coin. An MS-65 1941 quarter should cost between two and two-and-a-half times an MS-63 example, or between $40 and $45.

After that, prices begin to rise steeply. A 1941 quarter graded MS-67 should cost $247. Extremely nice examples, graded at MS-67+ can sell for about $600. The MS-68 1941 quarters are quite scarce and can easily sell for in excess of $18,000.

In such circumstances, a collector will have to decide whether to chase grading points as an investor, or to look for the aesthetics, and such intangibles as toning and eye-appeal. A very nice looking coin graded MS-65 or MS-66 will have only minuscule differences from a coin graded MS-67. Often, the distinction cannot be seen without magnification. But the price differential can often be tremendous by orders of magnitude. The difference can be put into purchasing more coins.

Values for 1941-D Quarters

1941-D 25C
Image credit: PCGS

Although the Denver Mint struck only about 20% as many Washington quarters as the Philadelphia Mint in 1941, the coin remains readily accessible to collectors in the circulated grades. As with the Philadelphia quarter, 1941-D quarters in grades below About-Uncirculated are priced as a function of their silver content, and not as a function of numismatic value.

An About-Uncirculated 1941-D quarter, graded at AU-55, should cost a bit more than twice a 1941 quarter of the same grade. Thus, if a 1941 quarter graded AU-55 costs $8 to $9, a 1941-D quarter of the same grade should cost around $20.

Uncirculated 1941-D quarters also remain available at the lower grades, though less available than Philadelphia quarters. A 1941-D quarter, graded MS-63, should cost between $50 and $60, while a nicer coin, graded MS-65, should cost a bit over $75. After that, prices rise, as for the 1941 Philadelphia quarter. A coin graded MS-67 should cost nearly $600. At the top of the scale, a 1941-D quarter graded MS-68 can sell for over $12,000, though only a few such specimens are known to exist.

Values for 1941-S Quarters

1941-S 25C
Image credit: PCGS

In 1941, the San Francisco Mint struck approximately as many Washington quarters as the Denver Mint and so both circulated and uncirculated prices for 1941-S quarters are similar to those of 1941-D quarters, although prices for 1941-S quarters may trend very slightly less than 1941-D quarters.

A 1941-S quarter graded AU-55 should cost a little over $15.00. As with 1941-D quarters, most 1941-S uncirculated quarters should cost between $50 and $75. Nicer coins, graded at MS-67 should cost just under $500. At the highest end, a single MS-68+ example of a 1941-S quarter is known to exist, and has sold for $10,281.

Values for 1941 Proof Quarters

1941 25C (Proof)
Image credit: PCGS

The Philadelphia branch of the U.S. Mint struck over 15,000 proof quarters in 1941. No cameo or deep cameo examples are known to have survived.

Many proof quarters from the period 1936 to 1941 are often in poor condition, and have lost a good deal of their original finish. These will look gray-toned, like dull silver, or may have a grainy appearance. Unscrupulous sellers, especially on the internet, will sometimes try to fix this problem by “dipping” the coin. While this may restore some “shine,” the chemical bath will also leave some pitting on the coin which can be seen with careful examination. These proof coins will carry grades between MS-60 and MS-62, and have little collector demand. Better proof coins, graded from MS-63 to MS-65, should have a value of around $100, and can sometimes be found for significantly less at auction. In December 2023, two proof Washington quarters graded MS-65 were sold at Heritage Auctions. The first sold for $67, while the second sold for only $60. Higher grade proof coins, rated at MS-67, should cost around $200. The very highest graded coins, at MS-68 or 69, will easily cost over $3,000 when they appear on the market.

Another alternative is to assemble or purchase a proof set, of all five denominations of coins offered in 1941. These can be quite expensive, depending upon the grade of each different coin and the rarity. In January 2024, such a set of 1941 proof coins sold for $720. If one is interested only in the quarter, the better solution appears to be to wait for a good looking affordable specimen.

1941 Washington Quarter Varieties

A number of 1941 Washington quarter varieties exist and have been cataloged by specialists.  Three 1941 doubled die varieties and one doubled die reverse seem to be the most popular among variety collectors. A 1941-D doubled die obverse and a doubled die reverse also exist. The San Francisco Mint managed, somehow, to avoid creating doubled die quarter varieties in 1941, but instead used different styles of the mint mark.

1941 Quarter Doubled Die Varieties

1941-D 25C Doubled Die Obverse FS-101
Image credit: Heritage Auctions

The first 1941 quarter doubled die obverse, known by Fivaz-Stanton number FS-25-1941-101 shows its doubling most plainly in the motto “In God We Trust.” The letters “UST,” as well as the words “IN” and “GOD” have especially visible double letters appearing down and to the right from the main strike. An example, graded MS-67, sold at Heritage Auctions in December 2023 for $2,640. A similar quarter, but from an ordinary die, would cost about $250 or less.

The second 1941 quarter doubled die variety, FS-25-1941-102, shows many of the same doubling effects in the motto, but this time, the letters are above and to the left of the main motto.

The third 1941 quarter doubled die variety, FS-25-1941-103, shows doubling below and to the left of the motto as well as in the date. Other doubling can be seen in the word Liberty, and in the image of Washington around the hair.

The 1941 quarter doubled die reverse known as FS-25-1941-801 shows a slight double image of the eagle’s beak, directly below the main image. Sometimes, in higher grade examples. the doubling can also be seen in the words “Quarter Dollar.”

1941-D Quarter Doubled Die Varieties

The 1941-D quarter doubled die obverse, FS-25-141D-101 shows some doubling in the date, and in the motto “In God We Trust.” Fivaz and Stanton, in their catalog, describe this variety as popular, with lots of collector interest. Prices can become quite spirited for uncirculated varieties. In February 2018, a 1941-D doubled die obverse quarter, graded MS-67, sold for $2,640. A similar coin, from a normal die used in Denver, would sell for under $600.

The 1941-D quarter doubled die reverse, FS-25-1941D 801, is described by Fivaz and Stanton as somewhat rare, and examples don’t appear at auction very often. The doubling mainly appears upon the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” and in some individual letters, such as the “D” of the word “United” and the letters “AR” in the word “Dollar.”

In 2016, two examples of this particular variety sold at Heritage Auctions. The first was graded MS-64 and sold for $129.25. The second was graded MS-65 and sold for $152. Although these prices are eight years old, they are still twice what one would expect to pay for uncirculated 1941-D quarters of similar quality.

1941-S Quarter Mint Mark Varieties

The typical mint mark for 1941-S Washington quarters is a small “S”, often filled in. At least two other styles of mint mark were used in San Francisco.

The first variety, known by catalog number FS-25-1941S-501, is a large, “trumpet-tail S” mark. Occasionally, the upper part of this mark may be filled in by metal. At least ten different dies used this mint mark.

The second variety, known by catalog number FS-25-1941S-503, appeared on only one known die, and is somewhat rare and not easy to find.

Technical Specifications of the 1941 Washington Quarter

The silver Washington quarter, minted between 1932 and 1964 was composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. It has a weight of 6.25 grams, or .22 ounces. The pure silver content amounts to 5.126 grams, or .18084 ounces. The quarter has a diameter of 24.3 millimeters, and a reeded edge.

The Washington quarter came about from a desire to commemorate the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The original plan by the commission created to plan celebratory events was to have a commemorative half dollar. A string of poor results in offering other commemorative coins led the U.S. Treasury to be somewhat wary of this scheme.

Instead, the Treasury wished, and Congress authorized, a redesign of the quarter dollar coin. A competition was held, in which entrants were to base their designs upon the portrait bust of Washington by the French sculptor, Jean-Antoine Houdon. The sculpture, which in turn was created using a life-mask of Washington made in 1786, is considered one of the more reliable portraits, and had already been used as a model for the image of Washington on American postage stamps.

The Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon, picked the successful designer, John Flanagan. Flanagan was a student and assistant of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the pre-eminent American sculptor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Flannigan’s other work included sculpted portraits of the artist Daniel Chester French and the philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst, as well as a number of medals and decorative objects.

Flanagan created a profile bust of Washington for the obverse, and an eagle with arrows and olive branch for the reverse. The design was successful with the public, and was used, with minor modifications, from 1932 to 1999 with only two interruptions. No quarters were struck at all in 1933, and in 1975 and 1976, a special bicentennial design replaced the eagle reverse.


The 1941 Washington quarter is not especially valuable at the lower circulated grades, and remains reasonably affordable at the higher circulated and the lower uncirculated grades. A collector with a good eye can easily uncover an uncirculated specimen that looks as fine as many higher graded coins for a fraction of the price.