Return To Blog

What are my old bills worth?

​We get asked about older paper money all the time.  People have saved notes that they thought looked cool, or money that was on the tail end of circulation.  One of the notes we most often see, is the silver certificates.  We see many of the 1957 and 1935 varieties. There are several factors when determining a value for notes(bills).  First, what is the series?  The series is not just the date.  The series is important in determinig the rareity of the note.  How many were put into circulation?  Is that series desired by collectors?  The second factor, is the condition of the note.  Similar to coins, condition is extremely important.  You may have a rare series, but if the condition really bad the value can be greatly impacted.  We hold the note up to the light to look for folds.  Often times you see both vertical folds and horizontal folds on the same note.  That notes was in circulation and was in many a wallet and pocket.  There was no care taken in the handling of that note until someone recognized it was obsolete or no longer printed, and even then could have been stored in sub-par conditions.  Another characteristic to look for is the "centering" of the note.  The notes are printed, many to a sheet, and then cut afterwards.  When you look at the note, there will be a white strip around the note.  Is that strip fairly even around the edges, or is there a great variance from one side to the other, or from top to bottom?  Centering also can add or detract value from a note.  We have seen alot of different kinds of notes both foriegn and U.S.  I enjoy seeing confederate notes, gold certificates, colonial and fractional currency.
We have also seen our fair share of counterfeits as well...