The other day, I was wondering, “how much is a gold quarter worth?” In researching the answer, I found that it depends on the type of quarter.
High gold composition quarters have a high numismatic value. A gold-plated quarter is worth less than a 24-karat gold (or 24k gold) quarter.
The market value of gold quarters is whichever is higher: The face value of the coin, the current market value of the gold, or the numismatic value.
Here is how all that works.
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How Much Are Gold Quarters Worth?
So, how much is a gold quarter worth? To understand a gold quarter’s value, you must know how much gold makes up your quarter.
Some quarters issued by the US government are gold-plated. Others are 00.00% 24 karat gold, which is almost pure gold.
Each quarter is worth at least its face value of 25 cents, which is the only thing the two types of quarters have in common regarding value.
Gold Plated Quarter Value
A gold plated quarter, a regular quarter with a layer of gold, typically is worth around its face value with maybe a little more added because of the gold plating, which is 24 karat, but there is not much of it.
24 Karat Quarter Value
A 24-karat gold quarter is worth the current market value of its weight in gold. So if the current market value of an ounce of gold is $100 and the gold content of the quarter is .25 ounces, the 24-karat gold coin would be worth $25.
Numismatic is anything related to coins, paper currency, or specific medals. It is the collectible value of one of those objects.
If an object is collectible, it is usually worth much more than its face value. For example, in the case of the gold-plated quarter, the numismatic value would be the spot market price of the gold plus what a collector would pay for it above that price.
If a collector paid 30 cents for a 25-cent gold quarter, the numismatic value would be 5 cents. Likewise, with a 24-karat gold coin, the numismatic value would be whatever a collector would pay above either the face value of the currency or the gold value of the coin.
In every case, the numismatic value of a coin is based on collectibility rather than face or gold value.
The numismatic value of a 24 karat gold quarter, because they are special edition quarters, would be whatever the collector or dealer was willing to pay above the value of the gold used to mint the coin.
So if a gold coin were worth $100, the numismatic value would be whatever a collector was willing to pay above $100.
Gold Plated Quarter vs. Gold Quarter: What’s The Difference?
How much is a gold quarter worth compared to a gold plated quarter? Several differences between gold plated quarters and 24-karat gold quarters will help answer this question.
Gold Plated Quarter Coin
Often, gold-plated quarters get sold as “rare” legal tender. They were minted in the late 1990s and early 2000s and sold as an investment that would be worth a lot more than 25 cents in the future.
The pitch was that they had “24 karat gold plating,” which is true, but the plating content of the quarter was less than .003″ thick.
The gold content of the plating, because it is so thin, is minuscule. A gold-plated quarter is worth 25 cents, its face value, in almost every instance.
There is some numismatic value if the quarter has a flaw or is a special commemorative coin. A survey of several online coin dealers has the 2016 gold-plated Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter valued at slightly over $4.00.
The $4.00 value is unique among gold-plated quarters, and the driver is its collectability as a special edition coin.
You might wonder how dealers could pitch gold-plated quarters as valuable if one is worth only its face value. Yet, US currency law allows it because the currency was not defaced with the purpose of counterfeiting.
That makes the quarters similar to artwork, which can be modified, defaced, enhanced, etc., for aesthetic purposes.
24 Karat Gold Quarter Coin
One of the most prominent differences between gold plated quarters and a gold quarter is that a gold quarter is much more valuable because it is almost solid gold.
Its purity and gold content is 99.999 percent, with the difference being there only to help harden the gold. It weighs .25 troy ounces of gold.
While the face value of a 24 karat gold quarter is 25 cents, the price of gold is the troy ounce equivalent of the spot price of gold of an ounce of gold.
The gold price in 2022 has ranged from $1600 up to $2000. Currently, it is around $1750 a troy ounce. That means the current gold price of a 24-karat gold quarter is roughly $435.
That does not count the 24-karat gold quarter’s numismatic value, which also can be significant.
Numismatic Value of a 24-karat Gold Coin
Less than 100,000 24 karat gold Standing Liberty Centennial quarters, minted in 2016 with a mint mark of West Point (W,) have been in circulation.
There is a maximum mint cap of 125,000 quarters. That makes them uncommon on the coin market, and most dealers have trouble keeping them in stock.
The numismatic value of the 2016 Standing Liberty 100th anniversary quarter, rated around Specimen 67 (SP 67,) which is almost perfect, is less than half of the current gold value of the coin, above the gold value of the currency.
The SP rating is a hybrid assignment that signifies the coin is between Mint State and Proof levels of flawlessness.
The value of a coin rating is largely dependent on what dealers and collectors will pay for the coin. One 2016 Standing Liberty Centennial quarter has a gold value, based on the spot price of gold, of about $435.
The coin’s numismatic value is about $160 above the gold value. So the total value of the coin is about $600 per coin.
Should I Buy Gold Quarters?
Gold-plated quarters are worth face value plus a numismatic value of a little more. The 24-karat gold quarter price is the gold value based on the spot market, but the numismatic value is more.
Whether you should buy either is up to your collection and strategy for your investment portfolio. Both make great additions to your collection for the right reasons, but if you purchase either type of quarter, consult a professional first.