A $10,000 Bill Sets $384,000 World Record at Heritage Auctions

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Bill is now world’s most valuable ‘small-size’ note

Fr. 2231-J $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ
Fr. 2231-J $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ

DALLAS, Texas (September 22, 2020) – A 1934 U.S. bank note set the world record for the most valuable type of its kind sold at auction when it brought $384,000 at Heritage Auctions. The $10,000 bill sets the ceiling on the most valuable “small size” piece of currency ever sold.

Fr. 2231-J $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ
Fr. 2231-J $10,000 1934 Federal Reserve Note. PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ

“This is easily the best of its kind I have ever seen,” said Dustin Johnston, Director of U.S. Currency at Heritage Auctions, which sold the note Friday evening, Sept. 18, as part of a five-day event. “This is the finest example ever offered of a perennial trophy note and we were pleased to offer it at auction.”

The note is one of just three $10,000 bills to survive in such remarkable condition, according to Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), which graded the note. It is one of just eight surviving 1934 Kansas City $10,000s, serial number 562 of only 1,200 examples originally printed. This was the smallest print run by any U.S. Mint district for this series.

In 1928, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing reduced the size of United States banknotes to the current “small size” of 156mm by 66mm, in order to save money on printing costs. This colorful note’s shocking face value of $10,000 makes it especially desirable among collectors. Notes of this denomination were printed only for exchange between banks. They were not put into circulation for the general public.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

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