|The value of your paper money is largely dependent on several factors:
- The type of note: There are many types of notes in U.S. paper money alone. The most
basic break down is large size currency (1862 to 1923) and small size currency (1928 to
present). Then within those types are: United States "Legal Tender" Notes, Gold
Certificates, Silver Certificates, Treasury Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, National Currency
- Series: Within these types are series dates, signature combinations, and sub-types for
each denomination. These notes are assigned a catalog number referred to as a
"Friedberg Number." Each note has a value and rarity determined by this Friedberg
- Condition: Paper money notes are evaluated and given a condition or "grade."
Professional currency dealers and graders assign grades based on a 1 to 70 scale, with 70
being the highest grade. There is also a term used for each grade: Poor, About Good,
Good, Very Good, Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine, About Uncirculated, Choice About
Uncirculated, Crisp Uncirculated, Choice Uncirculated, Very Choice Uncirculated, Gem
Unicrculated, and Superb Gem Uncirculated. In almost every instance condition is a factor
in determining the value of a paper money item.
- Scarcity: Perhaps the greatest determining factor of the value of paper money is scarcity.
The relative availability or unavailability of a particular note influences that notes value. A
note that is easily available to the collecting public will be less valuable than a note that
is difficult or nearly impossible to find.