Paper Money Value by Serial Numbers: Determine Your Money’s Worth

Pull any invoice out of your pockets. See the darkish inexperienced numbers on the top-left and top-right corners? They may imply your invoice is price rather more than its face worth.

If a serial quantity’s digits are distinctive or attention-grabbing, collectors is likely to be keen to pay large bucks — a whole bunch and even hundreds of {dollars} — in your invoice. You’ll take advantage of revenue off a $1 invoice with a flowery serial quantity, since its face worth is decrease than, say, a $20 invoice, but it surely’s price scrutinizing all of your money. Who is aware of what your $100 invoice might really be price?

Realizing what your paper cash is likely to be price is all within the serial quantity.

What Are Serial Numbers?

Serial numbers are eight-digit-long codes which might be distinctive to every invoice. They’re accompanied by different figuring out letters and numbers that inform us which sequence 12 months the invoice is from and the place it was printed. They’re discovered on the entrance of U.S. foreign money and are all the time printed twice.

Sequence Yr

On payments price $5 and up, every serial quantity begins with a letter, which tells us the sequence 12 months of the invoice. The years are represented by letters A-P as follows:

  • A: 1996
  • B: 1999
  • C: 2001
  • D: 2003
  • E: 2004
  • F: 2003A
  • G: 2004A
  • H: 2006
  • I: 2006
  • J: 2009
  • Ok: 2006A
  • L: 2009A
  • M: 2013
  • N: 2017
  • P: 2017A

The sequence 12 months can be printed individually on the foreign money, in between the portrait of the historic determine (corresponding to Lincoln on the $5 invoice) and the Secretary of the Treasury’s signature within the backside proper a part of the invoice. You’ll be able to test on a invoice you have got at residence to see how these match up.

On greenback payments (and $2 payments), the sequence 12 months solely seems within the backside proper quadrant.

U.S. Federal Reserve Financial institution Identifier

Moreover, every serial quantity has a letter and quantity that reveals us the place the foreign money was printed. The U.S. Federal Reserve has 12 banks, and every financial institution has a letter and quantity mixture related to it. The identifiers are as follows:

  • A1: Boston
  • B2: New York Metropolis
  • C3: Philadelphia
  • D4: Cleveland
  • E5: Richmond
  • F6: Atlanta
  • G7: Chicago
  • H8: St. Louis
  • I9: Minneapolis
  • J10: Kansas Metropolis
  • K11: Dallas
  • L12: San Francisco

On $5 payments and up, the financial institution identifier seems individually from the serial quantity, although the letter additionally seems subsequent to the sequence 12 months letter earlier than the precise serial quantity.

On $1 and $2 payments, the letter previous the serial quantity will match the financial institution the place the invoice was printed (corresponding to Ok for Dallas) and the quantity portion of this identifier seems individually on the foreign money.

Classes of U.S. Paper Cash

There are a number of totally different classes of paper foreign money within the U.S., and a few are extra collectable than others.

Silver Certificates are payments issued between 1878 and 1964 in denominations starting from $1 to $1,000. They’re sometimes price between $2-$20 for $1 payments, $10-$12 for $5 payments, and $30-$5,000 for $10 payments — all relying on the 12 months of problem

Gold Certificates are payments issued between 1863 and 1933 in denominations starting from $10 to $10,000. Worn payments may very well be price $100 or extra for $20 payments, $250 or extra for $50 payments, $1,000 or extra for $100 payments, $2,500 or extra for $500 payments, and $2,000 or extra for $1,000 payments.

Accomplice Points are payments issued through the Civil Warfare (1861-1865). They’re sometimes not sought by collectors.

Federal Reserve Notes are payments issued between 1914 and the current in denominations starting from $1 to $10,000. The value of a contemporary invoice relies on its serial quantity and the way uncommon it’s. Collectors search for a number of several types of fancy serial numbers that stand out from the group.

15 Varieties of Worthwhile Serial Numbers

Wish to see in case your paper foreign money is price far more than $1 or $5? Right here’s what to search for.

1. Low Serial Quantity

Collectors love payments with low serial numbers, corresponding to these under 1,000 or 100 (eg. 00000100). On eBay, these sorts of payments can promote for anyplace from $20 to $100.

The decrease the serial quantity, the extra precious the foreign money is taken into account to be; a invoice with the serial quantity 00000001 may very well be price $15,000, in keeping with

2. Excessive Quantity

Individuals additionally take pleasure in amassing foreign money with excessive numbers, and these might be much more precious than decrease numbers since there are fewer in circulation. Payments marked with 99999900 and better are particularly prized.

3. Flippers

A flipper is a observe whose quantity might be learn proper aspect up or the wrong way up. Resembling, 0069000. On eBay, flippers value a couple of bucks as much as a number of hundred {dollars}.

4. Star Notes

Some payments have a star as an alternative of a letter on the finish of their serial quantity. Often called star notes, these payments are replacements issued when the unique invoice had a printing error. As a result of it’s towards coverage to provide a greenback’s serial quantity greater than as soon as, the mint merely provides a star to the top.

These printing errors aren’t widespread, so there aren’t many star notes in circulation. You’ll see $1 star notes on eBay for $5 and up.

5. Repeaters and Tremendous Repeaters

Blocks of repeating digits (corresponding to 27527527) are wanted, with $1 repeaters beginning round $3 or $4 on eBay.

A two-digit repeating quantity, like 45454545, is known as an excellent repeater and is much more precious. Some eBay listings begin at a couple of hundred {dollars}.

6. Solids and Close to Solids

A stable serial quantity is one the place each digit is identical, like 55555555.

Solely about one out of each 11 million notes is a stable, and they are often price $500 or extra.

Since these notes are so uncommon, individuals additionally gather near-solids, the place just one digit differs, like 55555575. These will normally herald much less cash than a stable, however you’re extra more likely to discover one.

7. Binary Payments

Binary payments have serial numbers with solely two numbers, corresponding to 29299299. A close to stable would depend as one among these binary notes, because it solely consists of two numbers. On eBay, some binary notes can go for $900.

8. Trinary Payments

Due to the rarity of binary payments, some collectors even ask for trinary notes, which include three distinctive digits in numerous mixtures (e.g. 29329939).

9. Ladders

When the serial quantity ascends (e.g. 12345678) or descends (e.g. 8765431) so as, collectors name it a ladder. You’ll additionally discover “close to ladders,” the place one or two digits break up the ladder.

Ladder notes promote for anyplace from $9 on eBay to as a lot as $7,000..

10. Birthdays

Some collectors need notes with a selected 12 months or date within the serial quantity, maybe a well-known date or one significant to them. For instance, 02162006 is likely to be precious to a collector whose youngster was born Feb. 16, 2006.

A serial quantity that simply consists of the 12 months can be fascinating, corresponding to 10901985 or 10002010.

11. Radars and Tremendous Radars

A radar serial quantity reads the identical backwards and forwards, like a palindrome. For instance, 06288260. An excellent situation, uncirculated $1 radar might promote for about $25.

If solely the top two digits are totally different (like 27777772), you’ve obtained an excellent radar, which is rather more uncommon and precious. Even a $1 invoice with such a serial quantity can promote for $70 and up on eBay.

12. Consecutives

When you have got two or extra separate notes with consecutive serial numbers, like 25348793 and 25348794, you have got one among these sequence. They’re not unusual, since you will get consecutive payments at any financial institution, however might be precious if in addition they match into one other class on this checklist.

13. Doubles

Doubles happen when a serial quantity consists of pairs of numbers, corresponding to 24459387. Probably the most precious sort is known as a quad double, when a serial quantity has 4 units of doubles (e.g. 55998833).

14. Double Quads

Whereas technically they’re a model of a quad double, notes whose serial numbers encompass two units of 4 of the identical quantity are known as double quads. (Complicated, isn’t it?)

For instance, 77776666 is a double quad. These payments are rarer and extra precious.

15. Bookends

When the serial quantity has the identical two or three digits on each ends, it’s known as a bookend. Three-number bookends, like 36584365, are extra precious than two-digit bookends, like 36829736. Costs begin round $8 for a $1 bookend on eBay.

The best way to Look Up Serial Numbers

If you happen to suppose you may need possession of a invoice that’s price greater than its face worth, you may go browsing to lookup the serial quantity.

To check it out, I seemed up the quantity on a $5 invoice I had in my pockets at When you sort within the invoice’s eight-digit quantity, it’ll assign it a share on the “Coolness Index.” This index is created by utilizing a method that evaluates numbers in keeping with its “attention-grabbing properties.”

Our $5 invoice was 89.9% cool, or “virtually cool,” in keeping with the web site. Listed here are some info we came upon concerning the observe that made it virtually (however not fairly) cool:

  • It had a 4-of-a-kind and 1 pair, which solely 2.6% of payments reportedly have.
  • The invoice’s digits had a sum of 48, and eight% of eight-digit serial numbers sum to not less than 48.
  • It had 4 distinctive digits, and 9.3% of eight-digit serial numbers have 4 or fewer digits.
  • It contained two pairs collectively, which is true for under 10% of serial numbers on paper cash.

Sadly, “virtually cool” is just not sufficient to push the worth of the $5 up, so we gained’t be making any more money on this one. And sadly, the greenback invoice was ranked as solidly “uncool” with simply 18.5% on the Coolness Index.

Nevertheless, checking on-line to see in case your cash is cool (or uncool) doesn’t assure that you just’ll have the ability to promote it for greater than face worth. When you can checklist your paper cash for as a lot or as little as you need, it’s price relies on what individuals are keen to pay for it.

The place to Promote Your Paper Cash

If you happen to do end up the proprietor of a novel financial institution observe, there are a number of locations you may money it in.

The simplest possibility is to checklist your observe on eBay. Do a search to see what comparable notes are listed for, and checklist yours in the identical ballpark. You don’t need to checklist too low and marvel should you might have made extra; nor do you need to checklist it too excessive and threat it not promoting in any respect.

If you happen to don’t need to cope with eBay, you may search regionally to see if there are any paper cash sellers in your space. If there are, you may take your financial institution notes to them for an appraisal and they’ll both supply to buy the observe from you or direct you to somebody who could also be .

Continuously Requested Questions

Nonetheless have questions on your paper cash and what it is likely to be price? These continuously requested questions ought to assist.

Which Greenback Invoice Serial Numbers are Price Cash?

Typically, the extra distinctive the serial quantity in your greenback invoice, the extra doubtless it’s to be price greater than face worth. Some examples of uniqueness embrace repeating numbers, numbers with a star after them and sequences (corresponding to 12345678). You’ll be able to see a full checklist of doubtless precious serial quantity sorts within the “15 Varieties of Worthwhile Serial Numbers” part above.

How Do I Know if My Greenback Invoice is Price Cash?

To know whether or not your greenback invoice may very well be price extra than simply $1, you want to study the serial quantity. That is an eight-digit quantity that’s printed twice on all paper cash, and it has one or two letters as a prefix, relying on the denomination. If the quantity is exclusive or has a star after it, it may very well be precious. See “15 Varieties of Worthwhile Serial Numbers” and “The best way to Look Up Serial Numbers” above.

How Do You Verify Serial Numbers on Cash?

You’ll be able to test your serial numbers on-line to get an concept of whether or not they is likely to be price greater than face worth. See the “The best way to Look Up Serial Numbers” part above.

What’s the Worth of Paper Cash?

Paper cash is normally definitely worth the actual quantity listed on the face (for instance, $1, $5 or $10). Nevertheless, some payments have distinctive serial numbers that make them fascinating to collectors, and due to this fact promote for greater than their face worth. See “15 Varieties of Worthwhile Serial Numbers” to study extra concerning the kinds of distinctive numbers which might be precious to collectors.

Maryan Akinboyeway and Catherine Hiles are contributors to The Penny Hoarder. Senior employees author Robert Bruce additionally contributed.

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