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United States Currency United States Currency

This part of my web page is NOT a counterfit racket. It's strictly for educational purposes. My goal is to possible inspire some people to take up coin/currency collecting or want to learn more about our nation's currency. I am guessing that most people haven't seen a $500 or $1000 bill, and this page might enlighten them.

Here's a key showing what decorations/portraits are on the latest series of each dollar bill. (denomination - portrait - reverse image)
$1 - George Washington - Great Seal of the United States
$2 - Thomas Jefferson - The Signing of the Decloration of Independence
$5 - Abraham Lincoln - The Lincoln Memorial
$10 - Alexander Hamilton - The Treasury Building
$20 - Andrew Jackson - The White House
$50 - Ulysses Grant - The Capitol Building
$100 - Ben Franklin - Independence Hall

The following notes were discontinued in 1969:
$500 - William McKinley - Fancy design of the number "500"
$1000 - Grover Cleveland - Fancy design of the number "1000"
$5000 - James Madison - Fancy design of the number "5000"
$10,000 - Salmon P. Chase - Fancy design of the number "10,000"

And this one was never in circulation to begin with:
$100,000 - Woodrow Wilson - Fancy design of the number "100,000"

In 1969, $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000 bills were recalled. In other words, they goverment started taking them out of circulation. The $100,000 bill was never in circulation to begin with. It's a Gold Certificate, and it was only made for one series, and that was Series 1934. The reverse side of the $100,000 bill is printed with orange ink instead of green, this was to emphasize the term "Payable In Gold To the Bearer on Demand" that was printed on all Gold Certificates. The Federal Reserve Banks give $100 grand bills to each other on a regular basis, it keeps everything balanced apparently.
I myself personally have seen about three $500 bills in my life, and nothing higher than that. If you're interesting in seeing big bills, ask your local bank about it, or better yet, ask a local coin/old currency collecter. I know of a shop in a town near me that has a $500 bill on display. It's for sale too, but the guy says he probably wouldn't sell it to anybody but me and one of his other regular customers. He wanted $625 for it at last check. (!)

Fancy Facts
Notes are 2.61 by 6.14 inches long. Laid end to end there would be approximately 11,900 notes per mile. Notes are .0043 inches thick, stacked there would be 233 notes per inch. 490 notes would weigh one pound, one million notes would be about a ton and would occupy about 42 cubic feet. The Bureau uses about 3500 tons of paper and about 1000 tons of ink each year.

If you want to see a $100,000 bill, the two best places to look would be in Las Vegas, or at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. For instance, the Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas has money on display, they have a display featuring two million dollars in $10,000 bills. I have also heard of another casino in vegas that has the same amount on display, only in $100,000 bills. :) Old currency is a good investment, especially old currency that's in decent condition. They work just like a savings bond, and in many cases, mature faster than a savings bond!

United States Notes, also called Legal Tender notes, are the longest lived of the U.S. currency. First auhotirzed in the Act of Congress, May 3rd, 1878. The May 3rd, 1878 act required that an outstanding amount of $346,681,016 be maintained. Small LT notes have been issued in $1, $2, 5$, and $100. A $10 and a $20 note were also printed and displayed at the 1933 Worlds Fair in Chicago. Only one issue of the small size LT was printed, the series of 1928. On August 10th, 1966, the Treasury announced no more $2 notes would be printed and later discontinued the printing of $5 United States Notes. The $100 U.S. Note was printed in Series of 1966, and 1966A with star notes printed only for the 1966 series. All small size U.S. notes have red seals.

Silver Certificates were authorized by the Acts of Congress on February 28th, 1878, and August 4th, 1886. The blue seal distinguishes this class of currency printed in $1, $5 and $10. The silverlaw of 1963, which was designed to free up a treasury stockpile of silver bullion (security backing up silver certificates) paged the way for the obsolescense of this class of currency. The treasury stopped the redemption of Silver Certifcates in silver dollars in 1964 and discontinued bullion redemption on June 24th, 1968, based on $1.29 per ounce.

Gold Certificates first authorized by the Currency act of March 3rd, 1863, have beautiful yellow seals. Gold Certificates were issued in denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000 for general circulation and in the $100,000 for inter-bank use. The $100,000 denomination with portrait of Woodrow Wilson was Series of 1934. All the regularly issued Gold Certificates were Series of 1928. Gold Certificates were printed for series 1928A and Series of 1934 but have since been destroyed. On December 28th, 1933, the Secretary of the Treasury issued an order forbidding the holding of Gold Certificates, unlike gold coin, made no provision for collectors to hold them. Banks were ordered to turn in their stocks of Gold Certificates. On April 24th, 1964, Secretary Dillon removed restrictions against the holding of Gold Certificates.

Federal Reserve Bank Notes, first authorized under Act of Congress on December 23rd, 1913, bear the familiar green seal. These notes are the mainstay of our contemporary currency. Federal Reserve Notes are obligations of the United States and are a first lien on the assets of the issuing Federal Reserve Bank. In addition they are secured by a pledge of collateral equal to the face value of the notes. The collateral must consist of the follow assets, alone or in any combination: [1] gold certificates, [2] Special Drawing Right Certificates, [3] United States Government Securities, and [4] "eligible paper" as described by the statute. Federal Reserve Bank Notes are issued by the Federal Reserve Banks in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 on July 14th, 1969, The Department of the Treasury announced that the issuance of $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000 Federal Reserve Notes would be discontinued immediately because of lack of demand.

1878 $10,000 United States Note

1928 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note

1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note

1928 $500 Federal Reserve Note

1923 $1 Silver Certificate

1928 $20 Gold Certificate

1990 $50 Federal Reserve Note (star note)

1934 $100,000 Gold Certificate

1882 $50 Gold Certificate

1928 $5000 Federal Reserve Note

1918 $5000 Federal Reserve Note

1928 $1000 Gold Certificate

1918 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note

1882 $10,000 Gold Certificate

1907 $1000 Gold Certificate

1934 $5000 Federal Reserve Note