The US Mint was still working overtime to supply the nation with coins in 1966. Until 1965, all denominations, from the dime to the half dollar, were made from 90% silver. The economy had virtually ground to a standstill as people hoarded every coin that they could find—even the nickels and cents, which had no silver content.

1966 quarter

1966 Washington Quarter. Graded MS68 by PCGS

All 1966 Washington Quarters were struck at the main US Mint in Philadelphia. More than 821 million quarters were produced in 1966. That sounds impressive, but it is still less than half the 1.8 billion quarters made in 1965. In fact, you can still find 1966 quarters in circulation today, even some that might qualify as “almost uncirculated”!

1966 Washington Quarter Prices

The most valuable coins are uncirculated ones that earn the highest “Mint State” ratings from certified coin grading services. Mint State (aka uncirculated) coins are graded from MS60 to MS70.

Coins are graded on a 70-point scale, where 1 is so worn as to be almost unidentifiable, and 70 is perfect, with no damage or blemishes visible even under magnification.

1966 Washington Quarter Prices

MINTAGE: 821,101,500


Most Expensive 1966 Washington Quarters: Finest Known and Auction Records

This is a list of the finest-known examples of the 1966 Washington Quarter. The auction record listed may or may not reflect the highest price ever paid since person-to-person private sales are not recorded. The numbers in the PCGS and NGC entries are the number of coins at that grade that each service has graded.

1966 AUCTION RECORD: $21,000 for MS-68+ (2023 - Heritage)

FINEST KNOWN: MS-68+ (1, PCGS); MS-68 (23, NGC)

1966 Washington Quarter Varieties

Variety coins are coins that have had something happen to the die before the coin is struck. Common coin varieties include Doubled Die on Reverse (DDR), Doubled Die on Obverse (DDO), and Repunched Mint Mark (RPM).

The difference between variety coins and error coins is that variety coins result from a mistake on the coin die. Many hundreds or even thousands of variety coins with the same defect can be minted before the mistake is noticed.

1966 Washington Quarter DDR

The only generally recognized 1966 Washington Quarter variety is the 1966 DDR (Doubled Die Reverse). It is rarely seen at auction, as evidenced by the auction record being held by a worn XF45 example.

AUCTION RECORD: $920 for XF-45 (2012 - Heritage)

How the 1964 Coin Crisis Impacted 1966 Quarters

Until 1965, all dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollar coins were made with 90% pure silver. As silver prices rose in the early '60s, the value of the silver content of these coins exceeded their face value. As silver prices continued to rise, more people hoarded every silver coin that they could get their hands on. The economy began grinding to a halt. The US Mint could not keep enough coins in circulation.

Since “silver stackers” (people hoarding coins for their bullion value) were creating a shortage of all types of coins, coin collectors could not find nice 1960s coins in circulation. They bid up prices for high-quality coins in the secondary market, leading government officials to blame collectors, not silver hoarders, for the coin shortage.

Director of the US Mint Mary Adams decided in 1964 that removing mint marks from all US coins would reduce demand from collectors. As a result, the only 1964 coins to carry a mint mark were the Lincoln Cents struck at the Denver Mint. From 1965 to 1967, no US coins carried a mint mark. Mint marks returned in 1968 after the coin shortage was considered over.

Error Coins

Error coins are a result of a mechanical malfunction of the coin press or a defect or mistake in the coin blank itself. (Anything that happens to them after they are ejected from the coining press is referred to as “post-mint damage.”) This means that each error coin is unique, even if they were subjected to the same type of malfunction.

Common error coins are

  • Cuds, where a piece of the die on the rim cracks and breaks off, letting the metal flow through to fill the gap.
  • Wrong Planchet errors, where the wrong coin blank is fed through the press. One example is a penny struck on a dime press. These errors can sometimes be worth far more than a variety coin.
  • Off-center strikes, where the coin blank is not completely fed into the press before it is stamped. Some off-center strikes can have deformed coin blanks and just a small portion of the coin design present. These drastic errors are popular and can be worth substantial money to the right collector.
  • Double Strikes, where the coin was not fully ejected from the coin press before the next strike. Double Strikes are the most attractive coin error and command prices to match.

  • Read more about coin values from the numismatic experts at Gainesville Coins:

    American Gold Eagle Values: How Much Are They Worth?

    1909-S VDB Penny Values, Varieties, and Rarities

    1942 Jefferson Nickel (P, D, S): Values and Varieties

    1905 Indian Head Penny Values, Errors, and Rarities

    1942 Walking Liberty Half Dollar Values, Errors, and Rarities

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    Valerie | 7/7/2024
    I have a 1966 quarter with what I would consider an error but not sure what kind. How can I get it appraised free or at least give me an idea if it’s an error coin and valuable?
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    Steven Cochran

    Steven Cochran

    Precious Metals Market Analyst | BS University of South Florida (2002)

    A published writer, Steven's coverage of precious metals goes beyond the daily news to explain how ancillary factors affect the market.

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