Who is on the quarter?

Who is on the quarter?
Posted on July 11, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals

Have you ever stopped to think about the story behind the US Quarter? Let's dive into the fascinating cultural and historical significance of this widely used coin! So, who is on the quarter? None other than George Washington, the very first American president.

But why was he chosen? Well, not only was he the nation's first president, but he also symbolized democratic ideals and the country's fight for independence. His unwavering leadership and commitment to public service make him an enduring emblem of American values.

Interested in learning more about the quarter and the intriguing history of George Washington? Check out this article for a deep dive into this iconic coin and the man it honors.



As the commander of the Continental Army that won the Revolutionary War, George Washington is still arguably the most well-known of the Founding Fathers. Since 1932, Washington's likeness has appeared on the 25-cent coin. A one-year commemorative design that became so popular that it continued to be used.

Obverse: depicts a portrait of George Washington facing right that was initially sculpted for the 1932 quarter by Laura Gardin Fraser.

The Washington quarters currently feature a different Laura Gardin Fraser design from the 1930s.

Washington quarter reverse designs:

  • American Women series (2021–2025)
  • America the Beautiful series (2010–2021)
  • 50 State Quarters & Territories series (1999–2009)
  • Heraldic eagle (1932–1998)
  •     Design Evolution of the Quarter

    Design Evolution of the Quarter

    Before the introduction of the familiar Washington Quarter, there were several previous designs for old quarters.

    Pre-Washington Designs

    • Draped Bust (1796-1807h4:

    • In the American coinage series, the 1796 quarter is regarded as a key issue in any grade. As you can see, the Draped Bust obverse, which was first used in 1796, was carried over into quarter dollars struck between 1804 and 1807.

    • Capped Bust (1815-1838):

    • From its introduction in 1815 until its demise in 1838, the Capped Bust style was popular.

    • Seated Liberty (1838-1891):

    • In 1838, Gobrecht's Liberty Seated design made its debut on the quarter dollar. From 1838 to 1853 and again from 1856 to 1865, this striking design was produced continuously.

    • Barber Quarter (1892-1916):

    • From 1892 until 1916, quarter dollars featured the "Barber" design.

    • Standing Liberty Quarter (1916-1930):

    • Hermon A. MacNeil created the Standing Liberty Quarter Dollar's figure. It was struck for the first time in 1916, altered in 1917, and struck again in 1930. Before the Washington quarters were introduced, this was the final design to be released.

    Washington Quarter Designs

    Washington Quarter Designs

    Lady Liberty was the first obverse design on the first U.S. quarters. The reverse featured the national bird of the United States, the bald eagle.

    The Mint has employed a wide variety of reverse designs since 1932. A few of the designs were featured in unique quarter programs that honored locations or occasions and encouraged coin collecting.

    • Initial Designs (1932):

    • In 1932, the Washington Quarter was first introduced as a way to honor George Washington, the nation's first president, on his 200th birthday. An eagle was depicted on the reverse (back) and Washington's portrait on the obverse (front) of the original design, which was dubbed the "Washington Before Boston" design. John Flanagan is the creator of this design.

    • The Bicentennial (1975-1976):

    • The United States commemorated its Bicentennial in 1975 and 1976, 200 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Washington Quarter experienced a brief redesign as part of the festivities. The date was below, and "LIBERTY" was above in a redesigned portrait of Washington facing left on the obverse. On the back, a colonial drummer and a victory torch with 13 stars surrounding it symbolized the original 13 colonies.

    • Statehood Quarters (1999–2008):

    • The US Mint introduced the 50 State Quarters Program in 1999. For ten years, the Washington Quarter's reverse was changed every year, with five distinct designs—one for each of the 50 states—being released. Coin collecting gained enormous popularity as a result of this initiative.

    • America the Beautiful Quarters (2010-2021):

    • In 2010, the United States Mint launched the America the Beautiful Quarters Program in response to the Statehood Quarters Program's success. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five US territories are represented in this program's designs, which showcase national parks and other sites of national significance. The previous reverse design of the Washington Quarter is replaced annually with five new designs. The program ended in 2021, at which point a new set of quarter designs was unveiled.

    • American Women Quarters Program (2022–2025):

    • The U.S. Mint will introduce up to five designs for circulating quarters annually between 2022 and 2025. Every reverse will pay tribute to a distinct lady and her significance in American history. The women will come from different backgrounds and work in a range of fields.

    How Does a Quarter's Historical Heritage Affect its Value?

    A coin's value can also be impacted by its scarcity. Coins that are rarer or were produced in smaller quantities tend to be worth more than more widely used coins. As an example, a rare coin with a much higher value than a standard Washington Quarter is the 1932-D.

        Interesting Facts About Quarters

    • The coin denomination with the greatest circulation (i.e., most usage) is usually quarters.
    • Because quarters are widely used in commerce, North American vending machines are built primarily to accept them.
    • The term "two bits" was frequently used to refer to quarters; this term originated from the Spanish 8 reales silver coins, also known as "pieces of eight," in which two pieces (or bits) of the Spanish silver dollar were equivalent to 25 cents.


    The US quarter contains not just a mere piece of each but, more or less, a continuation of America's history and presentation of its national heritage and values. The image of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America, shows what this man stood for democratic principles and the emancipation of the country.

    Since 1932, when it was initially styled through several special editions, this coin has changed but has not lost its core: the honoring of Washington. Coin collectors and enthusiasts can head on a historical journey with the story of each quarter.

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