About 120 million business strike Washington quarters were minted in 1961, which is, again, a tremendous figure that keeps any numismatist from thinking that quarters from that year are scarce. 1961 Washington quarters are quite plentiful in just about any nice circulated or uncirculated grade. You will, however, have great difficulty in finding well-worn 1961 quarters. That’s because 1961 quarters did not circulate for too many years before being pulled out of the channels of commerce from silver-hungry coin hoarders, who were growing in number as the price of silver increased over the first half of the 1960s.
Here’s a look at the mintages and values for 1961 Washington quarters:
1961, 37,036,000 minted; $7
1961 proof, 3,028,244; $11
1961-D, 83,656,928; $7
*Values are for quarters in Extremely Fine-40, unless otherwise indicated.
What may jump out to any numismatist looking at mintage figures for coins made from the 1950s into the 1960s is the massive increase in proof coin production. The jump in proof mintages is a direct correlation to increasing demands from coin collectors, which were also growing in number during the early 1960s. The large base of coin collectors throughout the United States during the early part of the 1960s contributed to many coins from the era being saved in exceptional condition, which is largely why so many early 1960s quarters are available in high grades today.