iccoins's Blog

17 Feb 2019

Learn Your Types: Standing Liberty Quarters

Coins-United States | iccoins

Last week I acquired a new 1923 Standing Liberty Quarter to add to my collection, which is what inspired me to write this blog. Designed by Hermon MacNeil, this is one of the most popular coin designs for collectors. The prices of these coins are generally much higher than other coins minted in the same time-period. The overall mintage of the Standing Liberty Quarter series is much lower than the popular Mercury Dimes and Buffalo Nickels. From 1916 to 1924, the dates wore off much sooner than any of the details. This is because the date is the highest part on early date Standing Liberty Quarters. This led to extreme difficulties for grading companies, like PCGS and NGC, as well as collectors and dealers. There is essentially only one that that is required to grade coins. That is that the coin must be identifiable by year, denomination, series, variety, etc. Unfortunately, many of the earlier Standing Liberty Quarters ended up “ungradable.” Coins that may normally be a good, or sometimes even a very good example, may be ungradable simply because of the lack of the date. From 1925 to 1930, the date was recessed, which was very beneficial. The coins weigh 6.25 grams and are composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.

Mint Locations

No mintmark – Philadelphia

D – Denver

S – San Francisco

Key Dates and Errors

The biggest key date in the Standing Liberty Quarter series is the 1916. Only around 50,000 were minted, leading this to be very rare key date in the series. In Mint State condition, this coin often sells for over $15,000. The 1919-D and 1919-S are both rare, with under 2 million minted. The same goes for the 1921 and 1923-S. The 1927-D and 1927-S are even more scarce in terms of mintage numbers, with mintages under 1 million. The most well-known Standing Liberty Quarter error Is the 1918-S “8 over 7” variety, which sometimes goes for more than the scarce 1916 variety, with AU examples selling for around $10,000. The 1928-S has both small and large mintmark varieties, but are both valued similarly and is one of the more common dates in the series.

Should I Get A Standing Liberty Quarter Graded?

Lower-grade examples of the common dates are just that, common. I would personally not recommend getting a Standing Liberty Quarter professionally graded unless it is an AU-MS example and/or a rare key date or error coin. Mint State examples almost always sell for at least a few hundred dollars, making it a wise investment for the more expensive and higher grades.


Yeoman, R S. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2018 Essential Edition: The Official Red Book. Whitman Publishing, LLC, 2017.

"PCGS Photograde Online - Estimating Coin Grades Has Never Been Easier." PCGS,www.pcgs.com/photograde/.


I think the Standing liberty quarter is definitely one of the less popular coins of the 20th century. I have one (barely with the date showing) that is a 1924.


Level 6

Beautiful coin indeed! Even all worn out. Thanks for a interesting blog!


Level 4

Thank you for sharing. The Standing Liberty quarters are beautiful coins in mint state condition.


Level 6

I probably wouldn't get yours graded. As you state, it is a common one. It's tough to say without seeing your coin. It's up to you. Nice fact filled blog with a bibliography. Thanks.

The first design was pretty bad having the date all on top, when they changed it they wore much better, except now most of them have everything worn off but the date. A lovely series.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I have read where you can attribute a dateless 1916 version by a couple of diagnostics involving the curl of her hair and the folds of her gown. I think the fatal flaw with the design was the fact it wore so much more unattractively than its contemporaries in the other denominations. I bought the gold 2016 version so I could get an example with pristine detail. Thank You for your researach.


Level 6

A longtime fav coin. I remember getting these in change, often w/dates worn off. My dream coin was a 1916


Level 7

I have about forty and I keep them raw. None are MS and all the dates are there. Even the tiny mint marks . There nice and I have found they go for about forty dollars thirty raw. So by grading them wouldn't mean much they were used heavily. Thanks for the info i enjoyed it. Mike.

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