1981 Quarter Value, Error List, & Investment Outlook

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Are you a coin collector or an investor looking for unique and valuable additions to your collection? Look no further than the 1981 quarter. This coin, while not particularly rare, has the potential to be a valuable find for the discerning collector or investor. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the 1981 quarter, so that you can decide whether it is a good choice for you or not.

The 1981 quarter is a coin that holds a special place in history as it was the first quarter struck at the Philadelphia Mint since 1955. The Philadelphia Mint was one of the first mints established by the United States government and has been in operation since 1792. The Mint was initially located in the city of Philadelphia. It was responsible for producing all of the nation’s coinage until the opening of additional branch mints in the late 19th century. The Philadelphia Mint stopped striking quarters in 1955, and all quarters produced from 1956 to 1981 were struck at the Denver and San Francisco Mints.

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The George Washington portrait on the obverse of the 1981 quarter was first used in 1932. The portrait was designed by John Flanagan, a prominent American sculptor, and has been used on the obverse of the quarter ever since. The reverse of the 1981 quarter features the Great Seal of the United States, which has also been used on the quarter’s reverse since 1932. The Great Seal was designed by the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton and it symbolizes the power and authority of the United States government.

The 1981 quarter is a coin that holds monetary value and historical significance. It represents an important milestone in the history of the United States Mint, and it is a reminder of the rich history and tradition of American coinage.

Error List

1981 quarter errors are not as common as in some other years, but they exist. Some of the errors found in the 1981 quarter are:

  • 1981-D quarter struck on a dime planchet: This error occurs when a quarter-sized blank is struck with quarter dies but is made of a dime planchet instead of a copper-nickel planchet. As a result, these quarters are larger and heavier than a standard quarter.
  • 1981-P quarter with a doubled die: This error occurred when the die used to strike the coin had a duplication of design elements. The doubling can be seen on the coin’s date, lettering, or other design elements.
  • 1981-P quarter with a filled die: This error occurred when the die used to strike the coin is worn or damaged, and some design elements become filled in or weak.
  • 1981-P quarter with a die crack: This error occurred when a crack forms on the die used to strike the coin. The crack can be seen as a raised line on the coin, and the value of this error can vary depending on the location and severity of the crack.


The 1981 quarter, like all quarters, has a face value of 25 cents. However, the value of a 1981 quarter can vary depending on its condition and rarity. A 1981 P quarter in fair circulation can be purchased for as cheap as 25 cents, while coins in mint condition typically cost around $7. The 1981 P Washington quarter with the MS 67 grade was the most costly. On eBay, a coin was purchased for $700.

The 1981 S PR 67 Type 1 costs $13, while a PR 70-rated example with a deep cameo contrast costs around $22.

On the other hand, the 1981 S quarter Type 2 in the same grade is worth roughly $28. The most costly quarter is the 1981 PR 70 DCAM quarter, which costs an average of $145 to collectors.

It is worth noting that errors in 1981 quarters are relatively rare, but they can fetch a high price if they are in good condition. Therefore, if you come across a 1981 quarter with an error, it’s essential to be professionally graded and evaluated for its potential value.

Investment Outlook

The 1981 quarter is not considered a precious coin for investment purposes. However, if you happen to come across a 1981 quarter with an error, it could be worth significantly more than its face value. Generally, quarters from the 1980s and 1990s are not considered good investments, as they are relatively common and not particularly scarce. However, if you are a collector of quarters or errors, a 1981 quarter with an error could be an exciting addition to your collection. It is always a good practice to consult an expert before investing.