The 50 State Quarters program started in 1999 and finished in 2008. The idea was to design and produce a new commemorative quarter for each state in the US.
The coin release was very successful and was well received with over half the US population getting involved in collecting this new batch of quarter dollar coins.
It is now the most successful numismatic program in US history with around 34,797,600,000 coins minted and earned the US federal government over $3 billion in revenue.
Starting in 1999 five new quarters where struck every year starting with the states in the order that they ratified the Constitution. The first quarter was struck for Delaware.
This continued until 2008 when Hawaii was the last state to have their coin struck and all 50 statehood quarters in the series had been completed.
The obverse of all the state quarters has a standard design with a bust of George Washington whilst the reverse is relative to an aspect of each individual state.
For example the New Jersey statehood quarter has a design depicting the crossing of the Delaware river by George Washington and his army.
The governor of each state had the responsibility for designing its own coin reverse and submitting it to the treasury for approval.
Some governors held contests and ask people to submit their designs for the coin, whilst others got theirs professionally commissioned.
When you start collecting state quarters, you might come across these different types.
The most common type is circulated and these are the coins that you'll find every day while out shopping or in your coin jar at home.
They usually show signs of wear from changing hands on a daily basis and may have some discoloration or face scratches.
They will also have a D mintmark for coins minted in Denver or no mintmark at all for coins produced in Philadelphia.
The next most common coins are uncirculated and these were also minted in Denver and Philadelphia.
This means they haven't been used by the general public for shopping and are usually in new looking condition. They show little scratching or wear.
The least common coins are the proof strikes with a S mintmark. These are made specially by the mint for collectors and were only minted in San Francisco.
They are highly polished and two types were produced. A Silver proof and a Clad proof.
The silver proof is made of 90% silver and 10% copper, while the clad proof is 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel.
Here is a list of the top 10 most rare state quarters in circulation together with their mintage figures.
There were lots of state quarters minted throughout the lifetime of the program. Many of them are still circulating and you can find them in your pocket change.
These ones are only worth their face value of $0.25.
If you own a collection of uncirculated coins, they are worth a little bit more because they are still widely sought after by collectors who want the best quality coins for their collections.
You can get an idea of their value by looking at auction sites such as eBay to see how much they are selling for.
Some error coins and special varieties are selling for $1000's at auction.
For example, a 1999 Delaware statehood quarter minted in Philadelphia was struck on an experimental planchet. It was certified MS66 by PCGS and sold for $4888.
The most expensive state quarter sold so far at auction went for $17,000 on 4th December 2004.
It was a 1999 S Delaware Silver Proof PR70 Deep Cameo and was sold by Heritage Auctions.
Discover the top 10 most valuable State quarters ever sold, how much they are worth and why some of these coins from the 50 State Quarter program are very rare.
The most valuable state quarter from the 50 State Quarter program is worth $17,250 and it was only struck at the San Francisco mint in 1999.
It was part of the first batch of coins that were designed and minted for the program and issued to the state of Delaware, which was the first US state to ratify the constitution on 7th December 1787.
During the 10 years that the program ran, over 34 billion quarter dollar coins were minted across the three US mints of San Francisco, Philadelphia and Denver.
This was the largest amount of US quarters ever produced.
Here is the list of the top 10 most rare and valuable state quarters by auction price.
Image Courtesy of Heritage Auctions
This rare 1999 Pennsylvania state quarter graded MS67 by PCGS was struck on an experimental planchet and sold at Heritage Auctions Oct 25, 2006.
The mostly copper planchet was intended for use on the new Sacagawea dollar being released in 2000.
A small amount of these experimental planchets are known to have been used for all five 1999 state quarters. These include Delaware, Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Image Courtesy of PCGS
This state quarter graded by NGC apparently sold on eBay on February 26th 2019 to a private buyer.
Image Courtesy of PCGS
This coin has a PCGS certificate number of 13160764 and is part of a private collection owned by Erasmus Hall. He has been collecting coins since he was 12 years of age and focuses on modern commemoratives.
He also has a fine collection of Lincoln cents, both wheat and memorial, Jefferson Nickels and Roosevelt Dimes in his portfolio as well.
Here is a list of the 50 statehood quarters in order of when they were released.
Click on each state to see more information about the coin including errors, images, mintage and varieties.