1000 Dollar Bill & Its Hidden Collectible Value

1000 Dollar Bill & Its Hidden Collectible Value
Posted on May 04, 2024 by BOLD Precious Metals
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Let’s put some things into perspective: $1000 is considered a high amount even today. However, if you carry a 1000 dollar bill today, its face value will not buy you a fortune. If you put your life into reverse gear and go back to 1900, the same $1000 could buy you a small house or 50 ounces of pure gold!

Economics, history, and development do astonishing things for us. While the 1,000 dollar bill is no longer in circulation, it has become a prized collectible. If you have one in your house, you can sell it for a premium much higher than its face value.

Before diving into the realm of 1000 dollar bills, let us quickly understand what large denomination bills are.

What are Large Denomination Bills?

Large denomination bills are currencies carrying face values exceeding $100. The United States Treasury circulated these coins until 1969. Since then, the denominations of dollar banknotes have reduced, leading to the prominence of $50, $20, $10, $5, $2, and $1 bills.

We can divide these large denomination bills into two broad categories – high denomination bills and ultra-high denomination bills. The former bills carry face values of $500 and $1000. On the other hand, the ultra-high denominations carry the face values of $5,000 and $10,000. One can only imagine carrying such bills in their wallet in 2024!

     History of the 1000 Dollar Bill

The US Treasury Department minted 1000 dollar bills between 1862 and 1880, all of which had legal tender status. Depicting the Declaration of Independence signer, Robert Morris, a former US Senator, graced the first $1000 bill ever issued.

DeWitt Clinton, the then New York Mayor and a US Senator replaced Morris. Clinton also overlooked the second issue of these bills. All subsequent designs of the 1000 dollar bill have minor changes on the reverse. Each of these designs is extremely rare now. In fact, considering inflation, a 1000 dollar bill in 1880 equates to the buying power of around $30,000 carry in 2024!

     The 1000 Dollar Series

The original 1000 dollar bill showcases Alexander Hamilton on its obverse side. Eventually, his portrait was replaced by that of Grover Cleaveland, the 22nd and 24th US President. While the US Government discontinued these bills in 1969, they made their presence felt due to their high collectible value.

You can divide these rare 1000 dollar bills into two major categories – Blue Seal and Green Seal.

1918 $1000 Blue Seal Series

1918 $1000 Blue Seal Series

First printed in 1918, the Blue Seal series of the 1000 dollar bill carries the face of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton on the bill’s obverse side. Its reverse features a soaring American Eagle. It is fitting for Hamilton to have found his way to a US currency as he is regarded as the founder of the country’s financial system.

1928 $1000 Green Seal Series

1918 $1000 Blue Seal Series

Ten years after the issue of the Blue Seal series comes the Green Seal series of 1000 dollar bills. First printed in 1928, the bills showcase the portrait of the two-time US President Grover Cleaveland on their obverse. Most 1000 bills you see will belong to the Green Seal series.

Let us summarize the 1000 dollar series and their designs in a convenient table below:

Currency and SeriesSeries YearFeatured PortraitBack Vignette
$1000 Note (Blue Seal)1918Alexander HamiltonEagle
$1000 Dollar Bill (Green Seal)1928Grover ClevelandCountry Name: United States of America /n $1000 (In Text and words)

    What Gives the 1000 Dollar Bill Historical Significance?

The series carries impeccable value because of who was featured on the 1000 dollar bill. The leaders portrayed in both series give immense historical significance to the bills. Let us find out why:

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton
Image Credit: National Park Service (U.S. Department)

Alexander Hamilton is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He fought in the Revolutionary War, contributed to the country’s Constitution, and became the first Secretary of the US Treasury. He is regarded as the Chief Architect of the American financial system, making him the perfect fit to feature on a high denomination bill.

Grover Cleaveland

Grover Cleaveland
Image Credit: The White House Historical Association

Grover Cleaveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the US, serving two full terms (1885 – 1889 and 1893 – 1897). He is by far the only US President who has served two non-consecutive terms. Before becoming the President, Cleaveland served as the Governor and Mayor of New York. He had earned the reputation of being an anti-corruption crusader.

Is the 1000 Dollar Bill a Legal Tender Now?

Yes, like most large denomination currency bills, the 1000 dollar bill is still legal tender. However, it is not the best idea to exchange it for its face value. Thanks to inflation, historical significance, and exclusivity, 1000 dollar bills hold a value that is much more than their face value.

    Collectible Value of a 1000 Dollar Bill

Instead of reading it out, sit back, relax, and watch this episode of the popular show Pawn Stars to get a good idea about a 1000 dollar bill’s collectible value:

The video deals with a seller wishing to cash his $1,000 Federal Reserve Star Note. After thorough assessments and negotiations, he decided to keep the bill to himself. The pawn shop owner was ready to give him a deal of $5,500.

If you have a 1000 dollar you wish to cash, this could be you! Along with looking for your rare bill’s value on the internet, you should know that the market for such assets keeps changing. Its value depends on the ongoing market conditions, the bill’s condition, the buyer(s), and many other factors.

The best way to go about a deal is to know your 1000 dollar bill’s grade and get an expert’s opinion on how valuable it is.

    Deciding the Value of a $1000 Bill Based on its Condition/Grade

Before you make any concrete decisions, you might want to have a look at this table that shows the value of a 1000 dollar bill depending on factors like condition or grade:

$1000 Currency Note ConditionEstimate Collectible Value
Very Good Condition$1,500
Fine to Very Fine Condition$1,800 – 3,500
Uncirculated or Gem Uncirculated ConditionTens of thousands of dollars (as per rarity, serial number, demand, etc.)

    Other Factors Affecting A 1000 Dollar Bill’s Value

Apart from its grade, the following factors determine the value of a $1000 bill:

Date Series

If a series is more exclusive than the other, it is likely to carry a greater value. For example, the 1928 series is rarer than the 1934 series, making the former more valuable.


Seal Variety

The color of the seal on a 1000 dollar bill also determines its value. For example, bills with a light green seal are rarer than the ones with a dark green seal, making the former bills more valuable.


Serial Numbers

A $1000 bill with a unique serial number will make it more exclusive and, therefore, more valuable. Collectors often look for bills with fancy or low serial numbers as they carry more value than the standard ones.

    Noteworthy 1000 Dollar Bills Sold For Millions

If you are still on the fence about the incredible value a 1000 dollar bill can carry, here are some of these bills that gave their owners millions of dollars:

1890 $1000 Treasury Note, a.k.a. Grand Watermelon

1890 $1000 Treasury Note, a.k.a. Grand Watermelon

Image Credit: Stack's Bowers Galleries

Few currency bills have captivated the attention of avid collectors, like the 1890 $1000 Treasury Note, also known as the Grand Watermelon. These notes received this nickname due to the large green zeroes present on the reverse, resembling watermelons.

There are two major varieties of these notes – the Fr.379a (W-4580) carrying the signatures of Huston and Rosecrans with a large brown Treasury seal, and the Fr.379b (W-4581) carrying the signatures of Nebeker and Rosecrans with a small red Treasury seal that is scalloped.

These bills showcase the portrait of the Union Major General George Meade on the left. At the center is the ornate 1000 die counter and floral ornaments. George Meade is best known for serving as a commander of Union Forces during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Only seven of such Grand Watermelon notes are known to exist. In April of 2013, one of them was sold at the price of $1,525,500.

1891 $1000 Marcy Silver Certificate

1890 $1000 Treasury Note, a.k.a. Grand Watermelon

Image Credit: Stack's Bowers Galleries

This is another feat a 1000 dollar bill achieved in getting auctioned for over a million dollars. The 1891 Marcy Silver Certificate gets its name from the portrait of William L. Marcy (former US Secretary of State) to the right. The bill was sold at an auction for the price of $1,920,000.

1863 $1000 Legal Tender Note. PCGS Choice About New 58

1890 $1000 Treasury Note, a.k.a. Grand Watermelon

Image Credit: Stack's Bowers Galleries

Belonging to the Joel R. Anderson collection, there are only four examples of these $1000 Legal Tender notes issued between 1862 and 1863. Carrying the finest grade, this was one of the only two to go to private hands. With the estimated value ranging between $800,000 and $1,200,000, this bill was sold for a whopping $960,000.

    Appraise Your Currency Notes

Are you tempted after reading the success stories of people who minted millions with $1000 bills? If so, you should get your currency notes appraised right away. This will help you ascertain the true value of your bill and get the best deal at the market.

For professional help in grading and appraising your currency notes, you can seek help from platforms like Heritage Auctions. Heritage Auctions is a Texas-based multinational auction house that deals in numismatic collections, fine art, comics, and much more. Decades-old, the platform will help you evaluate the assets you possess and get the deals you deserve.

    How Much Gold Could You Buy With A 1000 Dollar Bill From 1900 Until 2024?

The prices of gold and the market value of a $1000 bill have changed significantly with time.Here is how much gold you could buy using a 1000 dollar bill from 1900 until now:

YearsGold Spot PriceHow much gold could be bought with a $1000
1900$20.6748.38 Ounces of Pure Gold
1928$20.6748.38 Ounces of Pure Gold
1934$35.0028.57 Ounces of Pure Gold
1958$35.1028.49 Ounces of Pure Gold
Note: A two-tiered pricing system was created in 1968, and the market price for gold has been free to fluctuate
2024$2266.700.43 Ounce of Pure Gold
Note: Based on when the article was initially published (April 2024)

    How Much Silver Could You Buy with a 1000 Dollar Bill from 1900 Until 2024?

Just like gold, the prices of silver bullion have changed along with inflation and a plethora of other economic factors. If you are planning to invest in silver and want to know how much silver you can own, let us help you put things into perspective.

Here is how much silver you could buy using a $1000 bill from 1900 until 2024:

YearsSilver Spot Price (Avg.)How much silver could be bought with a $1,000 (Ounces)In Kilograms
1915$0.5119607.84 Ounces60.98 kg
1920$1.039708.74 Ounces30.19 kg
1930$0.3826315.79 Ounces81.84 kg
1940$0.3528571.43 Ounces88.86 kg
1950$0.7413513.51 Ounces42.03 kg
1960$0.9210869.57Ounces33.80 kg
1970$1.925208.33 Ounces16.20 kg
1980$20.17495.79 Ounces1.54 kg
1990$05.231912.05 Ounces5.95 kg
2000$05.321879.7 0Ounces5.85 kg
2010$30.93323.31 Ounces1.01 kg
2020$28.56350.14 Ounces1.09 kg
2024 (April)$27.91358.29 Ounces1.11 kg

The Final Word

After learning about the history and value of a 1000 dollar bill, it is safe to say that rare currency bills age like fine wine and value like rare gems! If you find an old $1000 bill in your grandfather’s collection, think twice before looking away.

Get in touch with the right professionals, appraise the bill, and see what history has in store for you!


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