These Rare Dollar Bills are Worth Money (Better Check Your Wallet)

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Did you know there are rare dollar bills worth a lot of money?

When I was a kid my parents owned a little market, and every now and then, my dad would get really old bills from the grandmas and grandpas who shopped in our store.

I remember my dad showed me a dollar bill that was from the early 1900s and it looked something like this:

rare one dollar bill

Then, a few years ago, my dad gave me $200 worth of old bills he had been holding on to for many years. Most of the bills were from the early 1900s. He said he thought it could be worth some money but neither one of us knew to scan the serial numbers on the bills.

The research I did basically told me that the bills weren’t worth much. So, without looking at the serial numbers, I deposited them at Chase.

Yes, I did that, and now I’m wondering if I threw away a fortune!

To make myself feel better, I’ll assume that finding rare serial numbers is like winning the lottery. According to Business Insider, the statistics of winning the Powerball Lottery are 1 in 175 million, so it’s safe to say those bills weren’t worth anything beyond the value of its denomination.

Check The Serial Numbers on Your Dollar Bills

Don’t make the same mistake I did. If you happen to have dollar bills that are old, check the serial numbers. The bill’s condition is also important.

These special serial numbers are called “fancy serial numbers” and Cool Serial Numbers has an explanation of the breakdown of numbers within them. They also have a list of what bills are the most in demand.

Here are some fancy serial numbers you need to watch out for on your $1 bills.

The names are very unique:

  • Seven repeating digits in a row (i.e. 09999999, 77777776)
  • Seven of a kind (i.e., 00010000, 99999099)
  • Super repeaters (i.e., 67676767)
  • Double quads (i.e. 00009999)

What Do Serial Numbers Mean?

There are eight numerical numbers on a serial.

The letters on the front of a bill mean it came from a specific U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. The second refers to the number of times that serial number has been used.

There are 12 Federal Reserve banks in the U.S.

The series year doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when the bill was printed. It actually means it was the last time there was some kind of change to the design of the bill or when a Secretary of the Treasury was appointed.

  • Boston A 1
  • New York B 2
  • Philadelphia C 3
  • Cleveland D 4
  • Richmond E 5
  • Atlanta F 6
  • Chicago G 7
  • St. Louis H 8
  • Minneapolis I 9
  • Kansas City J 10
  • Dallas K 11
  • San Francisco L 12

Be on the Lookout for Misprints on Your Bills

Mistakes on a bill mean there was some kind of error when the bill was printed. These mistakes actually make them more valuable. Misprints on dollar bills are noted by a star next to the serial number.

When bills are misprinted, the “error notes” are replaced with star notes because the government doesn’t allow two bills within the same series to be made with the exact same serial number.

However, according to Quora, you can have the same serial number for different denominations.

Examples of misprints affect the appearance of the bill, including:

  • Upside down serial numbers
  • A dollar bill with a yellow, red, or blue seal
  • Cuts and orientations that are non-uniform

OldCurrencyValues.com says the more obvious the mistake, the more valuable it is.

The Year Isn’t Important for Misprinted Bills

Unlike antiques or even old coins, the age of a bill isn’t crucial when it comes to misprints.

So a bill from the 1960s would be worth the same as a 2006 misprinted bill.

If you happen to have a misprinted bill, find out how to sell it right away. Misprints happen all the time, so holding on to it for as long as possible won’t increase its value.

Can You Get Rich from Old Bills?

In short, probably not.

People who collect things most likely do it for the love of the items and not because they think it’ll help them retire.

Of course, there are those who collect in order to build wealth and see their collection as an investment. My guess is that these are the people who hope to turn a large profit from their collection.

For the rest of us, however, it would take a lot of time and energy to do that.

A quick search on eBay turned up lots of old bills but they aren’t worth as much as I had thought they would be. For example, a dollar bill from 1934 was selling for $11.

Tip: If you want to make extra money on the side, check out our popular article about the best ways to earn a side hustle.

We’re a Culture That Loves to Collect

Raise your hand if you like TV shows like “Pawn Stars,” “Storage Wars,” “Antiques Roadshow,” or “American Pickers.” (My hand is raised.) It’s fun to watch hopeful treasure hunters either on the lookout for a rare collectible item or looking to sell one.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from these shows about collectible items is that it’s really hard to make money. Whatever the collector thinks he will make vs. what he actually ends up with is almost never aligned.

What Makes Certain Collectibles Worth More Than Others?

Remember the Beanie Baby craze? What about first-edition books or original Star Wars figurines that are still boxed? How about an amazing wine collection?

Maybe you or someone you know feels passionately enough about something to collect it.

But is it really worth it? Should you pop open those bottles of wine and enjoy them? Is your Luke Skywalker figurine better off being played with instead of collecting dust on a shelf?

For collectibles, it’s all about supply and demand. If the item is rare, it has a better chance of being worth something than if it was mass produced.

A big reason why a lot of collectibles don’t do well is because they weren’t created with that intention in the first place.

Top 10 Collectible Items That Could Be Worth It

eBay handles roughly $3 billion a year in collectible sales alone and according to their site, these are the top 10 most collectible items. (Federal Reserve notes were nowhere to be found on this list, although coins took the number three spot.)

  • Classic cars
  • Vintage electronics
  • Coins
  • Books
  • Baseball cards
  • Dolls and action figures
  • Antiques
  • Signage
  • Fine art
  • Stamps

The $500, $5,000, and $10,000 Federal Reserve Notes

rare 500 dollar bill

Because collector’s items are all about supply and demand, the $500, $1,000, and the rare very $10,000 notes are worth a pretty penny.

1000 dollar bill

If you’re holding on to a $10,000 bill, you’re in the possession of a true collector’s item. As of 2009, Wikipedia asserts there are less than 336 in circulation, which means it might be even fewer today.

10,000 dollar bill

Collectors are willing to pay upwards of $140,000 for this bill, given that it’s in good condition. A poor condition $10,000 may still be worth $30,000.

The $500 and $1,000 bills are more common, and as of 2009, there are 342 remaining $5,000 bills, around 165,000 remaining $1,000 bills left.

High denomination bills were discontinued in 1969 due to a number of reasons (technology being one of them). They were mostly used for large financial transactions from banks and the Federal government. When electronic money (digital form, rather than physical) was introduced, the need for such large bills went away.

Marketplace.org reported that it wasn’t cost efficient to produce such large denominations when so few would be created anyway.

Will they ever bring back the $500, $5,000, and $10,000 bills? Sorry to say, but this won’t be happening, as the government has no plans to bring these bills back into circulation.

What Large Denomination Bills are Worth

These are some estimates from Heritage Auctions regarding the value of these high denomination bills and what they would be worth if they are in your possession. (Note: The value also depends on the condition of the bill.)

  • $500 — 1934 Series notes are worth $500 to $800 (if it’s from the 1928 series, you may fetch 10 to 20 percent more)
  • $1,000 — 1934 Series notes are worth $1,000 to $1,400
  • Uncirculated $500 and $1,000 are high in demand and can get you two times the value

The Real Way to Invest (Hint: It’s Not With Rare Bills)

The ROI (return on investment) on the $5,000 and $10,000 notes are very poor compared to other types of investments, such as saving each month.

Plus, the chances of you having a rare bill in your possession isn’t likely anyway.

Saving money with the power of compound interest will help you accumulate wealth better than any rare bill can.

Let’s say you decided to invest $5,000 with an average interest rate of 6 percent. Over 30 years, that money can grow to over $76,000. (Use the compound interest calculator from Investor.gov to do your own.)

Of course, this is a simplified calculation and doesn’t account for inflation. The point is that the return would be way better with compound interest on your side.

Summary

There are several rare dollar bills that are worth some serious money. Check your safe or piggy bank to see if you have any of these dollar bills right away.

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    Comments

    1. Hi, I have a few bills I’m curious about what the value might be. I have 3 bills that are consecutive ending in 827, 828, and 829. With the first 2 bills, the last numbers are raised and darker than the rest. The other is a $5 star note 00266621* having the 3 consecutive 666’s. Do you have any information on how to sell them and maybe their worth? It would be appreciated.

      • If I were you I would check out the websites we mentioned in the post. Also, you could try to have it appraised by someone, such as an auction house or certified appraiser. However, you need to be cautious that the person who is appraising it isn’t lowering the value due to their own interest in buying it from you at a price that is far less than it is worth. Certified appraisers will probably be affiliated with one of these three organizations: isa-appraisers.org, appraisers.org, or appraisersassociation.org. Good luck!

      • I have a 1969D one dollar bill that has no serial number. It still has the green treasury stamp and is not bleached . The back of the bill is still green. Is it worth anything ?

    2. Is a doller bill with G 700000012 B worth any more then the face value?

      • You can check through some of the sites we mentioned in the post. Or, you could also check with an appraiser or auction house to see if you can get a value.

    3. Serial Numbers: MF81512118B and MF00876055G and MF28000022C and J08444708B are they worth anything?

      • Well, there are some links in the post as well as some additional ones in the comments above that may help you find out. Good luck!

    4. Hi, I have a 5 dollar bill with a reprint mark and two 20’s reprinted on the back of part of the front.

      • Check with the sources in this post to see if your bills are worth anything. I hope you find that they are! You could be holding onto a heap of money!

    5. I have this dollar with c35480293c. Does it mean anything?

      • I would start by using the sources found in this post. That might get you an answer.

    6. I have these dollars. Please help.
      B44444463H
      J00700772D
      G88808889G
      G00080009G
      A84848048B

      • You may be able to find out if they are worth anything by using the links in this post. I hope they are!

    7. I have a question. I’ve looked on the other sites but have not found any info. I have a few dollar bills with one number raised. It is not raised off the paper but it sits higher up than the others. I am wondering what this would be called so it will be easier to research. Any info you can give me would be much appreciated.
      Thanks,
      Lisa

      • You could try talking to an auction house or appraiser to find out if there is any value there. You can also try currency.ha.com. I hope that helps in your search.

    8. I have an old dollar bill and under the series date there’s a letter b. I have not found another bill with that letter underneath the series date. Could you tell me if it’s worth anything or if it means anything?

      • The best way to find out is to check out the links in this post. They may have some information that will help you determine it’s worth.

    9. I have a baseball with a true dollar bill printed on it by the reserve bank. What is it worth?

      • You may have to get it appraised to find out a close approximation of it’s value. Try the links in this post to find one or you could look for one on your own. 🙂

    10. I have two one dollar bills, serial numbers L 62191883 and E 87717222 A. Are they worth anything?

      • Use the links in the post to find out. Good luck!

    11. Hopefully you can help! I have a $1.00 bill with the serial # B 42222220 A. Could this be worth anything because of the six consecutive 2’s, starting with the letter B, and ending with an A? Thanks in advance for your help.

      • I am not an expert in such matters, but if you check out the ideas and links in this post, you might be able to find an answer to your question. 🙂

    12. What is the value of an authentic yellow back dollar bill?

      • I am not an expert in that area so I can’t tell you that. However, you can check out the links in this post or see if you can get it appraised to find out it’s value.

    13. Hopefully you can help me out. I have a dollar bill with an asterisk at the end of the serial number. I wanted to know how much it’s worth because it’s a miss print.

      • You should be able to do some checking using the links in this post along with the other comments and responses on the post. Good luck!

      • It is worth about 15000 dollars

    14. I have a $50 bill with almost no borders. Is this of any value?

      • To find out, use the links in this post as well as the information in the previous comments. 🙂

    15. I have a $20 bill with blue serial numbers and a blue seal on it. Do you think it’s worth anything?

      • The best way to find out is to check out the links in this post as well as the previous comments. They should give you some ideas of where to go to get answers. 🙂

    16. I have a 1989 twenty dollar bill that is white on the face and green on the back. It was not laundered because then both sides would be white. Have you seen this before?

      • No, I’ve never seen that before. However, what you’re describing could be worth some money, or it could be a fake bill. You might try checking by using the links to the resources in this post or some of the ideas mentioned further up in the comments. Good luck!

    17. Are 10K silver certificates different from 10K bills? Thanks!

      • I assume you are talking about $10 silver certificates and $10 bills? I believe they are different, and the silver certificates most likely do have more value than just $10. You could check out the links in this post or check with a certified appraiser or auction house to find the out value of your silver certificates.

    18. I am a newcomer at trying to find paper currency and coins that are worth lots of money, but I have lots of both, and I am very anxious to put them on the market! Is it a good or a bad idea to begin trying to sell on eBay?

      • That’s a good question. First, you should make sure you know just how much they are worth. Then check out eBay to see how much similar currency is selling for. That might answer your question.

    19. I have a dollar bill with the serial #60404060. Is it worth more than its face value? First one I have seen in several years of looking.
      J.R.

      • Check out the article and some of the links to see if your dollar could be worth anything! You could also get an appraiser to see if they can value it.

    20. I have a star note and the star is solid green. the star on the other side hs a hole in the center of it which any other star note I have seen does. But this one is solid green. I looked at it through a loop and it was not colored in by outside source, but it appears that the print plate was saturated with more green paint on that side. It is a crisp bill no folds and a star G08591518

      • That sounds like a really interesting bill. It could be worth getting checked out. You can look into a pawn shop or do some research to see if someone can appraise it for you! Best of luck.

    21. Hello Deacon, I have a 1990 series $50 bill that is somewhat transparent. I can read the print on the back of the bill from the front. Is that a determining factor in its value? Thanks for your insight and sharing your knowledge with myself and so many others.
      Karen

      • It’ll most likely depend on year, serial number, and other info like that! Do a little research or check a local pawn shop to see if there’s someone who could appraise it for you!

    22. I have 3 one dollar bills that im not sure of there value
      1) 2013 E11131134J
      2)2013 K20311975*
      3)2017 D77479777A

      • If you think you have something valuable, it might be worth it to check a local pawn shop or see if you can find someone who can appraise them! Best of luck!

    23. Have a 10,000 dollar bill with serial number L00000038A 1934 how could I know if it is authentic?

      • I would check to see if there’s an appraiser who can get that bill evaluated for you! Best of luck!

      • Are you interested in selling it, or what do you want to do. If your selling it, I’ll be a nice guy and give you 15% over face value + 1,000.00 dollars. What shape is it in ?

    24. I have a $20A bill and the last number is shift down I have no clue what kind of bill I have so if anyone can help me out thank you.

    25. Do any know if a 1$ bill with serial number D03017410* if its rare or not

    26. I have a $20 bill with the number “88864999” is this worth anything

      • only face value. I know that because I also have a similar bill .
        ” 66633999″

    27. I have a hundred dollar bill, serial number is FA00119966 worth anything?

    28. How much is a bill that has only a 2 but was made in new york?

    29. These are all $1 bill serial numbers are any good numbers fancy. 1st $1 bill 83355338. Next. $1 bill 81481841.next $1 bill 18186688. Next $1 bill 84080400. Are these good numbers?

    30. Have another $1 bill serial number 27191976. Next $1 bill serial number 87999978. $1 bill next serial number 79875986. Are these numbers worth any money.

    31. I have 2 interesting dollar bills. One with A1 and the other with D4. Are they special?

    Comments are closed.