Extremely rare $10,000 bill from Great Depression-era auctioned for $480,000

Extremely rare $10,000 bill from Great Depression-era auctioned for $480,000
  • PublishedSeptember 22, 2023


$10,000 bill.- Heritage Auctions
$10,000 bill.- Heritage Auctions

A rare $10,000 bill dating back to 1934 was sold for an astounding $480,000 in a recent auction at the Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature Auction. 

This exceptional sale was hosted by Heritage Auctions, a Dallas-based auction house.

Dustin Johnston, Vice President & Managing Director of Currency at Heritage Auction, said there was an enduring appeal of large-denomination notes among collectors. 

This particular bill, originating from the Great Depression era, gained recognition for its Exceptional Paper Quality and certification by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

Johnston highlighted the bill’s significance, mentioning that it ranks second only to the $100,000 gold certificate issued in 1934. Among the 18 examples graded by PMG, this specific bill shares the highest grade.

Among all small-size $10,000 Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), PMG has graded only four equally and five higher, making it a highly coveted collector’s item that will undoubtedly hold a prominent place in its new owner’s collection.

The 1934 $10,000 bill features the portrait of Salmon P Chase, who served as the Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln. 

Notably, the $10,000 bill holds the distinction of being the highest denomination currency ever circulated in the United States, as confirmed by the Museum of American Finance. 

While a $100,000 bill featuring Woodrow Wilson’s portrait did exist, its use was restricted solely to Federal Reserve banks, as indicated by the museum.

It’s worth noting that since 1969, the highest denomination note in circulation in the United States has been the $100 bill, according to the Federal Reserve.


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