If you have seen these quarters floating around, it’s pretty obvious why they are called little drummer boy quarters. The little drummer boy quarter is the 1776 bicentennial quarter pictured below:
It is called the “Little Drummer Boy” Quarter because it has a soldier drumming on the back. The name is a joke about the Christmas song about the little drummer boy. The bicentennial quarter does not actually depict the little boy in the 1941 Christmas song.
When was the little drummer boy quarter released?
The quarter was minted from 1975 to 1976, but every coin has the 1976 date on it, even if it was minted in 1975. (That means there are no 1975 quarters!!)
Why does the quarter have 1776 on it?
Anyone asking this should have paid a little more attention in history class. 1776 was the year the US declared independence from England!
The bicentennial anniversary of independence day was celebrated with the 1976 quarter.
Was the little drummer boy quarter the only bicentennial coin?
Nope! In fact, the US mint released a bicentennial half dollar and dollar coin as well. (Unfortunately, dimes, pennies, and nickels remained the same for the year.)
Above is the half dollar coin. It depicts Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was signed!
Are Little Drummer Boy Quarters valuable?
No, not really. Since the bicentennial quarters were the only big change to the quarter design from 1932 to 1999, even non-collectors would pick the coins from circulation.
Some collectors still hoard them in hopes the value will rise in the future, personally I see so many in circulation that it is hard to imagine the prices rising much in my lifetime. If you see one in near mint condition it may be worth it to save.
Do bicentennial coins come in proof sets?
Yes! All 3 bicentennial coins come in the proof sets. The interesting thing about these proof sets is that the dollar, half dollar, and quarter were the same for 1975 and 1976!
Do people actually call them “Little Drummer Boy Quarters”?
I almost always call these bicentennial quarters, but I do occasionally see them referred to jokingly as Little Drummer Boy quarters. It’s a cute name.
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