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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/1976 Rare/Unusual Quarter


QUESTION: I have a 1976 Washington Bi-Centennial Quarter. It is very silvery looking and its weight is 5.75gm. It is my understanding the only silver clad quarters for this year were a S (San Francisco) minted coin. there is no mint mark on this coin and the only other quarters are the Nickel clad quarters that weigh 5.67gm. Is it possible I have a Unique Coin. Thank You for any Reply

ANSWER: Hi John,

Odds are extremely low.  Since there were no silver quarters minted in Philadelphia, there would not be any silver blanks available there.  And since all the silver quarters were minted in San Francisco, all the dies would have "S" mint marks on them.  So being silver, with no mintmark (and no evidence of mint mark removal), seems pretty impossible.

My guess -- without seeing it -- is that it's silver plated, which would account for the additional 0.08 gram of weight.  It does not have the copper stripe through the reeding on the edge, right?

The only way you're going to know for sure is to either send it in to be certified -- which would cost $20 to $50 or more -- or to find somebody that has one of those xray metal analysis machines -- perhaps one of the large gold & silver dealers in the New York area.

I hope this helps,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Dan and Thank You so much for your quick reply. This Coin does have a copper reeding which caused me to think that this coin was not silver plated. After looking at the reeding Again I see that about 1/4 of the reeding is silver, would this indicate silver plating?. In my research prior to asking for help I was not aware of any of siver plating that was done on these type of Bi-centennial quarters. Again Thank You so much for the information you are providing.

Usually, if it's silver plated, all of the copper stripe will be covered ... but anything can happen!  The silver plating was not done at the mint, but rather by some private companies, that would put them (along with other silver plated coins) into some kind a fancy packaging, and sell them for ridiculously high prices to unknowing collectors -- a real shady gimmick.

Anyhow, if you can see any of the copper stripe, that means it's not solid silver, so it won't have any significant added value.

I hope this helps,


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Dan Moore


My strong familiarity with all U.S. Mint coins, extensive reference library, and close relationships with many other dealers allows me to identify just about any coin made in the USA. I receive regular updates to all the current price guides -- both wholesale & retail -- to provide accurate values. So, with a good description or pictures, I should be able to identify and value any U.S. coin you have.


I've been a coin dealer since the 1980's and a coin collector since the 1960's. I specialize in U.S. Silver Coins and have an active online website -- The Working Man's Rare Coins -- -- offering information and inventory in U.S. coins.

Organizations I belong to :
American Numismatic Association Member #187770
Michigan State Numismatic Society Member #8255
Florida United Numismatics Member #19710
Monroe Coin Club Treasurer
Lincoln Coin Club Board Member
WINS Member #14
CoinMasters Member #1814

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I have created a Frequently Asked Questions page on my website, where you may be able to get an immediate answer to your question. You can find the page here :

BBA from Adrian College

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