The U.S. quarter has featured George Washington on its face since 1932, when it was struck to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the nation's first president. New York sculptor John Flanagan was the designer and his initials are seen at the base of Washington's neck. The 1940 quarter is 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper with a weight of 6.25 grams. The value is determined by the mint mark and the grade of the coin.
This is located on the reverse of the quarter below the wreath. If there is a D the coin was minted in Denver, an S is for San Francisco and no mint mark means the coin was minted in Philadelphia. There were about 36 million 1940 quarters minted in Philadelphia, 3 million in Denver and 8 million in San Francisco, so the last two carry premium prices.
The lower grades for the 1940 quarter are as follows: F-12 (fine), hair lines above Washington's ear and feathers on the eagle's breast barely visible and VF-20 (very fine), wing feathers and most hair details clear. Prices do not change much from year to year so estimates for values for these grades by place of minting is $2 to $3 for Philadelphia, $10 to $15 for Denver and $5 to $7 for San Francisco.
This is known as EF-40. Washington's hair lines must be sharp, with few wear spots on the coin. In this grade the values are $4 for Philadelphia, $24 for Denver and $9 for San Francisco.
Also known as MS-60, the quarter must have no trace of wear, but is allowed some contact marks and surface spotting. Values for this hard-to-find grade are $17 for Philadelphia, $120 for Denver and $21 for San Francisco.
Shortened as MS-65, this quarter must be immaculate. Prices are $60 for Philadelphia, $325 for Denver and $65 for San Francisco.
- Whitman's Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins 2009; R.S. Yeoman; 2009
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