With the United States in the heat of its involvement in World War II and the American economy thriving, a need for new coinage was immense. The United States Mint responded by striking Nearly 140 million Washington quarters in 1942, with more than 100 million being struck at the Philadelphia mint alone. With the demand increasing for business-strike coinage, the United States Mint would cease production of proof coinage later in 1942, but not before issuing 21,120 proof sets. 1942 would also see the striking of a rare doubled-die obverse quarter from the Denver mint.
What follows is mintage and valuation information for 1942 Washington quarters:
1942, 102,096,000 minted; $7
1942 proof, 21,123; $300
1942-D, 17,487,200; $8
1942-D doubled-die obverse, mintage uncertain; $375
1942-S, 19,384,000; $13
*Values are for coins in a grade of Extremely Fine, unless otherwise noted.
While regular-issue 1942 Washington quarters are generally common (though the San Francisco piece begins verging on semi-key material in some coin collectors’ minds), the doubled die and proof versions do keep Washington quarter collectors busy in their pursuit of acquiring these more elusive – and definitely more expensive – coins. Buying certified examples of the 1942 doubled die quarter is recommended, while looking for flashy, high-quality specimens is worthwhile in the case of buying the 1942 proof quarter.