1976 Bicentennial Quarter Value Guides (Rare Errors, “D”, “S” and No Mint Mark)


The 200th anniversary of the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence was honored nationwide in 1976. Although the commemorative coin program ended in 1954, the US Mint issued coins for this significant occasion as planned.

Three mints issued five 1976 Washington quarters to commemorate 200 years of freedom. After a break from 1954, the US commemorative coin program began minting double 1776-1976 coins on July 4, 1975, and ran through 1976. No coins were minted 1975. Preventing coin hoarding and ensuring availability were goals.

History of the 1976 Washington Quarter

John Flanagan was inspired by Jean-Antoine Houdon's 1785 Washington painting. In front of his left bust is IN GOD WE TRUST. The obverse is basic compared to old American coins. LIBERTY tops the coin rim, 1796-1976 below the portrait. The President's ponytail-tied bow has a D or S on the right.

The obverse of the 1976 Washington quarter

I like Jack L. Ahr's commemorative quarter coin reverse for such a special event. He placed a revolutionary drummer in the reverse center around the coin rim with the US and QUARTER DOLLAR instead of an eagle. The thirteen stars on his left side surround the soldier and a light. Under the torch is E PLURIBUS UNUM.

The reverse of the 1976 Washington quarter

Metal-wise, 1976 bicentennial quarters have two varieties. This 1976 Washington quarter has 91.67% copper, with a pure copper core and 75% copper with nickel outer shell. These coins are 0.06890 inches (1.75 mm) thick, 0.95512 inches (24.26 mm) wide, and weigh 0.2 ounces (5.67 g).

Other 1976 Washington quarter features

In 1976, the Philadelphia mint struck 809,784,016 unmarked Washington quarters. These coins have a copper core with 75% copper and nickel, totaling 91.67% copper.

1776-1976 No Mint Mark Washington quarter 

The Denver mint produced 860,118,839 bicentennial Washington quarters in 1976. Most coins are worth $0.25–$90, depending on condition. There are still high-quality MS 68 pieces for $3,500 to $4,200. Heritage Auctions' specimen cost the most.

1776-1976 D Copper-nickel Washington quarter

Regular strike and proof quarters were struck by the San Francisco mint in 1976. All surviving 40% silver-copper silver-clad coins are worth $1.41 to $84 now. Experts value MS 69 pieces at $6,000, but one owner sold his for much less. 

1776-1976 S Washington quarter (40% silver clad)

1976 San Francisco mint bicentennial Washington quarters were 7,059,099 proof. The most available pieces cost $4–$85, depending on preservation level. All three most expensive quarters this year were auctioned. At Bowers & Merena auction in 2010, a collector paid $6,038 for the 1976 S PR 69 Washington quarter.

1776-1976 S proof copper-nickel clad Washington quarter

Rarely, a garment occluded the coin surface during striking, revealing a weaving design on the obverse. A quarter with such a mistake is expensive and collectible, therefore one was auctioned for $881.25.

Struck-through bicentennial Washington quarter

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