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1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note sells at auction for $480K

A rare Depression-era $10,000 note set a new record at a Dallas auction house, selling for $480,000. (Provided Photo/Heritage Auctions)

DALLAS (WISH) — A rare Depression-era $10,000 note recently set a new record at a Dallas auction house, selling for $480,000.

The note is from 1934 and was never circulated. Auction house Heritage Auctions described the note as a Boston $10,000 bill.

The paper currency features the face of President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase. It, along with currency notes in denominations of $500, $1,000, and $5,000 were discontinued by the Department of the Treasury in 1969 due to lack of use. 

The note received a coveted 64 EPQ modifier from PMG, a currency-review entity that operates on a “70-point numerical scale derived from the internationally recognized Sheldon grading scale.”

A bill with 64 points is considered “choice uncirculated.” According to PMG, a 64 rating means that “the centering is off on one or two sides. Some handling may be evident but there must be no folds in the design.”

The auction house says PMG has graded 18 other Fr. #2231-A examples and “has graded only two equal and none higher.”

The last time this type of bill was up for auction was January 2005 when it appeared in Heritage Auction Currency’s FUN auction.

“The $10,000 trails only the $100,000 gold certificate issued in 1934, and…this example is tied for the highest-graded,” Dustin Johnston, vice president of currency at Heritage Auctions, said in a press release Monday.

Heritage Auctions noted in the listing that a Fr.# 2231-G note sold for $300,000 in May 2022 in the Central States auction — the auction house predicted this rare $10,000 would break that ceiling. It did so by reaching more than 40x its face value.

“Large-denomination notes always have drawn the interest of collectors of all levels,” Johnston said.

The $10,000 note was part of a larger currency sale — in total, Heritage Auctions says the sale brought in a total of $15.5 million — $8.2 million for coins and US$7.3 million for currency.

Heritage Auctions posted a video on Instagram going over the 10 banknotes, detailing what made each of them unique and valuable.