If you have one or numerous gold quarters in your possession, you may be wondering how much they’re worth and if you should sell them now or hold onto them as longer-term investments.
If this is the case, there’s an important distinction you should make between gold-plated quarters and gold quarters, as one is much more valuable than the other.
Here is a closer look at the differences between gold-plated quarters and gold quarters and how to go about getting value out of either.
What is a gold-plated quarter?
You may have seen gold-plated quarters advertised on TV as being rare and valuable. In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s especially, many people bought into these quarters under the expectation they were valuable investments that would return a favorable profit down the road.
Unfortunately, the majority of these quarters are simply ordinary quarters plated with small amounts of gold – usually less than .003” thick. Those hoping to cash in on these supposedly special coins were most certainly let down once they looked to sell.
How much is a gold-plated quarter worth?
Despite being advertised as rare collectibles, gold-plated quarters are not worth much more than face value due to the small amount of gold plating on them (.003” is more finite than a strand of human hair). This makes their melt value extremely minimal. Some buyers may offer a slight markup of 5 or 10 cents, but most will likely offer little more than face value for these quarters.
You might ask why gold-plated quarters aren’t illegal if they so often mislead buyers. Under U.S. currency law, because the coins weren’t specifically defaced with the intent of counterfeiting, they are not illegal. They could instead be viewed similarly to a work of art, purely modified for aesthetic purposes.
What is a gold quarter?
A gold quarter, on the other hand, is much more valuable than a gold-plated quarter. Genuine gold quarters – not to be confused with quarter-eagles (which are also made with gold but are worth considerably more) – contain a larger quantity of gold.
The only officially sanctioned gold quarter ever in circulation was the Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coin, issued in 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Standing Liberty quarter design.
The Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coin:
- Has a 99.99% 24 karat gold composition
- Has a face value of 25 cents
- Weighs .25 troy ounces
- Features a “W” hallmark on the obverse side in reference to its minting location in West Point, NY
A total of 91,752 government-issued Standing Liberty Centennials have ever been in circulation.
How much is a gold quarter worth?
Despite only having the face value of a common quarter, these gold quarters are re-sellable collector’s items worth much more than that.
The aftermarket value of gold coins is determined primarily by their melt value – which is determined by the spot price of gold. The coin contains .25 ounces of gold, meaning its value is approximately equal to ¼ of the price of a one-ounce gold bullion bar.
At the time of writing, the spot price of gold is $1,761.84, which means a Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coin could potentially be valued at $350-$550. There are, of course, other factors that may affect the value of a coin (such as condition). Being that these coins contain gold, they will almost always be worth more than their 25-cent face value.
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