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Banknotes of the United States

Early banking in the United States was largely decentralized. Although there were several attempts at a central bank, notably by Alexander Hamilton in 1791, none of them persisted for more than 20 years. The first centralized banknotes were printed in 1914. From 1914 to 1928, United States banknotes were much larger than they are today. They were only slimmed down to their modern profile in 1928 when the Federal Reserve had to lessen operating costs.

The modern $1 note debuted in 1963, although it had existed sporadically prior as a silver certificate. The $2 note existed as a large note prior to 1928's redesign and survived until 1966, at which point it was discontinued temporarily. The $2 note was revived in 1976 and continues to be printed today despite its rare usage.

Since 2003, the Federal Reserve has been slowly revising the various denominations of banknotes. Newer notes have increased amounts of color, as well as a sleeker, more modern look and increased security against counterfeiting. The $1 and $2 notes have yet to be redesigned.


Quick Facts

  • The $1 note's continued survival is still debated today. Many politicians wish to see the note replaced with a $1 coin, as it would save a lot of money due to the low durability and high use of the $1 in particular
  • Although many people are unaware of the $2 note's existence, it has been turning up more as a convenient and unique tip in recent years
  • In 2014, an 1890 $1,000 note known as the Grand Watermelon sold at auction for $3,290,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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2 1902 75 DOLLAR NATIONAL CURRENCY NOTES
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
2 1902 75 DOLLAR NATIONAL CURRENCY NOTES
by Kimball's Auction
Est: $100- $800
$3503 Bids
WORLD BANKNOTE LOT 109 PIECES HUGE VARIETY
Dec 01, 9:00 AM EST
WORLD BANKNOTE LOT 109 PIECES HUGE VARIETY
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $150- $250
$602 Bids
A VERY CLEAN 1903N 5 DOLLAR NATIONAL CURRENCY NOTE
Dec 05, 10:00 AM EST
A VERY CLEAN 1903N 5 DOLLAR NATIONAL CURRENCY NOTE
by Kimball's Auction
Est: $100- $800
$1102 Bids
1929 $20 National Currency 'The Federal Reserve Bank Of Philidelphia, PA' Grades vf++
Dec 01, 5:45 PM EST
1929 $20 National Currency 'The Federal Reserve Bank Of Philidelphia, PA' Grades vf++
by Key Date Coins, Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$252 Bids
1902PB $5 Rockville National Bank, IN CH# 5067 National Currency Note
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1902PB $5 Rockville National Bank, IN CH# 5067 National Currency Note
by BK Auctions
Est: $300- $350
$11 Bid
1902DB $10 National Bank of Petersburg, Virginia CH#3515 National Currency Note
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1902DB $10 National Bank of Petersburg, Virginia CH#3515 National Currency Note
by BK Auctions
Est: $160- $190
$11 Bid
1882BB $10 First NB Hoboken, NJ CH# 1444 National Note PCGS Choice Very Fine 35
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1882BB $10 First NB Hoboken, NJ CH# 1444 National Note PCGS Choice Very Fine 35
by BK Auctions
Est: $3,750- $4,250
$11 Bid
Serial # 1 - 1882BB $10 Second NB of Uniontown, PA CH# 5034 National Note PMG VF30
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
Serial # 1 - 1882BB $10 Second NB of Uniontown, PA CH# 5034 National Note PMG VF30
by BK Auctions
Est: $3,750- $4,250
$11 Bid
1800S TECUMSEH 3 DOLLAR BANK NOTE & ANTIQUE CURRENCY ITEMS
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
1800S TECUMSEH 3 DOLLAR BANK NOTE & ANTIQUE CURRENCY ITEMS
by Converse Auctions
Est: $40- $80
$101 Bid
UNCUT SHEET OF FOUR $5 BANK OF AUGUSTA
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
UNCUT SHEET OF FOUR $5 BANK OF AUGUSTA
by Converse Auctions
Est: $40- $80
$101 Bid
1870 $20 First National Gold Bank San Francisco CA CH# 1741 Note PMG Ch. Very Fine 35
Dec 03, 7:00 AM PST
1870 $20 First National Gold Bank San Francisco CA CH# 1741 Note PMG Ch. Very Fine 35
by BK Auctions
Est: $85,000- $92,500
$11 Bid
1929 $5/10/20 Citizens NB Washington, PA CH# 3383 National Currency Notes PCGS F12
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1929 $5/10/20 Citizens NB Washington, PA CH# 3383 National Currency Notes PCGS F12
by BK Auctions
Est: $240- $280
$10 Bids
1929 $10 The First NB of Jefferson, GA CH# 9039 National Currency Note
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1929 $10 The First NB of Jefferson, GA CH# 9039 National Currency Note
by BK Auctions
Est: $130- $150
$10 Bids
1929 $5 Loma Linda, CA CH# 13332 National Bank Note PMG Gem Uncirculated 65EPQ
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1929 $5 Loma Linda, CA CH# 13332 National Bank Note PMG Gem Uncirculated 65EPQ
by BK Auctions
Est: $4,750- $5,250
$10 Bids
1902PB $10 First NB of Washington, North Carolina CH# 4997 National Currency Note
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1902PB $10 First NB of Washington, North Carolina CH# 4997 National Currency Note
by BK Auctions
Est: $700- $800
$10 Bids
1929 $10 First NB Reno, NV CH# 7038 National Currency Note PMG Superb Gem Unc. 67EPQ
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1929 $10 First NB Reno, NV CH# 7038 National Currency Note PMG Superb Gem Unc. 67EPQ
by BK Auctions
Est: $3,750- $4,250
$10 Bids
1875 $5 First Charter Cheyenne, WY CH# 2652 National Currency Note PMG Very Fine 30
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1875 $5 First Charter Cheyenne, WY CH# 2652 National Currency Note PMG Very Fine 30
by BK Auctions
Est: $11,500- $13,000
$10 Bids
1994 American Bank Note Company Intaglio Print Cumberland Bank of Bridgeton, NJ
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1994 American Bank Note Company Intaglio Print Cumberland Bank of Bridgeton, NJ
by BK Auctions
Est: $60- $70
$10 Bids
1902PB $10 Peoples NB of Washington, PA CH# 9901 National Currency Note
Dec 01, 8:00 AM PST
1902PB $10 Peoples NB of Washington, PA CH# 9901 National Currency Note
by BK Auctions
Est: $475- $550
$10 Bids
1929 $10 Specimen Test Note American Bank Note Co.
Dec 05, 12:00 PM EST
1929 $10 Specimen Test Note American Bank Note Co.
by Coastal Edge Auction Emporium LLC
Est: $70- $90
$500 Bids
1994 American Bank Note Company Intaglio Print Miners Bank of Savings of Alta, CA
Dec 03, 7:00 AM PST
1994 American Bank Note Company Intaglio Print Miners Bank of Savings of Alta, CA
by BK Auctions
Est: $60- $70
$10 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Banknotes of the United States


BK Auctions

BK Auctions

Kimball's Auction

Kimball's Auction

Converse Auctions

Converse Auctions

Key Date Coins, Inc.

Key Date Coins, Inc.