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United States Paper Money

Federal Reserve-issued United States paper money began in 1914. Prior to 1914, treasury notes and other more decentralized paper monies were circulated. The 1914 series ranged from $5 to $100, and while some presidents were in the same denominations as we know them today, others are quite different. Andrew Jackson, known today as the face of the $20 bill, was originally on the $10. Alexander Hamilton, today's $10, was not in the 1914 series, but was added in the 1918 expansion series on the $1,000 note.

Since 1928, the presidents featured on the notes have aligned with how they are known today. The $1 and $2 bills were added to the roster with the 1928 series, but the $500-$10,000 notes were discontinued in 1934. All denominations have since been redesigned except for the $1 and the $2 notes, which still maintain their original 1928 designs. Redesigns have not been drastic: the same presidents are still featured, albeit with different portraits, and the reverse of the notes still feature the same iconic buildings.

United States paper money is somewhat unusual in the world due to its overwhelming greenness. Although the Federal Reserve has attempted to infuse the notes with more color in recent years, they are still incredibly green when compared to other world currencies, which typically incorporate different colors for different denominations. Also, unlike many other paper currencies, United States notes are uniform in size.


Quick Facts

  • United States paper money is known for having a number of silly nicknames. These include buck, greenback, dead presidents, sawbuck, and bones
  • The Grand Watermelon, a $1,000 bill from 1890, holds the record for the most expensive banknote ever sold at auction: $3.29 million in 2014
  • The $1 bill is a favorite target of conspiracy theories due to the large amount of icons and symbols present in the design

Recommended Items at Auction

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100 Consecutive 1957 Dollar Silver Certificates
Sep 29, 10:00 AM EDT
100 Consecutive 1957 Dollar Silver Certificates
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$21012 Bids
Rare 1864 25 Cent Specimen Fractional Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
Rare 1864 25 Cent Specimen Fractional Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$5511 Bids
1917 $1.00 U.S. Legal Tender Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
1917 $1.00 U.S. Legal Tender Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$558 Bids
1917 $2.00 Jefferson U.S. Legal Tender Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
1917 $2.00 Jefferson U.S. Legal Tender Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$858 Bids
1929 $20 St. Louis National Currency. Circulated.
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
1929 $20 St. Louis National Currency. Circulated.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$348 Bids
1899 $1.00 Black Eagle Silver Certificate Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
1899 $1.00 Black Eagle Silver Certificate Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$557 Bids
1923 $10 Poker Chip Legal Tender Note
Sep 30, 7:00 AM PDT
1923 $10 Poker Chip Legal Tender Note
by BK Auctions
Est: $1,950- $2,250
$3257 Bids
1899 $1.00 Silver Certificate Black Eagle Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
1899 $1.00 Silver Certificate Black Eagle Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$416 Bids
1988A ONE DOLLAR ERROR. BACK OF NOTE REVERSED PRINTED ON LEFT FRONT
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
1988A ONE DOLLAR ERROR. BACK OF NOTE REVERSED PRINTED ON LEFT FRONT
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$326 Bids
1896 Educational $1.00 Silver Certificate Currency Note
Nov 19, 10:00 AM EST
1896 Educational $1.00 Silver Certificate Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$3506 Bids
1934 $100.00 Federal Reserve Chicago Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
1934 $100.00 Federal Reserve Chicago Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$1305 Bids
Original 1923 Hard Asset Coin Currency Collection
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
Original 1923 Hard Asset Coin Currency Collection
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$375 Bids
1934 $100.00 Federal Reserve Kansas City Currency Note
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
1934 $100.00 Federal Reserve Kansas City Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$1205 Bids
1929 $20 Chicago National Currency. Circulated.
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
1929 $20 Chicago National Currency. Circulated.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$245 Bids
1928 $100 Federal Reserve Note Chicago
Sep 28, 8:00 AM PDT
1928 $100 Federal Reserve Note Chicago
by BK Auctions
Est: $400- $450
$2255 Bids
1935G ONE DOLLAR SILVER CERTIFICATE
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
1935G ONE DOLLAR SILVER CERTIFICATE
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$95 Bids
100 Consecutive 1957 Dollar Silver Certificates
Sep 29, 10:00 AM EDT
100 Consecutive 1957 Dollar Silver Certificates
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$2105 Bids
1901 $10.00 Legal Tender Bison Currency Note
Nov 19, 10:00 AM EST
1901 $10.00 Legal Tender Bison Currency Note
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$4755 Bids
(3) Original FRN Silver Certificate Legal Tender Currency Notes
Sep 30, 6:00 PM EDT
(3) Original FRN Silver Certificate Legal Tender Currency Notes
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$364 Bids
Lot of (3) 1934D $20 Federal Reserve Notes
Sep 28, 8:00 AM PDT
Lot of (3) 1934D $20 Federal Reserve Notes
by BK Auctions
Est: $120- $140
$904 Bids
32Uncut One Dollar Bills
Oct 01, 9:00 AM PDT
32Uncut One Dollar Bills
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$804 Bids
1863 5c Fractional Currency. Circulated.
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
1863 5c Fractional Currency. Circulated.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$114 Bids
5-2001 $1 Star Notes. Consecutive Serial Numbers. Crisp UNC.
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
5-2001 $1 Star Notes. Consecutive Serial Numbers. Crisp UNC.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$114 Bids
1934 $20 Federal Reserve Note. Circulated.
Sep 28, 5:00 PM EDT
1934 $20 Federal Reserve Note. Circulated.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$224 Bids

Sellers Who Sell United States Paper Money


BK Auctions

BK Auctions

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Vintage Auctions Online

Vintage Auctions Online

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer