David Hall: In the 1930s, production was higher at the Philadelphia Mint than at the Denver or San Francisco Mints. This was true for nearly all denominations and dates of the era. Interestingly, in 1938, Philadelphia Mint production, while not low in an absolute sense, was actually lower than the other years of the 1930s. As a result, the lower mintage 1938 Philadelphia quarter has long been considered a semi-key date in the Washington quarter series, along with the 1936-S, 1937-S, 1938-S, 1939-S, and 1940-D. And back in the 1960s when circulated examples of these dates traded by the role at premium prices, the 1938-P was right up there with the semi-key S-mints & D-mints. In uncirculated and Gem condition, the 1938 is no rarity, but it is the rarest of the 1934 to date Philadelphia Mint Washington quarters. The typical uncirculated specimen is well struck and many frosty white Gems exist.
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