A rare $10,000 bill from the Great Depression era recently sold for a record-breaking $480,000 at auction. This exceptional bill offers a glimpse into a fascinating chapter of American monetary history, when large-denomination notes played a significant role in the financial landscape.

What makes this bill so special?

First and foremost, it features the portrait of Salmon P. Chase, who served as President Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury. This unique design element sets it apart from the standard portraits of presidents that adorn most of our currency today.

Additionally, the bill is in exceptional condition, having been certified by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) and graded Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ). This further enhances its value and appeal to collectors.

But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this bill is its rarity. The $10,000 bill was the highest denomination note to ever publicly circulate in the United States. It was primarily used for large transactions, such as real estate purchases and business deals.

A fascinating history:

The $10,000 bill was first issued in 1865, during the Civil War. It was intended to be used primarily for government transactions, but it eventually became more widely circulated. In the early 1900s, the $10,000 bill was used by wealthy individuals and businesses to transport large sums of money.

However, the Great Depression led to a decline in the use of large-denomination notes. People were more likely to hoard cash during this time, and banks were reluctant to lend large amounts of money. As a result, the $10,000 bill was discontinued in 1969.

A collector’s prize:

Today, the $10,000 bill is a highly sought-after collector’s item. Its rarity, historical significance, and unique design make it a valuable addition to any collection.

The recent auction of a $10,000 bill for $480,000 is a testament to the enduring allure of these exceptional notes. It is also a reminder of the fascinating history of American currency, and the role that large-denomination notes have played in our financial landscape.


The $10,000 bill is a unique and fascinating piece of American history. Its record-breaking sale at auction is a testament to its value and appeal to collectors. This exceptional note offers a glimpse into a different era, when large-denomination notes played a significant role in the financial landscape.