The Washington Quarter 1955-D – Numismatic News


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There is no conclusive evidence that the Washington Quarter 1955-D should be worth more than its current prices of $10 MS-60 and $42 MS-65. While there may be nothing to prove that it should cost more, there is certainly good reason to assume that this looks like a date that could well reach higher values.

Let’s start with the fact that the Washington 1955-D quarter was a coin with a low mintage but also a coin that was probably overlooked at the time. It was, after all, 1955, and it was a very busy year for coin collectors and dealers.

If you tried to decide which coin to save back then, you might have had a terrible time. Almost every number seemed full of potential. You started with the 1955-S cent and dime. They were together because they were supposed to be the last two coins to be produced at the San Francisco Mint. It turned out that the 1955-S cent was the lowest cent since the 1930s, and the 1955-S cent had a mintage of less than 20 million, so we had two historical and low mintage issues from San Francisco.

The pennies situation went further. Although the 1955-S was low mintage, the 1955 and 1955-D were even lower. In fact, on a list of low mintage ten cents, they were ranked as the lowest mintage Roosevelt ten cents and the third lowest. That certainly seemed reason enough to save a roll or two of each of those dimes.

But it didn’t stop there. The 1955 nickel had a mintage of only 8,266,200, and the 1955 Franklin half dollar had a mintage of only 2,876,381. Those too must have been interesting. However, as good as all of these dates are, they have been completely eclipsed by the famous 1955 double obverse Lincoln cent.

Under these circumstances, it was difficult for Washington’s 1955-D neighborhood to get noticed. Sure, with a circulation of just 3,182,400, a few must have noticed, but not many. The Washington quarter was not heavily collected at the time because, like the Franklin half dollar, for most young collectors in the country it was simply too much money. This influenced dealers: if they didn’t sense a market for a part, they weren’t going to save much either.

There is no good way to know how many copies of the 1955-D could have been saved. However, after a few years, owners of any example might have regretted their decision; the 1955-D wasn’t exactly up in price. Of course, if someone really wanted a 1955-D, there had been nearly 50,000 new sets sold, so there were options.

In fact, with hardly any collectors, there was no reason for the price of the 1955-D to skyrocket other than its low mintage and 1955 date. But that wouldn’t have impressed many people. As a result, very few examples would have survived until all were taken out of circulation after 1964 when silver was removed from the quarter.

Of course, the vast majority of saved 1955-D quarters have been distributed. But when silver rose to $50 an ounce in the early 1980s, it didn’t matter that a 1955-D, whether circulating or mint, was worth more melted than it was for. a collector. It may sound strange, but at $10 for an MS-60 today, a 1955-D would be worth more if the silver price were $50.

How many fine mint condition examples of the 1955-D have been lost is anyone’s guess. The increase in price over the years is interesting because realistically the 1955-D isn’t graded enough to determine if it’s tougher in the higher grades. It is not ranked simply because the price is not high enough. So even if the MS-65 totals are low, which they are, you can’t really draw a conclusion because the suspicion must be that most were unscored.

The feeling must be that current prices are a bargain on a meltdown date that had a print run of just over 3 million. In fact, that’s the general sentiment, as the 1955-D simply looks better than prices would suggest today.


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