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5 Copper-Nickel Clad Washington Quarters You Should Buy While They’re Still (Relatively) Affordable

5 Copper-Nickel Clad Washington Quarters You Should Buy While They’re Still (Relatively) Affordable

Do you collect Washington quarters? Perhaps you’ll want to spend a little time (and a few bucks) on buying some of the more recent issues from the popular eight-decade-old series.

While many coin collectors seem to prefer the silver Washington quarters from 1932 through 1964, there are several great copper-nickel clad quarters you should also add to your collection while you can still buy them at relatively low prices. Some of these copper-nickel clad Washington qaurters are even worth more than face value in circulated condition.

Here are the five hottest buys among copper-nickel clad Washington quarters:

  1. 1982-P Washington quarter -- An absence of government-issued uncirculated sets in 1982 has now led to a relatively tiny supply of uncirculated Philadelphia (and Denver) mint quarters from that year. MS 65 1982-P quarters sell for $25 or more. Lightly circulated 1982-P Washington quarters are worth $2 to $5.
  2. 1982-D Washington quarter -- Like the 1982-P quarter, 1982-D Washington quarters are scarce in higher grades because few were ever saved in uncirculated condition. Expect to pay $15 for a decent uncirculated specimen. Find one in pocket change, and it’ll likely net you $1 to $2 at a coin dealer.
  3. 1983-P Washington quarter -- The king of the clad Washington quarters, the 1983-P is worth a hefty $50 in MS 65, which is a relatively small sum given how scarce this coin really is versus the large number of individuals who collect Washington quarters. If you find a circulated specimen in pocket change, hang onto it. Years ago, I sold an XF 1983-P Washington quarter for $5. Surely I would get more money for that coin today.
  4. 1983-D Washington quarter -- As was the case in 1982, no uncirculated sets were issued by the government in 1983, and that means few of these coins were ever saved in uncirculated condition. 1983-D Washington quarters in MS 65 are worth $30 each, and in circulated grades they can easily fetch $1 to $2. Keep your eyes on your pocket change!
  5. 1986-D Washington quarter -- You’re probably asking yourself “what gives? Weren't these included in 1986 mint sets?” Well, yes, the U.S. Mint did issue uncirculated sets in 1986, but relatively few uncirculated quarters were saved by the roll back in the mid 1980s – which is one reason BU quarters from that era are actually decently difficult (and therefore relatively costly) to buy. A 1986-D Washington quarter in MS 65 is worth about $15. Unlike the 1982 and 1983 Washington quarters, 1986-D quarters aren’t yet fetching more than face value in circulated condition.

So, there you have it – five modern-day Washington quarters you should consider buying while they're still cheap enough for the average person to purchase. If you have to buy any of these coins (rather than wait for good luck to guide some into your pocket change), you aren’t getting a bad deal, because these coins are really quite scarce, especially in uncirculated condition. They’re comparative steals right now and may be worth much more down the line as collector interest ramps up on modern copper-nickel clad Washington quarters and their relative supplies dwindle. 

If you want examples of uncirculated 1982 and 1983 U.S. coins, don't forget that the Philadelphia and Denver mints did issue their own souvenir sets back then. Those sell for about $50 to $60 each these days and can be bought on eBay.

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