History of 1955-D Washington Quarter

There is no evidence that the 1955-D Washington quarter is worth more than $10 MS-60 and $42 MS-65. It may not cost extra, but it feels like a date that may rise in value. The 1955-D Washington quarter had a low mintage and was likely ignored at the time. Still, 1955 was a busy year for coin collectors and dealers.

Choosing a coin to save at the time may have been difficult. Almost every issue had promise. You started with 1955-S dime and cent. Since these were the San Francisco Mint's last two coins, they were together. San Francisco issued two historic, low-mintage issues: the 1955-S cent, the lowest-mintage cent since the 1930s, and the 1955-S dime, with less than 20 million issues.

Dime issues continued. Although the 1955-S was low-mintage, the 1955 and 1955-D were much lower. Their mintage was the lowest and third-lowest among Roosevelt dimes. That seemed like enough cause to save a roll or two of each dime. But it continued. Only 8,266,200 nickels and 2,876,381 Franklin half dollars were minted in 1955. They had to be interesting too. All those dates were good, but the 1955 doubled die obverse Lincoln cent trumped them.

Under the conditions, the 1955-D Washington quarter was little noticed. Some noticed with a mintage of 3,182,400, but not many. Like the Franklin half dollar, the Washington quarter was too expensive for most young collectors. That affected dealers: if a coin had no market, they wouldn't save many.

Nobody knows how many 1955-Ds were saved. The 1955-D wasn't exactly a hot commodity, so owners may have regretted their purchase after a few years. There had been over 50,000 mint sets sold, thus there were possibilities for 1955-D fans.

The 1955-D's limited mintage and 1955 date were the only reasons it rose in price with few collectors. That wouldn't have impressed many. Thus, few instances would have survived until all were taken from circulation after 1964, when silver was removed from the quarter

Of course, most 1955-D quarters saved were distributed. In early 1980, silver reached $50 per ounce, making 1955-Ds worth more melted than to collectors. If silver cost $50, a 1955-D would be worth more melted than an MS-60 at $10.

Who knows how many excellent 1955-D Mint State examples were lost. The price increase over time is intriguing because the 1955-D is not graded enough to know if it is tougher in higher grades. Not graded because pricing is too low. Even if MS-65 totals are low, most were likely not graded, therefore you cannot make a judgment.

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