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Washington Quarters


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Does anyone know why the values of the 1982 p&d,1983 p & d, and the 1986 d washington quarters are so high. In the 2008 Redbook they range anywhere from $3.50 to $21.00. I don't think its because of the amount minted, because the numbers in the book aren't extremely low. If anyone has the inside scoop on this please let me know jed

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In 1982 and 1983, the mint did not issue any mint sets, so the only way to get uncirculated versions of those years is to get unc. rolls or bags from banks. This was a recession as well, so not many were saved at all leading to higher values for these years across most series in uncirculated grades. The 86 is more of an anomaly, and I am not sure why they are higher, I noticed this on cents since I had a few rolls of unc 86-D cents and when I sold one it went for a pretty good price. I still don't know why though.

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The recession might have had something to do with it, but they did produce souvenir sets in those years that were sold in the gift shops of the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. They might have had a lot more going on and didn't have time for the sets, like changing the composition of the cent, issuing the first commemorative coin since the 1950s with the Washington half dollar, issuing Olympic coins the next year, plus as I recall we were dealing with a penny shortage in the early 1980s that further put pressure on the Mint to not produce mint sets. All of this is pure speculation on my part as I have no idea why they decided to stop for 2 years.

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Mint sets were discontinued in '82 as one of Reagan's cost cutting

initiatives. There was apparently a very small but very loud outcry

over it and mint sets were resumed in 1984.


Everyone knew there would be no sets so lots of extra rolls were

set aside but these were insignificant compared to mint set mintages.

Much of the reason for the outcry is that it's very difficult to find nice

well made coins from the mint. Most of the coins are poorly struck

from worn dies and collectors simply had gotten in the habit of look-

ing in mint sets for the much better strikes and usually cleaner sur-



Several private companies did produce mint sets for these years

though quality was poor and mintages were generally very low. The

mint sold souvenir sets but these are just regular run of the mill and

are not mint set quality. There were eight private issues including

the Numismatic News premium sets plus the official souvenir sets that

were made from 1972 to 1998. mintages varied from 400 to about

100,000 but only 10,000 to 20,000 of them were made in '82-'83.


In '86 the mint reworked its customer list and dropped millions of names

of frequent customers from their solicitation for the sets. Orders simply

plummeted and caught everyone off-gaurd. The quarters went into cir-

culation quickly as the economy was starting to heat up. Roll quality

was not extremely good because of excessive marking so relatively few

were saved by the time it was known mint set mintage was so low. Inci-

dentally, mint set quality for many of the mint set '86 quarters is quite

high especially in comparison to roll coins. This is probably part of the rea-

son this set had a high premium for many years.

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