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1932 Washington Quarter AG About Good Silver 25c Coin1932 Washington Quarter AG About Good Silver 25c Coin
1935 Washington Quarter G Good Silver 25c Coin1935 Washington Quarter G Good Silver 25c Coin

Washington Quarters: A Brief History

In the early 1930s, there was a push to honor George Washington's 200th birth anniversary in 1932. Congress passed the Washington Bicentennial Quarter Act in 1931, authorizing the minting of a special quarter-dollar coin to commemorate the event. The Commission of Fine Arts held a design competition for the new quarter. Sculptor John Flanagan won the competition, and his designs were selected for both the obverse (George Washington's bust) and the reverse (an eagle). What was intended to be a one-year-only commemorative design, proved so popular that it became standard issue.  

The initial design by Flanagan had some minor variations over the years. For instance, starting in 1965, the mint mark was moved from the reverse to the obverse to the bottom right of Washington's bust.  

From their introduction in 1932 until 1964, Washington quarters were made of 90% silver and 10% copper, with a weight of 6.25 grams. Due to the rising cost of silver and the depletion of silver reserves, the Mint changed the composition of the Washington quarter in 1965. Since then, the coin has been made of a copper-nickel clad composition with a solid copper core. 

In honor of the United States Bicentennial, the reverse design of Washington quarters was temporarily modified. From 1975 to 1976, the design featured a colonial drummer and a torch to symbolize the spirit of independence.  

Washington quarters hold a significant place in American numismatics and remain a symbol of respect for the nation's first president. The Washington quarter’s rich history, various design iterations, and commemorative programs have made it a favorite among coin collectors and enthusiasts for nearly a century. 

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