Q. David Bowers (edited and updated by Mike Sherman): In observance of the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth, the government decided to redesign the quarter dollar to depict the image of our first president. A lively competition ensued, and picked from this was a proposal of John Flanagan, a New York sculptor. The obverse of the Washington quarter dollar shows the head of Washington, modeled after a bust by Houdon, facing left, with LIBERTY above, IN GOD WE TRUST to the left, and the date below. The reverse shows a modernistic perched eagle, with a wreath below and E PLURIBUS UNUM above. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and QUARTER DOLLAR inscriptions are at the borders. In silver alloy the type was minted continuously from 1932 to 1964, with the exception of 1933. After 1964, a new alloy was used that eliminated the silver.
The type collector can readily obtain a later date in the series for low cost, in any desired condition from well-worn to superb Uncirculated. In addition, Proofs are available for the years 1936 through 1942 and 1950 through 1964.
-- Reprinted with permission from "United States Coins by Design Types - An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor" by Q. David Bowers