To most of the citizenry, the idea of a $1000 bill sounds pretty strange.
With just a few of such bills, you would have way too much cash to be carrying around, for most people at least. Why go that route when you could easily hold a bank-protected credit card instead?
However, cash was king before the advent of digital banking and electronic money transfers. One could easily see how a $1000 bill, or even higher, could be practical in certain situations during that era.
Nevertheless, except for the old money aficionados amongst us, a significant portion of younger generations are completely unaware of the existence of this bill, and we won’t be surprised if a few argue for it being a myth.
However, as you may already know, the $1000 bill is very much a real unit of currency that was in print for several years in American monetary history.
Elders amongst may even remember handling some $1000 notes, as this denomination was still in circulation till around the mid-1970s.
The $1000 is one of the large bills produced by the United States government that is no longer in circulation. Other defunct big bills include the $500 bill, the $5000 bill, and the $10,000 bill. The government even produced a $100,000 bill. However, this one was never circulated and was only used for inter-bank transactions over a few years.
While the United States government issued the last $1000 bill in 1934, these notes remained in circulation. They were part of regular usage until the 70s, when they became a hot item amongst collectors and were quickly snapped up from the general circulation.
Like all old and rare currencies (especially one no longer in production,) the value of $1000 bills on the collectors market has skyrocketed over the years, with some of these bills now valued at up to 10 times their base denomination.
Did you recently find a $1000 bill amongst old items, or are you looking to purchase one to add to your currency collection? How much is a $1000 bill worth today?
Like all collectible currency, the value of a $1000 can vary considerably depending on its condition, rarity, and the amount of collector interest.
Since there are several varieties of the $1000 bill from different production years, the rare ones with a smaller total supply are typically more expensive. A $1000 bill in excellent physical condition will also be considerably more valuable than an identical bill with some physical damage.
On average, you should expect your $1000 bill to be worth at least double its face value. Most $1000 bills typically sell for between $2500 and $10,000, depending on their condition and rarity levels, while the most sought-after specimens can easily reach prices north of $100,000.
Even a defaced $1000 bill can often sell for a premium of at least $300.
While the $1000 has been deprecated and is no longer in production, it is still fully valid legal tender worth at least its face value of $1000. In theory, you could simply take your $1000 bill to the bank and deposit it into your account.
However, this would be a rather silly move, considering the fact that these notes are extremely sought after by collectors who would readily pay prices that are multiples of their face value to get their hands on one.
The key to why the $1000 bill is worth so much lies in the wealth of history surrounding its production.
The $1000 bill is one of the most interesting notes created by the United States government as its production often coincided with critical points in American history. This further adds to the allure and intense collectability of this denomination.
The $1000 Bill’s History
Many would be surprised to find out that the origin of the $1000 bill dates as far back as the creation of the United States.
However, what isn’t surprising is the situation that warranted the production of this bill. Like most forms of currency debasement and inflation throughout history, this one too is linked to war.
The Continental Congress produced the first $1000 bill as part of its “continental” currency (the first United States proto-currency) to fund its war effort against the British during the American Revolutionary War.
The Continental Congress is a delegatory body representing The Thirteen colonies, the thirteen now American states that started the fight for American independence and participated in the American Revolutionary War against British colonialists from 1775 – 1783
The Thirteen colonies were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries as colonies under British rule.
This continental currency was printed between 1775 and 1779. Unlike the currencies of the time, these notes weren’t backed by any real money (gold or silver), and combined with the rapid printing to fund the war, they quickly became inflated to be worth almost nothing.
After the end of the American Revolutionary War and the first few years of stabilizing the new republic, the U.S. Mint was created in 1792 as part of the new monetary system, which instituted a new monetary law, the U.S. Coinage Act of 1792, and replaced all existing continental currencies.
The next batch of $1000 bills, produced during the American civil war, was the first $1000 bills that attracted significant importance from collectors.
During the American civil war, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, the governments on both sides began issuing larger denominated bills to ease the process of large-scale purchases for food and war supplies (that occurred) during the war.
After the war, $1000 bills were printed again in 1869, 1878, and 1880. These periodic productions gradually increased the supply of $1000 bills, eventually making them a fairly common feature in general circulation.
Aside from notes printed as general legal tender, $1000-denominated currency also appeared periodically in other forms of cash.
Some of these other $1000-denominated currencies include gold certificates, silver certificates, Interest bearing notes, Compound interest treasury notes, Treasury notes, National bank notes, and Federal Reserve notes.
While most of these currency types (some exclusively) typically featured in large deals like interbank payments and real estate contracts, a sizable percentage of their supply found their way into general usage and eventually into the hands of currency collectors.
There are 25+ types of these $1000-denominated type currencies, but only a few of these were used widely enough to become available to collectors.
However, by 1934, the last of these $1000 bills were produced as the Federal Government scaled back on producing larger denomination bills.
By July 1969, the United States government passed legislation removing all high-denomination bills, including the $500 bill, $1,000 bill, $5,000 bill, and $10,000 bill, from circulation.
Unsurprisingly, this removal from circulation immediately made the $1000 bill a collector’s delight as it significantly increased the bill’s rarity. Consequently, the prices for this bill have been rising ever since.
$1000 Bill Rarity
Like with most other collectible currency, with the $1000, the final price of the item depends heavily on the available total supply of that particular specimen.
Notes with a higher amount produced and available to collectors, such as 1928, 1934, and 1934A $1000 bills, will typically attract a significantly lower price compared to notes from the 19th Century with only a fraction of their supply available today.
However, analyzing a $1000 bill’s rarity is a bit more technical than usual. The note’s rarity level can shift heavily depending on several physical properties and various factors surrounding its production.
With the $1000, a specimen’s rarity level can vary depending on the following factors.
There are over 25 different types of $1000-denominated currency series produced sporadically across the 72 years from 1862, when the first Civil war dollars were printed, to 1934, when the Federal government produced the last $1000 note.
Consequently, there is a wide variety of note types in the $1000 bill series for collectors to choose from.
However, the rarity levels of each note can swing considerably as you move from year to year.
Notes produced in the latter years, including those from 1928 and 1934, are typically less rare as they were produced largely for general circulation, so you will typically find many more notes available on the market. These notes are the least old of the bunch, and as such, they have a significantly higher chance of surviving in decent physical condition.
Older $1000 notes, like the civil war notes from the 18th century, have a massively lower survival rate and are consequently incredibly harder to find. Unsurprisingly, these notes, especially when found in good condition, typically sell significantly higher than their newer counterparts.
Some of these civil war era notes are so rare that only a few are known to exist. For example, a $1000 bill produced as legal tender from 1862 to 1863, with only three known to exist today, sold for $2 million in 2018.
This super rare note, fondly nicknamed the Grand Watermelon, is a civil war era coin portraying Union Major General George Meade, the commander of Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg, on the front of the note.
Similar to what you get with coins and the different United States Mints, with old notes, the city where the bills were produced can also factor into their rarity levels.
The $1000 bills produced in each year of issue emanated from one of the many note-producing cities, including San Francisco, Atlanta, Richmond, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and New York.
Unsurprisingly, the number of bills produced in each series is uneven across the participating cities. Consequently, notes printed in cities that produced relatively fewer notes than the other cities participating in the production of that series will typically be rarer and attract more interest and higher prices from collectors.
Over the course of American monetary history, several different types of $1000 bills were printed, but not all of them were regular general circulation notes.
Aside from regular legal tender, $1000-denominated currency also appeared in the form of other forms of cash, including gold certificates, silver certificates, Interest bearing notes, Compound interest treasury notes, Treasury notes, National bank notes, and Federal Reserve notes.
Which of these categories a $1000 bill falls under can heavily influence its rarity level and estimated price on the collectors market.
For some of these bill types, such as Treasury notes and Federal Reserve notes, the printed bills were never meant for public use and were instead used almost exclusively in transactions between the government and large financial organizations such as banks and real estate firms.
Consequently, these notes never made it into general circulation. So, when the Federal Government withdrew these notes from circulation, the bulk of their supply was already within reach of the government and was easily confiscated and destroyed.
For some of these elusive interbank notes, only a handful of specimens survived.
Hence, these notes are extremely limited in supply and quite hard to find. This unique situation considerably increases the collectibility of these notes and their eventual market prices.
Star notes are notes produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing as replacement notes for bills that were damaged or misprinted during production and were consequently tossed.
The Bureau marks these replacement notes by adding a star to the end of their serial number. For older notes, including every issue of the $1000 bill, the star appears instead at the start of the serial number.
While this star does not confer any additional value to the notes during circulation, the star adds another dimension of rarity levels for collectors.
In some series of the $1000 bill, you could find thousands of star notes, while specific years only have a handful in the low hundreds or even tens.
These star notes are unsurprisingly extremely sought after by collectors as they make the note unique compared to the rest. This demand is especially higher for notes from production years, like 1928, when only a tiny amount of star notes were produced.
With the 1928 series, for example, a $1000 star note can be worth as much as $10,000 more than a regular bill.
With bill collecting, every single detail matters, and the serial number on your $1000 bill may be the difference between having a rare note or a super rare one.
Collectors place a higher value on bills with a low serial number, typically serial number 100 or lower, and these notes can attract a considerable premium over other regular, high serial number notes.
Since U.S. dollar bills do not have mint marks, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing incorporated other methods to decipher which bill was produced in which city.
Many notes feature unique designators like a colored seal (red, blue, green, gold, or silver) or alternatively having the entire print in a differently colored ink from that used in the regular series.
$1000 bills with these colored seals or varied ink typical retail for a premium over the notes from the regular series.
With all forms of collectible currency, the condition is king. The physical state of the note can create differences of several thousand bucks in the final pricing of any specimen. The closer your bill is to its uncirculated condition, the more you can expect to get for it on the open market.
$1000 Bill Types and Their Value
While there are over 25 different types of $1000-denominated currency series produced in American monetary history, the vast majority of these notes are not available to even the most seasoned collectors.
$1000 bills from some of the production years were utterly destroyed, with the exceptions being specimens showcased at financial museums across America.
With other $1000 bill types, notes from those years are so rare (often with units in single digits) that all the available pieces are held by Federal Reserve banks and extremely wealthy collectors.
These extremely rare $1000 bills are also almost impossible to value as they never appear on the open market. If they are ever sold, it is often done in private deals or auctions, mostly without input from the general public.
Consequently, only a small percentage of these bills are within the grasp of the average collector.
Hence, we will focus more on valuing the more readily available bills that you can buy easily on the open market. Some of these relatively more easily obtainable $1000 bills include:
1907 $1000 Gold Certificate Bill
The 1907 $1000 Gold Certificate is one of the oldest $1000-denominated bills that you can still find on the market today. The bill’s age, rarity, and extremely eye-catching aesthetics make it a big hit amongst collectors everywhere.
This note features a unique gold or orange colored reverse with a seal that contains an image of the symbolic American bald eagle. In front, the 1907 $1000 Gold Certificate bears a portrait of American revolutionary, statesman, and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
There are six different varieties of these notes, all of which are worth at least $10,000 on the collectors market today. All six varieties feature signatures from Teehee and Burke or Parker and Burke.
Most 1907 $1000 Gold Certificate Bills typically retail for between $10,000 and $40,000 depending on their physical condition. However, notes from this series in pristine or near pristine condition can easily sell for closer to $100,000.
1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note
1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note is one of the few large-size $1000 notes (large-size notes measure 7.50 by 3.125 inches compared to regular small-size notes that are 6.14 by 2.61 inches in size) that are available for public purchase today.
Like many $1000 bills, 1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note features a portrait of founding father Alexander Hamilton on the front. The reverse of the note sports a large symbolic American bald eagle.
While the 1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note is still quite rare, it is not as hard to find as the older $1000 bill types, and this reflects in its market pricing.
You can expect most $1000 bills from the 1918 series to sell for at least $5000 on the open market. Good condition specimens typically sell for $8000 or higher, while notes with an uncirculated-level condition can easily surpass $30,000.
Furthermore, notes from this series issued from the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis, Dallas, and Boston are rare and attract a considerable premium on the open market.
1922 $1000 Gold Certificate Bill
1922 $1000 Gold Certificate Bill is another rare $1000-denominated bill that you can find on the open market today.
The bill borrows the exact same design from older $1000 gold certificate bills, like the one from 1907, with the key exception being the new serial numbers and a new signature from Speelman and White. In front, the note sports a picture of Alexander Hamilton, while the reverse is an orange or gold colored page with a seal containing the American bald eagle.
Furthermore, the bill has a similar rarity level to other $1000 gold certificate bills from that era and draws commensurate prices on the open market.
While gold certificates are quite rare, with most series having a total supply of less than 40,000, they do not garner as much demand as regular circulation legal tender. Hence, despite the huge disparity in rarity levels, they typically retail for similar prices to legal tender from the same era.
You can expect most 1922 $1000 Gold Certificate Bill to sell for between $10,000 to $40,000, depending on their condition.
Extremely rare specimens with a near-uncirculated physical condition can reach prices north of $100,000.
1928 $1000 Gold Certificate
For many collectors, only $1000-denominated bills included in this series or later may be priced low enough to possibly feature in their collection. Since the note is relatively newer than most others on this list, it is no surprise that it retails considerably less.
You can expect average quality notes from this series to retail for between $2000 and $5000; excellent condition bills can go as high as $10,000, while uncirculated-level notes can easily sell for north of $25,000.
With the 1928 $1000 Gold Certificate, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing diverts from the existing designs, opting instead for a portrait of former U.S. president Stephen Grover Cleveland in front with a prominent “The United States of America” text displayed across its green back.
Another notable aesthetic peculiarity of this note is the notable empty space on the right-hand side of the bill’s front that looks quite strange, especially when you hold it side by side with another United States bill.
The Federal Government printed a total of 28,800 $1000 Gold Certificates in 1928, with only a few hundred of these likely to still be in existence today.
1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note
In 1928, the Federal Reserve Bank also produced a $1000 reserve note that mirrored the design on the 1928 $1000 gold certificate with minor cosmetic adjustments.
On the 1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note, the federal reserve stamp appears on the left, replacing the green sigil which now moves to the left. This note also uses a greenback, green serial numbers, and appropriate markings as a Federal Reserve note.
With over 1.1 million of these notes issued in 1928 and a survival estimate of around 68,000, the 1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note is one of the more abundant $1000 bills, and it should be easily accessible for most old note collectors.
All of the 12 federal reserve banks issued varying quantities of these notes, with collectors often putting a premium on specimens from Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Richmond, and Kansas City.
However, irrespective of its origin city, the high supply of 1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Notes means that they remain fairly inexpensive.
You can expect all 1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Notes to sell for at least $1500 for average quality pieces, over $2000 for notes in fine condition, and around $5000 for uncirculated bills.
The only exception from the bunch price-wise is the star notes from the 1928 $1000 Federal Reserve note series. Star notes from these series are quite rare and extremely sought after by collectors.
You can expect 1928 $1000 Federal Reserve star notes to sell for around $30,000 in fine condition and at least $60,000 in uncirculated-level condition.
1934/1934A $1000 Federal Reserve Note
The 1934 and 1934A series are the last $1000-denominated bills printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing before the Federal Government passed legislation in 1969, ending its production and removing it from circulation.
For this set of bills, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing retained the same design from the previous 1928 edition, sporting the same portrait of former U.S. president Stephen Grover Cleveland in front and a “The United States of America” text displayed across its back.
The only difference with the new note is that it bears new signatures from f W. A. Julian as Treasurer and Henry Morganthau, Jr. as Secretary of the Treasury, the then occupants of these offices.
This batch also featured a similar supply quota to its predecessor, with a total of around 1.5 million of these notes produced.
The 1934 and the 1934A series are both identical, with the key difference being that 1934A notes have an A at the end of their serial numbers. There isn’t much supply difference between the two notes, and they typically attract similar valuations on the open market.
Both the 1934 and the 1934A $1000 Federal Reserve Note are quite low-priced on the collector’s market as bills in good condition typically sell for between $2000 and $3000 while higher grade uncirculated notes retail around the $4000 mark.
However, the note to find in this series is the star note. 1934 and 1934A series $1,000-star notes are quite rare and typically retail for $12,000-$15,000 in good condition and around $20,000 for uncirculated bills.
Another rarity is the 1934 variant with a light green seal that can sell for between $5000 and $20,000 depending on its condition. This variant also typically sports lower serial numbers in the 1-10,000 range.
$1000 Bill Worth (Value Chart)
Need to find the estimated value of your $1000 bill at a glance? This chart gives you an uncomplicated visual guide on the average price range you should expect for specific $1000 bill variants.
Remember to use the table as an approximate estimate of the market value of $1000 notes and as a general guide for making better market decisions.
|NOTE⬇\AVERAGE QUALITY➜||Poor Quality (tears, stains, nicks, etc)||Good||Very Fine||Uncirculated (MS 63)|
|1907 $1000 Gold Certificate Bill||Less than $10,000||$10,000 – $20,000||$30,000 – $40,000||$70,000+|
|1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note||Less than $5000||$5000 – $6000||$7500 – $8000||$30,000+|
|1922 $1000 Gold Certificate Bill||Less than $10,000||$10,000 – $20,000||$30,000 – $40,000||$60,000+|
|1928 $1000 Gold Certificate||$1500 – $2000||$2500 – $5000||$8000 – $10,000||$20,000 – $30,000|
|1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note||Face Value – $1300||$1500 – $2000||$2500 – $3000||$4000 – $6000|
|1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note (Star Note)||$10,000 – $12,000||$21,000 – $23,000||$25,000 – $30,000||$60,000+|
|1934/1934A $1000 Federal Reserve Note||Face Value – $1300||$2000||$2500 – $3000||$3500 – $4000|
|1934/1934A $1000 Federal Reserve Note (Star Note)||$5000+||$8000 – $10,000||$12,000 – $15,000||$18,000 – $20,000|
|1934/1934A $1000 Federal Reserve Note (Light Green Seal)||$2000+||$5000||$12,000 – $15,000||$18,000 – $20,000|
Is the $1000 bill the largest U.S. currency denomination?
No, it isn’t. While the largest denomination U.S. bill in use today is the $100, during various periods in history, the Federal Government produced larger bills including the $500 bill, $5,000 bill, and $10,000 bill. There is even a $100,000 bill that was produced for internal use by banks and the Federal Reserve that was never circulated.
These larger denomination bills were all discontinued and removed from circulation in 1969.