Did you know that the money sitting in your wallet might actually be worth money?
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And, no, I’m not talking about its face value.
I mean that it might be worth even more than what it’s worth if you used it to buy something.
But if you don’t check your serial numbers, you’ll never know if that $20 in your pocket is actually a rare 20 that could sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars to the right person.
I did some digging online after reading in a Reddit thread that some people are willing to pay big bucks for bills with specific types of serial numbers.
I was intrigued to learn more, so I looked around and, to my surprise, there are several types of serial numbers that could be worth a pretty penny if you’re willing to sell them.
Read on to learn more!
Cool Serial Numbers That Might Be Worth More Than the Bill’s Value
Honestly, if the right buyer comes along, you might be able to get good money out of any bill you own, even if it doesn’t meet the criteria for a rare or collectible serial number.
The fact is that some people might look for special numbers – like their lucky numbers – on a bill and decide they want to add it to their collection.
But, generally, the types of serial numbers listed below are some of the ones that collectors will pay top dollar for, so it could be easier to sell them.
First, let’s talk about serial numbers in case you’re not sure what I mean by that.
The serial number on a bill will be a series of numbers in the corners.
You’ll see them printed in green ink.
There are eight numbers that follow two letters and are followed by another letter.
Every bill has its own serial number that relates to when it was printed and ensures that people can’t copy it to try to make their own bills.
Those eight digits are what you need to check when you look for these special types of serial numbers:
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What is a Star Note?
Let’s start with the star note because these can potentially hold the most value, but many people don’t even know they own them.
A star note will have a star at the end of the serial number rather than another letter like most bills have.
These are also known as replacement banknotes because it’s been issued to replace another bill with some kind of fault, like a messed up printing job.
The serial number will be different from the original.
Printing star notes helps to make sure the right number of bills gets printed during each production process and helps the government keep track of everything.
These notes aren’t always worth more than regular notes, but they can be, simply because they’re rarer to find.
To be worth the most, star notes must be in excellent condition (which is true of most bills).
They’re also usually worth more if they are part of an older printing series.
Low Serial Numbers
Low serial numbers indicate that their bills were some of the first ones printed in a batch, which can be a pretty cool collector’s item.
Look for serial numbers like 00000100 or lower.
If you’re lucky enough to get the very first one in a production series (00000001), you might be able to sell your bill for $10,000 or more!
High Serial Numbers
High serial numbers are also popular because there are fewer of them to go around.
Not every production series goes up to super high numbers, like 99999900, so if you happen to have one, hang onto it.
Like low serial numbers, these are fun to collect because they indicate a special part in a production series that not everyone gets to have their hands on.
Saying you have one of the very first or last bills in a series can be a pretty cool bragging right, if nothing else.
Doubles refer to serial numbers that have a pair of numbers.
For example, 43992105 would be a double, because the 9’s appear next to each other.
There’s no rhyme or reason for these serial numbers holding more value, other than they’re rarer than non-double numbers.
And, if someone loves the number 9 and consider it “lucky,” they might be more willing to pay a good price for the bill.
Quad doubles are a little different and are much rarer than doubles.
These serial numbers will have four sets of doubles in them (you can also have triple doubles or double-doubles, but they’re not as coveted).
A quad double would look like this: 33881144.
As you can see, it would be a rare occurrence to get a serial number like that, so if you do, make sure you hold onto it!
No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.
This sounds similar to quad doubles, but double quads are a different type of rarity when it comes to serial numbers on bills.
For a serial number to have quad doubles, it would need to have two sets of the same four numbers, like 33330000.
If your bill has a serial number that only contains two numbers, like 62262662, then you’ve got a binary bill on your hands.
Again, there’s nothing really special about these other than they have a rare serial setup.
You might get lucky and find a buyer who really loves those two numbers (maybe they hold a special significance to the buyer) and is willing to pay top dollar for it.
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Trinaries, then, are bills that have serial numbers that only use the same three numbers, like 93911399, which uses the digits 9, 3, and 1.
These don’t usually go for as high as other rarer types of notes, but you can still find $1 trinary bills on eBay for $10 or more.
It’s possible that you have more than one bill from the same series (although it’s highly unlikely).
Look at your serial numbers and see if there are any consecutive numbers, like 41792015 and 41792016.
If so, you’ve got consecutive bills in a series that could be worth a lot more than one of them by themselves (your serial numbers don’t have to be rare, just consecutive, to make this happen).
Repeaters are numbers that consist of only repeating numbers, like 73273273.
They don’t go for much compared to some other rarities, but they’re still usually worth more than face value.
A super repeater, on the other hand, can give you a whole lot of money in exchange for your bill.
This type of serial number is a two-digit repetition, like 10101010.
These can go for a lot of money!
On eBay, for example, there are some listings for $1 super repeaters that have bids like $125, $140, $175, and $90, just to give you an idea of what they might go for.
Making $100 on a $1 bill sounds like a good deal, right?
Like the name suggests, a solid would have a serial number made up entirely of the same number, like 22222222.
This is incredibly rare, so it won’t be uncommon to expect getting at least a few hundred dollars from selling a solid note.
Near-solids, on the other hand, have just one number out of place that keeps them from being a solid, like 22522222.
They’re not quite as rare, but they’re so close to perfection that some collectors will be quick to snatch them up anyway.
Rotators are also known as flippers because you can read their numbers with the bill flipped upside down and they’d still look like a real number.
A good example of this is 60900669.
Flipped upside down, the 0 would look the same and the 6’s and 9’s would look like each other, so it looks just like a regular serial number.
Rotators can only work with the numbers 0, 6, 9, and 8, which is what makes them rarities.
A ladder in terms of bills is when a serial number’s digits go up or down in order, like 23456789 or 98765432.
Then, there’s a near ladder where one digit might be off, like 12634567.
There are also mini ladders, where there’s a short ladder within the serial number, like 14567814.
Although regular ladders typically go for the most money, the other ladders may still be worth more than their face value.
Bills with serial numbers that have the same digits on each end are referred to as bookends.
There must be either two or three of the same digits, like 52104752 or 52104521.
Seven in a Row
Seven in a row bills have seven of the same numbers in a row, with only one number in the beginning or at the end out of place.
For example, 44444449 and 94444444 would both be seven in a row bills.
Birthdays and Special Dates
You’ll never know if your serial numbers spell out a date that has significance to someone in their personal life unless you try to sell it and the right buyer comes along.
But people will pay money for bills with digits that are special to them!
For example, a bill might include an anniversary date, birth date, or a graduation date contained within its serial number.
Other collectors might look for bills that include dates of important events, like the turn of the new century, which can be found in a serial number like 01012000.
Other date-related bills can also hold a lot of value, like those that have a specific year of importance to someone.
The number 00019970 might be important to someone born, or who got married, in 1997, for example.
Combinations of Different Types
If your serial number has one type of rarity, that doesn’t always mean that’s all it has; it could have more than one!
Browse “rare bills” on eBay, and you’ll find that the ones selling for the most money have more than one rare characteristic.
For example, there’s a bill with the serial number 11233211, which is a star note, a radar, and a mini ladder!
That $20 bill is up for a starting bid of $100.
There’s also a $2 bill (which is already rare to start!) on eBay that’s selling for $60 because it’s both a radar and trinary note.
Really pay attention to those numbers you have when looking through your bills.
The more rarities you can spot in your serial numbers, the better your chances of selling them for the highest rates.
Selling Your Rare and Collectible Bills
Okay, so you’ve checked your bills and found some that might be worth something.
What do you do with them?
One of the first places you might go is eBay.
Check for rare bills there and you’ll see plenty of listings for bills with all sorts of serial numbers and combinations of rarities.
eBay is good, too, because you can see what bills similar to yours are selling for to get an idea of how much you might make.
You can also go straight to one of the best resources for bill collectors, CoolSerialNumbers.com.
This site offers a full list of its most wanted serial numbers, so you can see if you have anything the buyers want.
If so, contact them using the email noted on the site.
You can also have the experts behind the site appraise your note’s value if you’re not sure if you have something worth a decent price.
Finally, you can try to sell your notes locally, too.
Try places like pawn shops, antique and collectible stores, or flea markets.
You can also list your bills on Craigslist but be sure to have pictures of your serial numbers to post on the site.
Check Your Wallet for Valuable Bills!
See why it’s worth your time to check your bills before you spend them?
A simple $1 or $5 bill could absolutely make you money – perhaps, much more than it’s actually worth at face value.
Have you successfully sold any of your bills with rare serial numbers?
Tell us about it below!
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