1965 Quarter: Exploring Its History, Design, Value

1965 Quarter: Exploring Its History, Design, Value
Posted on April 25, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

If you’re a precious metals investor or enthusiast, you've probably heard of the silver crisis of the 1960s. It was a turning point in the US history of coinage, particularly for the famous 1965 Washington Quarter. Investors and collectors of precious metals have a particular place in their hearts due to the high 1965 Quarter value.


This coin was the first quarter to be composed of less than 90% pure silver, representing a significant change in US currency. The rare and valuable 1965 silver quarter was produced as a result of the switch from silver to copper-nickel coinage.

In August of 1965, the US Mint began producing copper-nickel alloy coins, marking the first time clad quarters had been produced. But they weren't made available for purchase until November.

In 1964, the date on silver quarters was frozen to discourage hoarding. From 1965 through the beginning of 1966, both silver and clad quarters were struck; thereafter, additional silver coin production was no longer required.

Even in this period of transition, some silver planchets found their way into the printing presses. The quantity of these coins that were produced in this manner is unknown, but collectors prize them greatly.

Dive into this blog if you're interested in knowing the 1965 quarter value. You'll be enthralled to discover why these coins are so valuable and what they're worth!

     History of the 1965 Quarter


Washington Quarters are a series of quarter coins that include the year 1965.

In 1932, George Washington's bicentennial year, the first Washington Quarter was produced. As part of the bicentennial celebrations, Washington, the country's first president, was honored with a coin.

Silver predominated in those early coins, but that all changed in 1965. Silver was becoming scarce by that point, and the cost of minting the coins was rapidly increasing.

People began hoarding the coins because the scrap metal's value was rising. Before long, it was believed that the silver might be worth more than the face value of the quarter.

In response, the Mint first issued coins with 1964 dates into 1965. However, that didn't stop anyone from taking the silver coins out of use.

Thus, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the end of the use of silver dimes and quarters in June 1965. These denominations would eventually be made with an alloy of copper and nickel covering a copper core.

The coin design had to be modified in certain ways due to the altered composition. To capture all the details of the text and images, the harder metals needed a lower relief.

None of the 1965 quarters had mint marks, despite all of them having been produced at the Mint's Philadelphia facility.

The Philadelphia Mint produced coins for collectors in addition to the standard coins for circulation. These were offered in "Special Mint Sets" with other denominations and featured a unique satin finish.

     Design of 1965 Quater

Obverse Side


The obverse side of the 1965 Washington Quarter features the effigy of the first president of the United States, George Washington, left facing.

John Flanagan designed this well-known profile, which has appeared on the quarters since 1932 to commemorate President Washington's 200th birth anniversary. It remained unchanged during the transition to the clad coinage.

The inscription "LIBERTY" hovers above his head, the mint year "1965" is located on the lower rim, and the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" is embossed under the president's chin.

Reverse Side


The reverse features a magnificent bald eagle with its wings outstretched towards the coin's rim, perched atop a bundle of arrows or laurels. Since its 1932 release, this design has come to represent the tenacity and strength of the American people.

The Latin phrase "E PLURIBUS UNUM", which means "out of all, one", is written above the bird. The outer rim of the coin is embossed with the words "QUARTER DOLLAR", the name of the nation, and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".

How to Tell if a 1965 Quarter is Silver?

There might be more 1965 silver error quarters out there. However, how would you recognize one? It's easy. The simplest method is to weigh the coin on a calibrated gram scale. The weight of the 90% 1965 silver quarters is 6.25 grams, while the standard clad quarters weigh 5.67 grams.

The eye test is another option. Silver quarters have a higher sheen and no visible layers of nickel or copper around the edge of the coin.

The 1965 Silver Quarter appears to be easily confused with those made of cupronickel.

     Value of 1965 Quater and Factors that Increase its Value

The majority of 1965 quarters are not particularly rare. Most quarters from that year are only valued at their face value of 25 cents if they show typical signs of wear, although uncirculated quarters from that year might be valued at one or two dollars.

But since at least one 1965 quarter was made of the incorrect metal, coin collectors are constantly searching their stashes and pocket change for the elusive silver quarter. Between 1964 and 1965, the US Mint switched from producing quarters and dimes on 90% silver planchets to copper-nickel clad planchets.

Did you know??

That some 1965 quarters were made with leftover 1964 blank metal disks, called "planchets", that were 90% silver? These coins are considered error coins and are valuable to coin collectors.

1) 1965 Quarter Value


The 1965 Washington Quarter is worth between $25 and 85 cents on average, but if it has significant mint errors or is a rare 90% silver version, it can sell for anywhere from $7,050 to $16,800.

Quarters in excellent condition, particularly those graded MS67 or MS68, have brought between $170 and $1,920 at auction in the past. You should be fortunate enough to own a rare 1965 silver coin or one with a significant mint error; its value may be extraordinary.

Rare 1965 quarters containing 90% silver, once verified by third parties, can be sold for prices ranging from $7,050 to $16,800. Even a common error, such as an off-center strike on a 1965 Quarter value, could be worth anywhere from $50 to $300.

Condition & GradingValue
Good (G)$0.30
Very Good (VG)$0.30
Fine (F)$0.30
Very Fine (VF)$0.30
Extremely Fine (XF)$0.30
MS55$0.50 to $0.60
MS58$0.75 – $0.85
MS60$1.50 – $2
MS61$2.50 – $3
MS62$3.50 – $4
MS63$5 – $6
MS64$7.50 – $8.50
MS66$30 – $100
MS67$375 – $900

2) 1965 No Mint Mark Quarter Value


A standard value of 1965 quarter must be graded at least MS62 in order to exceed its face value.

Mint state coin grades begin at MS60. Therefore, the value of 1965 quarters in mint state is just 25 cents. Positively, this implies that finding a coin that appeals to you without breaking the bank is simple.

The PCGS provides a 1965 quarter value at MS63 at $8. At MS65, the lowest point at which a coin is deemed to be of "gem quality", that amount increases to $22.

Coins rated MS66+, which are approximately $55, and those graded MS67, which are worth $400, have a significant difference in value. This is due to a noticeable decrease in availability at MS67.

Only thirteen coins have been certified finer by the PCGS. Twelve of those have an MS67+ grade and are worth $850 apiece.

However, the only perfect example known to exist is rated MS68. Additionally, PCGS values the coin at an astounding $16,500.

GradePCGS Value Estimate
MS 6025 Cents
MS 63$8
MS 65$22
MS 66$55
MS 67$400
MS 67+$850
MS 68$16,500

3) 1965 Special No Mint Mark Quarter Value


When nickel-clad copper quarters were first produced in 1965, there was a lot of interest in the coins. For collectors, the Mint created a "Special Mint Set". This included the Kennedy half dollar, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel, Lincoln cent, and Washington Quarter.

Their lovely satin finish sets them apart from standard quarters.

Most of these coins were kept in good condition because they were marketed as collectors' items from the beginning. This indicates that they are widely accessible currently, keeping costs for the majority of grades low.

1965 special strike quarters, graded SP40 to SP45+, are valued by PCGS at just $1 each. (Special strike coins, like those made for Special Mint Sets, are designated with the prefix "SP"). A mint state SP65 is worth sixteen dollars, while even an example-graded SP63 is only worth about ten.

The NGC, a different coin grading organization, has graded SP70, the best example currently known to exist. For that one, there are no sale records. Still, the same organization graded fifteen coins at SP69. In 2017, one of those last sold for $132.

The PCGS values a special strike coin with grade SP67 at $32. A cameo of the same grade is valued at over ten times that amount—$375. If it is a deep cameo, the value increases more than tenfold again, to $5,000.

GradeValue Estimate
SP 40-45+$ 1
SP63$ 10
SP 65$ 16
SP 67$ 32 Cameo ($375 and $5000)
SP 69$ 132

     Why 1965 Quarter are Rare

Due to a small number of 1965 quarters being inadvertently struck in silver rather than copper-nickel, they are extremely rare. Due to their partial silver composition, these transitional error coins are worth more than their face value. A perfect-condition 1965 silver quarter can fetch tens of thousands of dollars, but even that amount is subject to fluctuation.

There are several reasons that make these 1965 quarters rare:

It's quality and condition, as evaluated by PCGS, NGC, or ANACS, but only if in excellent uncirculated conditions (MS67-MS69).

Is it a rare 1965 quarter minted on a 90% silver planchet? If so, it MUST undergo authentication and grading by PCGS, NGC, or ANACS!

Is it a well-preserved, visually appealing Special Mint Set quarter? A brilliant and prooflike appearance can characterize it.

Is it an authentic error coin (“off-center strike; double tail”)? The best way to determine its authenticity is to visit coin grading services such as NGC and PCGS.

     The Most Valuable 1965 Quarter


There are several possible variations for the 1965 quarter that could raise its current value. Other elements that could distinguish your 1965 quarter are as follows:

1. Misprint error Off-Center Coining 1965 Quarter

Off-center minting is a common error in these two currencies (1965 and 1965 SMS) that causes their price to rise above average. The coin imprint is sideways when the planchet is not centered. The greater the percentage of off-center design and the remaining pieces, the more value the coin has. If the quarter is in good condition and the date is still readable, a coin might be worth several hundred dollars.

2. 1965 Error Silver Washington Quarter

The 90% silver 1965 quarters were, as previously mentioned, withdrawn in 1964. On the other hand, 1965 saw the simultaneous minting of 1964 Washington Quarters and 1965 copper quarters.

At least one 1965 90% silver quarter is known, which fetched $7,050 at auction in 2014.

Large amounts of silver planchets were minted in 1965, and it is likely that this error resulted from the use of a particular shipment of 1964-dated planchets for 1965.

3. DDO and DDR Error: Doubled Die Obverse and Doubled Die Reverse

This occurs when letters on the obverse, or front side, are minted twice. This is mainly obvious in the expressions "Liberty" and "In God We Trust". The valuation of a 1965 25-cent with double coinage on the front ranges from $360 to $2,300.

The letters in the phrase "Quarter Dollar" show doubling if the coin was struck twice on the reverse or back side. The value of these quarters could range from $25 to $175.

Please note: Coin doubling is not always due to a doubled die error. Mechanical doubling, , die chips, die cracks, RPM, and RPD are non-error minting variations. Yet, collectors admire DDO and DDR imperfections as actual mint errors.

4. Error 1965 Quarter Coined in Planchets of Different Modules

A 1965 quarter with a design error, such as noticeable border inscriptions, may have been struck on the wrong planchet. This is due to the fact that, up until 1964, quarters were stamped on 90% silver planchets; however, starting in 1965, the US Mint began producing quarters on copper-nickel clad planchets without a mint mark.

90% of the silver blanks meant to be 1964 quarters were inadvertently struck with a few 1965-dated quarters on them.

In 2020, a 1965 quarter coin struck on a 1 cent MS64 grade planchet was sold at auction for $552. Additionally, a 10 cent silver dime coin on an MS64 grade planchet, valued at $1,440, was also part of the sale.

5. Error Double Tail 1965 Quarter

A real double tail quarter has the tail, or reverse, side on both sides of the coin. According to numismatists, three-quarters of those found to have this extraordinarily rare error were produced between 1965 and 1967. Three examples of this unusual and unexplained mistake exist, all featuring identical designs on both sides of the coin. Two of these three instances were previously sold for $80,000 and $41,000.

6. Error Double or Multi-Counterfeit 1965 Quarter

The coin sustained another minting blow because it was unable to be removed following the printing of the obverse and reverse. It costs more than $400.

A specific rotation of the coin's obverse and reverse is also typical in this error. They often stay turned before the second or subsequent mintings because they cannot be ejected.

Because of this, it is challenging to verify their authenticity in pictures, so a visual inspection of the item containing this error is imperative.

7. Error “Broad Struck” and “Struck Through” 1965 Washington Quarter

When the dies to shape the coin, the collar can occasionally break. Consequently, the quarter becomes slightly larger than usual, with the letters and numbers appearing spread out and flat. These quarters retail for approximately $45.

8. Error in Die Minting Caused by Rotation

This happens when one of the dies rotates on its axis. When you flip a coin over, one side isn't facing in the correct direction because the obverse and reverse have been rotated in relation to one another. This kind of error in a 1965 quarter can fetch up to $300.

List of Valuable 1965 Quarter With Errors
Type of errorFact-Checked Estimated value
Misprint Error Off-ECnter Coining 1965 Quarter$95-$312
1965 Error Silver Washington Quarter$7,050
DDO and DDR Error$2,300
1965 Quarter Coined in Planchets$1,440
Double Tail Error$80,000
Error Double or Multi-Counterfeit$400

Closing Thought

As we come to the end of our exploration into the 1965 Quarter, it is evident that this coin has significance beyond its face value and has an interesting history. Every detail, from the 1960s silver crisis to the switch to copper-nickel coinage, adds to the appeal of this investment for investors and collectors. Every 1965 Quarter is a treasure hunt waiting to be discovered because of the uncommon silver versions, mint errors, and distinctive features.

The 1965 Quarter value provides an interesting look into a significant period in American coinage, whether you're a coin enthusiast or just interested in the background of coins. Collectors and historians are captivated by the compelling narrative that is created by its design, composition, and the multifaceted factors that impact its value. Thus, the next time you encounter a 1965 Quarter, pause to honor its history and any unrealized potential it may have.

Bring value to your collection with quarter coins. BOLD offers gold and silver quarter coins at the lowest prices. Explore our extensive collection of quarter coins to enhance your collection and investment portfolio.

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