Rare $10,000 Bill Sells For 48 Times Its Value At Texas Auction

By Sherah Janay Ndjongo

September 28, 2023

Gift bow decorating a gift of money
Photo: Getty Images

A rare $10,000 bill from 1934, auctioned in Texas, has achieved an astonishing 48-fold increase in its face value.

Heritage Auctions, the facilitator of this sale, disclosed that the unique five-figure banknote was featured at the Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction earlier this month. Graded by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) in Fort Worth, Texas, it earned an Uncirculated 64 Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) grade, a remarkable classification given its typical assignment to bills rated "65 and higher" by PMG.

Despite its grade of 64, which indicates minor issues such as off-centering and light handling, this $10,000 bill, also known as Fr. 2231-A, achieved a record-breaking sale price of $480,000 on September 15 at the Long Beach Expo US Currency Signature Auction in Dallas.

It led the auction, highlighting the enduring allure of large-denomination notes among collectors. Dustin Johnston, VP of currency at Heritage Auctions, emphasized its significance, noting that of the 18 examples graded by PMG, this one is tied for the highest-graded in its category.

The $10,000 bill, featuring Salmon P. Chase, a Civil War-era politician who served as the Treasury secretary and later as chief justice, hails from the Federal Reserve's 1934A series. These notes were discontinued in 1969 due to lack of use, with approximately 400,000 banknotes in denominations ranging from $500 to $10,000 estimated to be in circulation in 2022, although the exact number of $10,000 bills remains unclear.

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