The US Mint has been producing the Washington Quarter since the mid-20th century, and the coin has remained in production ever since. With that said, however, the Washington Quarter has undergone many changes in recent history that have caused the coin to be of extreme popularity for collectors everywhere.
For collectors, it isn’t only the silver content of these coins that makes them attractive. In addition to that, the fact that these coins are a piece of American coinage history makes them especially valuable in the eyes of collectors.
When it comes to the condition of coins as old as the 1938 Washington Quarter, pristine condition is never guaranteed. As such, you will see collectors closely analyze each and every aspect of the coin in search of even the smallest imperfections.
You will normally see collectors send their coins away to be graded by a professional organization, but that is not always an option. Understanding this, we have provided below an outline of the different characteristics of coins of a specific grade to give you a better idea of what grade your coins might be.
Uncirculated: A coin that is graded as being Uncirculated is one that was never circulated and, after minting, was immediately placed into safekeeping. Thanks to the safe place that these coins were placed, they did not get the chance to become overly damaged or destroyed. In fact, they will show almost no damage whatsoever.
Extremely Fine: Coins that are graded as being Extremely Fine are those that spent only a limited amount of time on the open market. These coins have incurred only a small amount of damage and that damage will only be able to be made out under close inspection. At first glance, Extremely Fine Quarters may not look all that much different from Uncirculated coins.
Fine: A coin that is graded as being Fine is one that spent a good amount of time in circulation. During this time, the coin will have incurred a good bit of damage, but not so much damage that the imagery and inscriptions are unrecognizable. These coins are a great addition to any collection because they are affordable and still in decent shape.
Very Good: Very Good is the grade given to coins that are in fairly rough shape, but are not so far gone that they are destroyed. You will see plenty of heavy scratching and other signs of wear, and these coins will quite aptly show their age. Though not the worst grade, this is a grade not desired by most collectors.
The Washington Quarter is easy to price simply because there are only a few different factors you have to take into consideration. For one, because there were multiple types of these coins produced every year, the type of coin you have will directly influence the price you pay for it. The condition of the coin is also something that plays into the price. The more well-preserved the coin is, the higher the asking price will be. Below is a chart of the prices you can expect to pay for a Washington Quarter from 1938 given its condition and type.
1938 Washington Quarter
|1938 Washington Quarter
|1938 Washington Quarter (S)
|Source: Red Book