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1964 Quarter Value Guideline. Charts, Photos, and Errors – Valuable U.S Coins

The 1964 Quarter: The Last Year of 90% Silver Coinage

Are you curious about that old 1964 quarter in your pocket change or coin jar? You might be surprised to learn that 1964 quarters are worth far more than face value. In fact, the most valuable 1964 quarter ever sold at auction brought a whopping $38,400 in 2021!

So what makes 1964 quarters so special? It all comes down to their silver content. 1964 was the last year that United States quarters were minted in 90% silver before switching to a copper-nickel "clad" composition in 1965. Let‘s take an in-depth look at these prized silver quarters and how much they‘re worth today.

The End of an Era: 90% Silver Quarters

From 1932 to 1964, the U.S. Mint produced quarters made from an alloy of 90% silver and 10% copper. Each coin contained .18084 ounces of pure silver. But by the early 1960s, the price of silver had risen so much that the bullion value of these coins started to exceed their face value.

Worried about the public hoarding silver coins and creating a shortage, President Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1965. This law changed the quarter‘s composition to an inner layer of pure copper sandwiched between outer layers of cupronickel (75% copper, 25% nickel). The new clad quarters looked similar but contained no silver.

1964 ended up being a transition year, with the Mint producing record numbers of 90% silver quarters to prevent shortages as silver was removed from the coinage. Over 1.3 billion 1964 quarters were struck between the Philadelphia and Denver mints – more than 3 times the typical annual production.

As the last 90% silver quarters, 1964 quarters hold a special place for collectors and bullion investors alike. Not only are they popular for their numismatic value, but the silver content makes their melt value far higher than face value as well.

1964 Quarter Melt Value and Silver Content

So how much silver is in a 1964 quarter? Each coin weighs 6.25 grams and contains .18084 troy ounces of pure silver based on the 90% silver composition. With silver prices around $24 per ounce as of May 2023, that gives each 1964 quarter a melt value of about $4.35.

In other words, even the most worn 1964 quarter is worth over 17 times its face value of 25 cents based on bullion content alone! And while you can‘t legally melt down U.S. coins, the melt value still provides a baseline for the value of these silver quarters.

Of course, collector value depends on more than just silver content. The specific mintmark, condition, and any errors or varieties also play a big role in determining a 1964 quarter‘s numismatic worth. Next let‘s examine the different types of 1964 quarters and how much they sell for.

1964 Quarter Values by Variety and Grade

1964 quarters come in two main varieties based on the mint that produced them. Quarters from the Philadelphia mint have no mintmark, while those minted in Denver have a "D" mark on the reverse just above the "Quarter Dollar" text.

Here‘s a breakdown of each variety with mintage figures and approximate values in different grades relevant to collectors (using PCGS and NGC grading standards):

1964 Quarter (No Mintmark) – Philadelphia
Mintage: 560,390,585

  • Good-4: $5.50
  • Very Fine-20: $6
  • About Uncirculated-50: $7
  • Uncirculated (MS-60): $8
  • Uncirculated (MS-65): $20
  • Proof (PR-65): $20 (3,950,762 minted)

1964-D Quarter – Denver
Mintage: 704,135,528

  • Good-4: $5.50
  • Very Fine-20: $6
  • About Uncirculated-50: $7
  • Uncirculated (MS-60): $8
  • Uncirculated (MS-65): $25

As you can see, even circulated 1964 quarters are worth a significant premium over face value due to their silver content. Prices jump significantly in higher uncirculated grades, especially for coins with pristine surfaces and full luster.

The Denver mint produced more 1964 quarters than Philadelphia, but top-grade examples of the 1964-D are still scarce and command higher premiums. For instance, PCGS reports only 163 grading events for 1964-D quarters in MS-67 condition or higher.

Record 1964 Quarter Auction Prices

Over the decades, several 1964 quarters have sold for impressive prices at coin auctions and private sales. Here are a few of the most notable:

  • In 2021, a 1964-D quarter graded MS-68 by PCGS sold for $38,400 – the all-time record price for the issue.

  • A 1964 SMS (Special Mint Set) quarter graded MS-69 sold for $8,812.50 in 2018.

  • In 2004, a Philadelphia 1964 quarter graded MS-67 by PCGS brought $7,187.50.

While these prices are outliers, they show the potential of 1964 quarters in elite condition. Factors like toning, strike sharpness, and eye appeal can boost the value of high-grade examples.

1964 Quarter Error Coins and Varieties

Certain 1964 quarters with striking errors or die varieties are also coveted by collectors. While most are rare, here are a few to look out for:

  • 1964 Doubled Die Obverse: Moderate doubling is visible on the obverse text and Washington‘s profile. In MS-64, one sold for $2,115 in a 2007 auction.

  • 1964-D Repunched Mintmark: The Denver "D" mintmark was punched into the die multiple times at different angles, creating an overlapping appearance.

  • 1964 Broadstrike: A minting error where the coin is struck without a collar die, resulting in a flatter, wider shape without a raised rim.

Collecting and Investing in 1964 Quarters

Given their status as the last 90% silver quarters and generally high mintages, 1964 quarters are an accessible and affordable starting point for collecting silver coins. A complete set of both mintmarks can be put together easily.

When buying, focus on eye appeal and strike quality. Well-struck quarters with full detail in Washington‘s hair and sharp rims are more desirable. Look for clean surfaces without distracting marks, scratches, or spots.

Uncirculated 1964 quarters are usually the best bet for collectors. Not only are they more visually appealing, but their better condition protects more of the numismatic premium above melt value. Consider sending valuable coins to PCGS or NGC for grading.

Over time, 1964 quarters have proven to be a relatively stable store of value thanks to their silver content. As silver prices rise, so does the baseline worth of these coins. And in top grades, they‘ve shown strong appreciation fueled by collector demand.

Whether you‘re a seasoned collector or new to numismatics, 1964 quarters are a fascinating piece of U.S. coinage history. By understanding their silver content, different varieties, values, and most prized qualities, you can seek out prime examples to grow your collection.

With their enduring popularity and finite supply, these 90% silver quarters will likely remain a cornerstone of the hobby for generations to come. So the next time you find a 1964 quarter in circulation, remember, it‘s worth far more than two bits!