Believe it or not, collecting banknotes is a hobby that is very popular across the world. Collecting coins is known as numismatics while collecting paper money is called notaphily. Therefore the correct term for a banknote collector is notaphilist.
While collecting paper money is still not as popular as collecting stamps and coins, it is an exciting and sometimes very lucrative hobby for notaphilists.
Banknotes carry a lot of cultural information from specific periods of history, which is why many people start collecting them. Each country has its own style, different subjects, and themes which makes them very beautiful collectible items.
By now we have already introduced you to many old US currencies and their value. However, in this article, we would like to pay more attention to discovering the value of the 1963 5 dollar bill.
Short History Lesson About $5 Bills
The five dollar bill was created by the National Currency Act on February 25, 1863. These first $5 bills were called large-size legal tender bills. Today they can be precious if their condition is good.
However, from 1928 until 1963 there were three different types of $5 banknotes in circulation. We all know that the Federal Reserve Notes featured only green seals, but there were a number of different banknotes in America that featured different seals, and the $5 banknote is among them.
All banknotes featured a simple design with Abraham Lincoln on the front side and the Lincoln Memorial on the backside. The only difference among these bills is the color of the seal, here are the most valuable and sought-after varieties:
- 1928 $5 Red Seal banknote- This banknote was the first small-size bill after the switch from large-size notes. These bills are smaller than previously noted by at least 50%.
- 1934 $5 Silver Certificate with blue seal – These bills are valuable since they are the first small-size Silver Certificate banknotes. What is interesting about them is that they were actually backed by real silver in the Treasury. If you had this bill you could exchange it for a Silver Dollar up until the ‘60s.
- 1934 $5 Federal Reserve Note with green seal – With time, Federal Reserve Notes became the only currency that was in official circulation. However, until 1934 they were just one of the many different banknote varieties.
- $5 Silver Certificate with blue seal – These bills are very valuable since they were the last series of $5 Silver Certificates. Since 1969, they can’t be exchanged for silver.
- 1953 or 1963 $5 Red Seal banknote – This is the banknote we will talk about today. The 1953 and 1963 red seal banknotes are very valuable collectibles since these were the last US Notes stamped with a seal that isn’t green.
List Of Most Valuable 1963 $5 Bill
There were over 63 million 1963 $5 red seal legal tender notes printed. Keep in mind that real 1963 $5 US Notes have a red seal located on the right-hand side of the bill and the serial number is printed in red ink!
How to determine the value of your banknote according to the grading system
The value of any collectible items is directly linked with its condition. Naturally, a better-looking example will cost a lot more, no matter if we talk about coins, banknotes, antique lamps, chairs, and so on.
When we talk about collectibles such as stamps and banknotes that are made from paper (which will deteriorate with time no matter what) there are some small changes in the grading system. If you want to predict how valuable your banknote is, you should follow these grading guidelines:
- Fair or poor – These are bills from circulation that show lots of wear and tear, folds, rips, and large pieces missing (mainly corners). These bills carry only their face value.
- Good – Also bills from circulation but with fewer damages, folds, smaller tears, and pieces missing. Can earn you a little extra cash besides the face value.
- Very good – Banknotes used in circulation, but remained in great condition. These will have small tears and will appear very worn but without any significant damage.
- Fine – Circulated banknotes without any tears, only have some small and fine folds. The color is usually faded from usage.
- Very fine – These banknotes are whole, dirty with wrinkling and folds. The coloring is bright and there will be some small signs of usage.
- Extremely fine – The bills are sturdy and crisper under the fingers but still show minor signs of handling. These include pinches, folds, and smudges.
- About uncirculated – These bills are almost uncirculated, meaning they were in circulation for a very short time. They will have no signs of handling and no more than 2 folds and corner folds. If there is some discoloration it will not make AU grade.
- Choice uncirculated – If you come across a banknote that is graded as CU there will be no major folds, maybe only a minor corner fold. With signs of very minor handling.
- Gem uncirculated – These bills are fresh from the mint. There are no flaws, no folds, and no signs of handling. Only top-rated banknotes will have perfectly centered images.
Which Special Serial 1963 $5 bills are sought-after among collectors?
Special Serial bills are banknotes that carry some significantly special serial numbers. These serial numbers include combinations of interesting sets of digits or patterns like “666” or “1234”, ladder serial numbers in both ways up and down, birthday serial numbers, and so on.
Here is the list of the most interesting serial numbers you should look for no matter the denomination:
- Number with star symbol – Star Serial
- A00000001A – Number 1 Serial
- A00000310A – Low Serial Number (everything under 2000)
- A99999976A – High Serial Number (over 99999900 )
- A00001960A – Birth Year Serial
- A12345678A – Perfect Up Ladder
- A87654321A – Perfect Down Ladder
- A00001234A – Partial Up Ladder
- A87650000A – Partial Down Ladder
- A33333333A – Solid Serial Number
- A70004444A – Partial Solid Number
- A23232323A – Super Repeater
- A00232323A – Partial Repeater
- A44442222A – Double Quad
- A00033000A – Palindrome
- A66668666A – 7 of the same numbers
- A45555555A 7 same numbers in a row
- A34433443A – Radar Repeater
- A54444445A – Super Radar
- A10101110A – Binary (only 0s and 1s in the whole set)
- A01010101A – Binary Super Repeater
Banknotes that carry these or similar serial numbers will catch you some extra cash since they are very rare and special. Naturally, the most money will always be earnt on the first bill produced in the series, as well as the last one.
Where To Look For Rare And Valuable 1963 $5 Red Seal Bills?
Finding a rare and valuable banknote no matter the denomination and currency can be a time-consuming and hard task. These bills can hardly be found in pocket change since the majority of them are not in circulation anymore. This means you have to organize some kind of “treasure hunt” to find what you need.
The best places for starters are notaphilist shops, shows, and events. Also, make sure you visit all other expos that are related to coins and antique collections. These events are crowded with people that have similar interests as you so they can share some valuable information that will help you in your search.
Also, these events are great since you will be able to see the banknote in person and estimate if it’s real or fake, and if it’s worth the price they are requesting. Valuable and rare banknotes are desirable for replication since they can bring you a fortune so you can never be careful enough.
If you have enough expertise you can search for a particular banknote at auction sites like eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers, or on forums and online communities where notaphilists gather from around the world.
We must warn you that buying banknotes online can be a risky business since all you see are pictures that can be edited so the item looks better than it is. This is why it is very important to find a trusted dealer and work with them only. Take some time and do thorough research before you invest your money.
Is there any other series of valuable Red Seal bills?
Yes, there are six more denominations printed as Red Seal Notes. Red Seal notes have been issued in $1, $2, $5, and $100. The government also printed $10 and $20 denominations but these Red Seal bills were never issued, so they are insanely hard to come across to.
If you want to make a Red Seal collection of banknotes make sure you look for these banknotes:
- 1928 $1 red seal note
- 1928, 1928A-G, 1953, 1953 A-C, 1963, 1963A $2 red seal note
- 1928, 1928 A-F, a953, 1953 A-C, 1963, 1963A $5 red seal note
- 1966, 1966A $100 red seal note
Who was on the original release of the first $5 bill?
First $5 bill was released in circulation in 1863, however the first design for this bill was made in 1861. In its original release, Lincoln wasn’t the one featured on the front side, instead, it was the US’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.
These bills are extremely rare, so if you ever encountered one remember this so you can ensure it isn’t a fake but a real unicorn among the banknotes.
For all of you who don’t know much about collecting paper money the red seal appears on United States Notes which are issued from 1862 until 1971. An interesting fact is that up until 1933, the banknote holder could redeem these notes for gold. Also, until 1968, the holder could redeem them for silver.
Many of the red seal bills aren’t worth so much nowadays. They are still considered valuable due to the fact that they are still a currency that witnessed history and carry some interesting stories.
So it is good to remind yourself that not every single banknote in your collection must be valuable in terms of money. You can also invest in some banknotes that aren’t valuable in price tag but in history.
As usual, we would like to invite you all to share some valuable information or your experience with collecting this specific banknote. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.