How Much is a $1000 Bill Worth? The Ultimate Collector‘s Guide

Have you ever wondered about the mysterious and elusive $1000 bill? While these high-denomination notes are no longer in circulation, they remain highly sought after by collectors due to their rarity and historical significance. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll delve into the fascinating world of $1000 bills, exploring their history, types, and most importantly, their value in today‘s market.

A Brief History of the $1000 Bill

The story of the $1000 bill begins during the American Civil War. In 1861, the U.S. government issued $1000 Interest Bearing Notes to help finance the war effort. These notes were not intended for general circulation but rather as a means for banks and wealthy individuals to invest in the government.

Over the following decades, various types of $1000 bills were issued, including United States Notes, Gold Certificates, and Federal Reserve Notes. However, due to their high face value, these bills were primarily used for large transactions between banks and never widely circulated among the general public.

In 1969, the Federal Reserve officially discontinued $1000 bills, along with other high-denomination notes like the $500, $5,000, and $10,000 bills. This decision was made to combat counterfeiting and the use of large bills for illegal activities. Since then, $1000 bills have become increasingly rare and valuable to collectors.

Types of $1000 Bills

Throughout U.S. currency history, several different types of $1000 bills have been produced:

1861 $1000 Interest Bearing Note

These rare notes were issued during the Civil War and feature a portrait of Robert Morris, a Founding Father and the financier of the American Revolution. Less than 200 of these notes are known to exist today.

1869 $1000 United States Note

Also known as "Rainbow Notes" due to their colorful appearance, these bills feature a portrait of DeWitt Clinton, the former Governor of New York. Fewer than 150 examples are known to survive.

1907 $1000 Gold Certificate

Featuring a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, these gold certificates were used primarily for transactions between banks and the U.S. Treasury.

1922 $1000 Gold Certificate

Similar in design to the 1907 series, these notes were issued to replace worn out or damaged earlier versions. Approximately 84,000 were printed.

1928 $1000 Gold Certificate

The 1928 series introduced a new design featuring a portrait of President Grover Cleveland. Around 28,000 of these notes were printed.

1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note

These notes marked the introduction of the Federal Reserve System and feature a portrait of Alexander Hamilton. Approximately 15,000 were printed.

1928 $1000 Federal Reserve Note

Also featuring a portrait of President Grover Cleveland, over 1.1 million of these notes were printed, making them the most common type of $1000 bill.

1934 $1000 Federal Reserve Note

The final series of $1000 bills, these notes maintain the same design as the 1928 series but with updated signatures. Over 1.1 million were printed before the denomination was discontinued in 1969.

What Makes a $1000 Bill Valuable?

Several key factors influence the value of a $1000 bill:


The fewer examples of a particular series that exist, the more valuable they tend to be. Some $1000 bills, like the 1861 and 1869 notes, are extremely rare with only a handful known to survive.


As with any collectible, the condition plays a significant role in value. Bills are graded on a scale from Poor (barely identifiable) to Gem Uncirculated (pristine condition). The better the condition, the higher the value.

Serial Number

Collectors often seek out bills with low serial numbers (00000001-00000100) or other interesting number patterns like repeaters (12341234), solids (11111111), or ladders (12345678). These "fancy" serial numbers can significantly increase a bill‘s value.

Misprints & Errors

Bills with printing mistakes, such as double denominations or inverted seals, are highly prized by collectors due to their scarcity and uniqueness.

Star Notes

When a bill is damaged during printing, it is replaced with a star note, which has a star symbol at the end of the serial number. Star notes are more rare and thus more valuable to collectors.

Value Chart for Common $1000 Bills

The value of a $1000 bill can vary widely based on its type, rarity, and condition. Here is a general guide for the most frequently encountered $1000 bills:

[Insert value chart including columns for type, very good condition, fine condition, and uncirculated, with values filled in for each]

Keep in mind that these values are estimates and actual prices can fluctuate based on market demand. Rare notes in top condition can sell for much higher prices.

Record-Setting $1000 Bill Sales

Some $1000 bills have achieved astronomical prices at auction due to their exceptional rarity and condition. In 2013, a unique 1891 $1000 Silver Certificate sold for $2.6 million, setting a world record for the most expensive U.S. banknote ever sold. Other notable sales include:

  • 1869 $1000 Rainbow Note – $1.9 million (2014)
  • 1907 $1000 Gold Certificate – $600,000 (2005)
  • 1928 $1000 Gold Certificate (low serial number) – $120,000 (2011)

How to Get Your $1000 Bill Appraised

If you have a $1000 bill and want to determine its value, it‘s important to have it professionally appraised by a reputable currency dealer or grading service. They will assess the bill‘s type, condition, and any unique features to provide an accurate estimate of its worth. Some well-known grading services include:

  • PCGS Currency
  • PMG (Paper Money Guaranty)
  • CGA (Currency Grading & Authentication)

Before selling a $1000 bill, it‘s wise to get multiple appraisals to ensure you receive a fair price.

Interesting Facts About $1000 Bills

  • President Grover Cleveland is the only president featured on a $1000 bill. His portrait appears on the 1928 and 1934 series.

  • The back of the 1918 $1000 Federal Reserve Note features an ornate design with the words "The United States of America" written in 10 different languages.

  • In the early 1900s, $1000 bills were sometimes used to transfer funds between banks. They were shipped in packs of 4,000 notes ($4 million face value) stacked on wooden pallets by armed guards.

  • In 1969, 7 men stole $1 million in $1000 bills from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The bills were never recovered and the men were never caught.

  • The $1000 bill is not the highest denomination ever printed by the U.S. government. In 1934, $5,000 and $10,000 bills were also printed but never publicly circulated. The highest denomination ever printed was the $100,000 Gold Certificate, used only for transactions between Federal Reserve Banks.


The $1000 bill may no longer be in use, but its legacy lives on in the world of currency collecting. These rare notes offer a tangible link to American history, from the Civil War era to the early days of the Federal Reserve. For collectors, owning a $1000 bill is the ultimate prize – a symbol of rarity, value, and prestige.

Whether you‘re a seasoned collector or simply curious about these fascinating pieces of currency, understanding the history and value of $1000 bills is key. By familiarizing yourself with the different types, grading standards, and market trends, you can navigate the world of high-denomination currency with confidence.

While not everyone will have the opportunity to own one of these elusive notes, the story of the $1000 bill is one that continues to captivate collectors and history buffs alike. It‘s a reminder of a bygone era when cash was king and a single bill could represent a small fortune. So the next time you come across a $1000 bill, take a moment to appreciate its place in American history and the enduring allure it holds for collectors around the world.

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