Before you pop into your local convenience store to shell out some singles on lottery tickets, consider what you have in your wallet. You may already be sitting on a gold mine. How so? There are $1 bills currently in circulation that may be worth hundreds, potentially even thousands of dollars.
As it turns out, antique coins aren’t the only currency worth more than face value these days – collectors have recently turned their attention to paper money. When it comes to dollar bills, the serial number printed on the bill could turn a buck into big bucks.
What are experts and collectors looking for exactly? Here’s a run down of some high-value serial numbers:
- Seven repeating numbers in a row (like 77777776)
- Seven numbers of the same kind in no particular order (like 00010000)
- Numbers that “super repeat” (like 898989898)
- Four repeating numbers followed by another set of four repeating numbers (called “double quads,” like 00009999)
- Any serial numbers that end in 00 (called “trailing zeros”)
The list goes on. What interested folks are really looking for is an unusual number pattern or specific sequencing of the numbers.
You can find a more detailed list of desirable serial numbers on the website CoolSerialNumbers.com. This site outlines the most sought-after $1 bills, with over 90 different combinations of serial numbers listed. And if you happen to find one of these gems in your wallet or between the sofa cushions, you can contact the website to sell your single.
Skeptical? Of course you are. But the proof is in the payoff. CoolSerialNumbers.com is currently selling bills for anywhere from $100 to over $2,500.
Unique and valuable serial numbers aren’t just limited to the $1 bill; other bills can also draw a pretty price. For instance, when the $100 bills were redesigned in 2013, the Director of Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, estimated that the very first bill with the serial number 00000001 could be worth up to $15,000.
Another particularly patriotic collector is interested in bills with the serial number 07041776, in honor of the date of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The collector has his eyes set on $2 bills since each one illustrates this historic event. His asking price – $500 to $1,000 for notes with this serial number.
For the math geeks out there, collectors always have their eyes out for a “pi note,” a bill with the serial number 31415927. Just like the number of decimal places in this mathematical constant, possibilities of serial numbers that give your buck more bang are endless. So the next time you’re about to tip your barista or your bartender, take a minute to examine your cash. You might be a lot richer than you realized.