A $10,000 bill from 1934 just sold for a record $480,000

Heritage Auctions

A $10,000 bill issued by the US Treasury in 1934 just sold at auction for a record-breaking $480,000. The bill features Samuel Chase, who was President Abraham Lincoln’s Treasury secretary.“Large-denomination notes always have drawn the interest of collectors of all levels,” Heritage Auctions’ Dustin Johnston said.

A $10,000 bill issued by the US Treasury in 1934 just sold for a record-breaking $480,000.

Talk about inflation!

The sale of the high-denomination bill took place at Heritage Auctions on Friday. The bill was uncirculated and in pristine condition, owing to its high sales price. A $10,000 bill of similar condition, but of a less rare series number, sold for about $300,000 in May 2022.

The previous record for a 1934 $10,000 bill was $384,000 in September 2020, according to CNN.

The front of the bill that was auctioned on Friday features Samuel Chase, who was President Abraham Lincoln’s Treasury secretary. On the back, the bill simply says “The United States of America Ten Thousand Dollars” in all caps.

Heritage Auctions

“Large-denomination notes always have drawn the interest of collectors of all levels,” Heritage Auctions’ Dustin Johnston said in a press release. “This is an absolute prize that will command a share of the spotlight in its new collection home.”

The US Treasury has issued high-denomination bills of $500, $1,000, $10,000 throughout the 1800’s and early 1900’s, but due to limited use by the public, they were discontinued and removed from circulation in 1969.

The Treasury also issued a $100,000 bill in 1934, its highest denomination bill ever, but only for intragovernmental transactions between the Federal Reserve and other branches of the government, meaning it never circulated publicly.

Today, the $100 bill featuring Benjamin Franklin is the highest denominated US dollar bill. 

As of 2009, there were only 336 $10,000 bills, 342 $5,000 bills, and 165,362 $1,000 bills known to exist. 

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