Few people, other than old money collectors, are familiar with the $ 500 bill. The bills were first printed in the mid-19th century and the last printing was in 1934. Earlier bills are very rare and therefore Therefore, they are worth a lot of money. However, depending on several factors, any $ 500 bill is worth more than its face value, and sometimes much more.
A brief timeline of the $ 500 bill
Large legal $ 500 bills were first issued during the second half of the 19th century. They went out of print in 1945. Those from the 19th century are extremely difficult to find today.
The 1862 and 1863 bills feature an elderly James Madison.
The $ 1,869,500 bill has a unique look. John Quincy Adams appears on the right side of the front of the note. A few are believed to still exist.
Large $ 500 bills from 1874, 1875, 1878, and 1880 are rare and very valuable.
The 1918 bill featured John Marshall’s portrait and a blue stamp. Marshall, who served in the House of Representatives and as Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was one of the few men who were not President of the United States to appear in American currency.
The 1928 and 1934 design had a green seal and the portrait of President William McKinley.
Why such large bills?
The reason such a large denomination was printed ($ 500 in 1928 equaled more than $ 6,000 in today’s currency) was that the United States government wanted to facilitate transactions within the government and with other agencies. The $ 500 bills were also used by banking institutions. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing even issued invoices for $ 1,000, $ 5,000, and $ 10,000. There was even a $ 100,000 series 1934 gold certificate with President Wilson’s portrait printed for less than a month in December 1934 and January 1935. These were used only for official transactions between Federal Reserve banks. They were never in public circulation.
When did they stop printing?
Although printing of the $ 500 bill (still the 1934 series) was actually stopped in 1945 due to lack of demand, distribution of the $ 500 bill ended on July 14, 1969 in the Nixon administration by the secretary. Treasury David M. Kennedy and the Federal Reserve Board. This decision was made because the bills were being used largely by those in organized crime and drug trafficking. Also, at the time, the safer ways to transfer money had made them less necessary. As of that date in 1969, no bills of more than $ 100 were distributed. Although they are still legal tender, their value as a collector’s item is much greater than their face value.
What are they worth?
As with any old banknote, the value of a rare coin collector based on issuing district, condition, serial number, stamp color, and if it is a star rating (at the end of the eight-digit serial number of a note). Uncirculated bills are always worth more. They can be worth from hundreds of dollars to five figures to former currency buyers.
If you have a $ 500 bill, don’t be tempted to spend it! Go online and compare the values listed by various companies that trade rare money. Also look on eBay to see what the sale prices are. Next, find a reputable forex dealer who deals in rare paper money if you are interested in selling it.
If you want to buy a $ 500 bill, get back to doing your homework and make sure you buy it from a reputable rare money dealer. If you buy from someone else, for example through an online deals site, there are counterfeit guides to help identify counterfeits and reproductions. If you are not really an expert (and even if you are), it is always safer to go to an established forex dealer.