You Could Have $1 Bills That Are Worth up to $150,000

Pile of dollar bills

Photo: ClaudioDivizia/Depositphotos

Less and less people are using cash these days, preferring quick contactless digital payment. If you still have a load of $1 dollar bills in your wallet, though, you might have done yourself a favor. In 2014 and 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) made a mistake that means there are 6.3 million $1 bills in circulation that might actually be worth a fortune.

Every piece of currency printed has a unique serial number. Even if there is an error and the bill doesn't go into circulation, its replacement will have a star at the end of its serial number. These unique numbers help track stolen money and stop counterfeit money from being circulated. In 2014, the BEP asked its Washington, D.C., facility to print a run of dollar bills with the serial numbers B00000001* – B00250000* and B03200001* – B09600000*. A clerical error led to the Fort Worth facility printing those same serial numbers in 2016. Apparently, no one caught the error until after they had entered circulation. In fact, the mix-up was only admitted to after a Freedom of Information Act request when a numismatic collector noticed something was off in BEP's public records.

Currency misprints happen, but usually those errors have to do with what are essentially paper jams or misalignment of the design. The double printing of the serial numbers has never happened on this scale and is attracting collectors. If you manage to have a single bill of the misprints, you might be able to fetch up to $400. Or you can hold on to your bill and start searching for its partner. Matched pairs have sold together for almost $10,000. There are unverified reports of another pair being sold for $25,000, and some collectors think pairs might get as much as $150,000.

To check if you have any from the double serial printings, look for the following:

  • Series date that reads “Series 2013.” The series date can be found on the right side of the George Washington photograph.
  • The “B” Federal Reserve Seal above the serial number.
  • The serial number features a star and sits somewhere between “B00000001– B00250000” or “B03200001– B09600000

There have been 115 matched pairs, which still leaves over three million left to account for. Besides scouring eBay and auction sites, one private citizen has started up a database to keep track of everything related to 2013B misprints. Better start uncrumpling your dollars now.

Over 3 million pairs of $1 bills were mistakenly printed with the exact same serial number, and now they are worth a fortune.

Front of dollar bill

Photo: STILLFX/Depositphotos

h/t: [NBCLA]

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Elizabeth Beiser

Elizabeth Beiser is a Contributing Writer and Project Coordinator at My Modern Met. She has a background in American Cultural History with a special focus on Modern art and democratic community building. She received her B.A. in history, with a minor in Studio Arts, and her M.A. in history from the University of Rochester. She has worked on multiple political campaigns, as well as in non-profit operations and direct service. When she’s not writing, she’s experimenting with all varieties of arts and crafts. She also enjoys spending time with four-legged friends and exploring her hometown of Boston.
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