JPMorgan Chase & Co. took no chances when it discovered it had a Series 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note at a branch in Green Bay, Wis.
It used an armored truck to transport the bill to its corporate office in New York City, where it will be stored in the company?s archives.
The large bill, issued from Chicago, was discovered in a bank customer?s safety deposit box after the owner died 20 years ago. The woman?s family exchanged the note at face value at that time and the bank stored the bill in a plastic sleeve for protection. Now, 20 years later, the bill is worth between $50,000-$85,000.
JPMorgan Chase merged with Bank One last year and during auditing, it was realized that the company archives did not have a $10,000 bill with Salmon P. Chase on it, who the Chase bank was named after. He was a U.S. senator who served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln.
?He came up with the idea of a dual state and federal chartered commercial banking system,? said Calmetta Cole-man, senior communications manager for Chase.
She said the safety deposit box contained 15 large bills in all, including 11 $1,000 notes and three $500 bills, but officials 20 years ago knew the $10,000 was special. She said all remaining $10,000 bills are in private collections. The government stopped printing bills larger than $100 in 1945 and hasn?t circulated them since 1969.
Marc Michaelsen, a paper money dealer based in Boca Raton, Fla., said government figures he has seen show that there are 334 unredeemed $10,000s. Of those, dealers have recorded about 200.
Coleman said while the Chase archives are currently available only to employees, there is discussion about starting a money museum.