Written by Rafa Sánchez
Washington’s last quarter coinage in 90% silver took place in 1964. From that date onwards its composition became a copper and nickel core.
In this post we are going to focus on the first year of coinage of the Washington quarters in cupronickel that took place in 1965. In spite of the high number of pieces minted, more than 1.8 billion, it is not very common to find the Washington quarter without signs of having been circulated.
Since the material they are made of has no value -due to the absence of silver- you should look for the highest graduations and the best preservations for the Washington 25 cents whenever possible.
- 1 How much is a 1965 quarter worth today?
- 2 Characteristics of a 1965 quarter dollar
- 3 #1 Washington Quarter 1965 Off-center Coining
- 4 #2 Washington Quarter 1965 Silver
- 5 #3 Washington Quarter 1965 Double Coin on the Front (DDO) or on the Back (DDR)
- 6 #4 Washington Quarter 1965 coined in dies of different modules
- 7 #5 Washington Quarter 1965 Double Tail
- 8 #6 Washington Quarter 1965 Double or Multi-Counterfeit
- 9 #7 Washington Quarter 1965 “Broad Struck” and “Struck Through
- 10 Final keys to finding 1965 collectible quarters
How much is a 1965 quarter worth today?
A 1965 Washington quarter in a very high graduation like MS68 has reached a value of $1,300 in 2020. So high is its scarcity at this graduation that PCGS has no specimens registered in this quality and NGC only 9 specimens.
Why are 1965 quarters valuable?
In 2020 we have seen several quarter Washington 1965 SMS copies being slightly below the quarter Washington 1965. In quality MS68+ it has reached $1,180 ($1,125 in MS68 CAMEO), from $31 to $63 we have found it in quality MS68, from $60 to $132 for MS67 CAMEO, $36 a MS67.
Quarter values 1965
|MS68 CAMEO||$ 1,125|
|MS67 CAMEO||$ 60-132|
|MS66 CAMEO||$ 29|
|MS65 CAMEO||$ 22-26|
For lower grades prices in 2020 range between $715 and $955 for a MS67+ and $200 for a MS67.
Therefore, it is worth reading the following article to learn about those errors or variants of the 1965 Washington quarter that are most valuable and in demand in today’s market because of their scarcity or peculiarity.
Characteristics of a 1965 quarter dollar
As a summary we leave the characteristics of the Washington quarter that you should know:
- Print run: 1,819,717,540
- Mint: Philadelphia (no mint mark)
- Designer-Trainer: John Flanagan
- Diameter: 24.3 mm
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel
- Reason: Commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of the first President of the United States
- Period of circulation: 1932-1998
Due to the time and resources needed for the production of proof series, in 1964 these ceased. However, in 1965 they began to mint coins of superior quality.
The 1965 Washington quarter SMS (Special Mint Set) was produced at the San Francisco Mint, although the mint mark does not appear, with the same characteristics as the Philadelphia mint. A total of 2,360,000 SMS units were minted.
Are there any rare 1965 quarters? Keep on reading.
#1 Washington Quarter 1965 Off-center Coining
A common error of these two currencies (1965 and 1965 SMS) that makes their prices rise above the average is known as off-center minting.
This error occurs in the manufacturing process when the die is not fixed in the correct position before the coinage, producing the printing of the wedges outside the established limits.
For this reason, the design of the obverse and reverse are displaced from the center of the coin. This offset can be from 1% to 99%.
The demand and value of these pieces lies in the percentage of off-center they present (the higher the off-center, the higher their value) and also in the data that can be seen in the resulting coin.
In the following table we reflect the prices of pieces that have appeared in auctions in 2020. You can see that they do not appear very often in international auctions although they are not so difficult to find on the Internet, although at a higher price.
Washington Quarter 1965 Off-center Coining Prices
|10% off center||35% off center|
#2 Washington Quarter 1965 Silver
As we said before, the 90% silver-bonded Washington quarters were discontinued in 1964. However, during the year 1965, silver Washington quarters dated 1964 and cupronickel quarters dated 1965 were minted simultaneously.
That year 1965 was minted in large quantities and presumably this error was caused by using a certain consignment of silver coin planks dated 1964 for the year 1965.
Apparently, the 25 cents Washington 1965 of silver are the same as those made of cupronickel, being easily confused.
How can we detect this error so sought after and valued by collectors and investors?
There is only one way to prove it, by its weight. The Washington 1965 silver quarter weighs a little more than 6 grams while the Washington 1965 cupronickel quarter, as we saw at the beginning of the article, weighs 5.67 grams.
This is a very difficult error to find since there are a lot of copies on the Internet. In fact, during 2020 we have not seen any pieces at auction in any international auction house.
Silver Washington 1965 quarters that appeared in auctions in years before 2020 have been auctioned for between $7,200 and $8,500 depending on their gradings.
#3 Washington Quarter 1965 Double Coin on the Front (DDO) or on the Back (DDR)
This is another type of quarter from Washington 1965 originated by a mistake in the minting of the obverse. It is not easy to detect it with the naked eye either, that is why you may want to pay attention to the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” and the word “LIBERTY” on the front. These are the areas where this double minting is best appreciated. It is also common to see these double mints on the nose and mouth of Washington of some quarters of 1965.
The valuation of a 1965 25-cent Washington with double coinage on the front ranges from $360 to $2,300.
There is another variant similar to the previous one, but in this case the double minting is produced on the reverse side and is better appreciated in some letters of the “QUARTER DOLLAR” value.
Reviewing the market for these two variants, the error on the back is less valuable than the double coinage on the front, as it is not such a sought-after piece by collectors. Its price is between $25 and $175.
#4 Washington Quarter 1965 coined in dies of different modules
The year 1965 was also a transition year for other American currency modules such as the Dime. For this reason large quantities were minted and different coin dies were used during 1965 for different modules and dates.
Thus, there are pieces of 25 cent Washington coins from 1965 that were minted on dimes (10 cents), 5 cents or 1 cent coin dies. Here you can find some examples.
They are easy to detect visually since part of the coin is somewhat trimmed as it cannot accommodate the dimensions of a 25 cents a smaller die, and even for the value of 1 cent which is a different material composition.
They are also detectable with a coin-weighing scale, as in the case of the 1965 silver-minted quarter. This is because, for example, the 5 cents die weighs just 5 grams and the 25 cents coin weighs 5.67 grams.
This year, 2020, a quarter Washington 1965 coin minted on 1 cent MS64 grade die has been seen in auctions, reaching a value of $552, and also a 10 cent silver dime coin on MS64 grade die, whose price was $1,440.
#5 Washington Quarter 1965 Double Tail
Only 3 copies of this rare and unexplained error are known, consisting of the same minting of the reverse side on both sides of the coin. Two of those three copies were sold long ago for $80,000 and $41,000.
Since the back does not show the date, it is not known exactly if the error belongs to this year, but numismatic experts consider that the date of minting would be between 1965 and 1967.
Do you want to know more about 1967 quarters? Click here to know all about 1967 quarter value
As a warning we will say that there are many counterfeits of this error consisting of cutting Washington quarter coins in half and then gluing the two backs together. To avoid being cheated we have to look at the edge of the coin and its exact weight.
#6 Washington Quarter 1965 Double or Multi-Counterfeit
The error comes from the fact that the coin could not be expelled after the printing of the obverse and reverse and receives another minting blow. Its price is over $400.
It is also normal in this error that there is a certain rotation of the obverse and reverse of the same coin, since since they cannot be expelled it is frequent that they remain turned before the second or following mintings.
This makes it difficult to check their authenticity in photos, and a visual check of the piece with this error is necessary.
#7 Washington Quarter 1965 “Broad Struck” and “Struck Through
To conclude we show some examples of other types of errors or known variants of these 1965 Washington 25 cents called “Broad struck” and “Struck Through“.
In one of them the ring that holds the coin in the coinage did not work properly and the coin is minted as if it were expanded, so its legends look longer and flatter than normal.
In the “Struck Through” variant, some kind of impurity (staple, clip, …) got between the die and some of the wedges at the moment of the coinage, leaving an imperfection in the coin.
They are not as sought after variants as the ones we have seen in the article but if you come across any of them you will multiply the value of your quarter.
Final keys to finding 1965 collectible quarters
In view of this information, our recommendation is to establish a series of routines when reviewing every Washington 1965 quarter that falls into our hands in case it might have more value than your face:
- Look for 1965 quarters in high quality.
- Look carefully at each coin, even if it is in circulation, on the obverse (In God We Trust and Liberty) and on the reverse (Quarter Dollar) in case there is any double minting.
- Be aware of any imperfections or mismatches on the rim and the edge of the coin.
- Review both sides of the coin for any scratch or imperfections in the field.
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