• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

1965 Washington Quarters - How long will they last?

5 posts in this topic

After 42 years the ones I am finding in change for the most part grade GOOD to VERY GOOD. Some are damaged but many just show the signs of heavy use. Has the U.S. Mint (or anyone else) published anything about how long these coins will last?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the life span of a coin?


The approximate life span of a coin is 25 years.


What happens to United States coins that are no longer fit for circulation?

Those coins are classified as "uncurrent" or mutilated. Mutilated coins are coins that are chipped, fused, and not machine countable. Mutilated coins are only redeemable through the United States Mint.


Uncurrent coins are coins that are worn yet recognizable as to genuineness and denomination, and are machine countable. Uncurrent coins are redeemed by the Federal Reserve Banks, then forwarded to the Mint for disposition.

All uncurrent or mutilated coins received by the Mint are melted, and the metal is shipped to a fabricator to be used in the manufacture of coinage strips

The Treasury Department has prescribed regulations regarding uncurrent and mutilated coins. Let us explain the difference. Uncurrent coins are whole, but are worn or reduced in weight by natural abrasion. They are easily recognizable as to genuineness and denomination, and they are such that coin sorting and counting machines will accept them. Merchants and commercial banks will generally accept or refuse these coins at their discretion. However, Federal Reserve Banks and branches handle the redemption of uncurrent coins.


Mutilated coins, on the other hand, are coins that are bent, broken, not whole, or fused or melted together. The United States Mint is the only place that handles redemption of mutilated coins, and they should be sent to:


United States Mint

P.O. Box 400

Philadelphia, PA 19105

(215) 408-0203


Info from United States Mint web page.


From what I know, the original clad concept coins were tested (excellerated testing) and the Mint came up with the 25 year life span, meaning with normal wear, the coin will be able to be identified as to denomination and that it is infact a US Minted coin. Anything after that 25 year benchmark, the coin is subject to falling into the lowest category.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RTI said in 1976 that the quarter had a life expectancy of 30 years. This was probably a little short as they didn't weight sufficiently for the fact that later dates tend to show up disproportionately in circulation until they get "mixed in".


Since that time wear has slowed due to decreased velocity and attrition has increased due to decreased spending power. I'd guess that it pretty much balances out so that the life expectancy is about 30 years or slightly less.


The huge number of '65 quarters assures that these will be available for the foreseeable future but nearly half of them are gone now. You'll find about the same number of them in circulation as a late date quarter with half the mintage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

For those not old enough to remember silver coins in circulation, you should know that the clad pieces are much more durable. When silver was current, it was unusual to find pieces that were even 30 years old. When seen, such coins were usually worn to near oblivion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites