The 1952S Superbird quarter is definitely one of the strangest quarter varieties known. It is named for a small “S” on the chest of the eagle on the reverse of the coin.
The current theory is that the “S” mark was made by a U.S. Mint employee who was a fan of the Superman comic series that was popular at the time. This is still a theory, as no one has come forward to claim responsibility for this quarter.
We will likely never know who created this interesting variety. If the employee was 21 years old working at the mint in 1952, he or she would be 90 years old today!
This variety is only found on proof coins minted in San Francisco in 1952. Not every proof quarter from 1952 is a Superbird quarter. Currently, it is estimated that about 1/5 of every proof quarter from 1952 is the Superbird variety according to PCGS.
How visible is the “S”?
It is very difficult to see with the naked eye, this is why this coin made it out of the mint in the first place. In order to get a clear view of the S, you need about 5x magnification.
I recently purchased a graded 1952S superbird quarter and I was surprised to find that it was very difficult to see the S with my naked eye. I had to move the coin into different lighting to even catch a glimpse.
How much is the Superbird Quarter worth?
This is not a very well-known variety, so the price has varied wildly.
Recently, (early 2021), the price has fallen since I first discovered this variety. Where an MS-63 was once catching $200 on EBay, they are now selling for closer to $90. I am not sure whether this is due to a decreasing demand, or an increasing supply.
Is this a good coin to own?
I definitely think this is a worthwhile coin to purchase if you like it. It makes a great conversation piece, as even non-coin collectors are intrigued by the idea of a Superman Quarter.
Get a graded one if you wish to purchase one. The S mark is so small, that even light scratches could easily make it illegible. Plus, grading will help others know what the coin is if it gets passed down, so having a slab with the words “Superbird” on it is a plus.
If you can find one still in a proof set that would be an amazing find. These coins average around $100-$200, but can reach over $1,800 for higher grades.
If you want to learn more about proof sets, check out: “Buying Guide for United States Mint Proof Sets”
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