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Two U.S. Notes Each Realize Over $100,000 at Auction

1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Chicago) graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated. Realized: $210,937. (Images courtesy of PMG)

1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Chicago) graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated. Realized: $210,937. (Images courtesy of PMG)

Two large-denomination U.S. Federal Reserve Notes, both from the Wimbledon Collection of U.S. Paper Money, have sold for over $100,000 each. They were offered by GreatCollections in bidding that ended August 14, 2022.

Realizing an impressive $210,937 was a 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Chicago) graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated. In addition to the standard portrait of James Madison, 4th President of the United States, this particular note has a low serial number, which collectors covet. The PMG Population Report lists only six examples of the 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note from Chicago and a mere 18 from all the Federal Reserve District Banks.

1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (New York) graded PMG 61 Uncirculated. Realized: $188,437.

1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (New York) graded PMG 61 Uncirculated. Realized: $188,437.

The other high denomination note offered was a 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (New York) graded PMG 61 Uncirculated, which realized $188,437. Notes of this eagerly sought denomination are a star in whatever auction they appear because this is the United States’ highest denomination to ever circulate. The portrait is of Salmon P. Chase, the 25th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the 6th Chief Justice of the United States.

Small Size Federal Reserve Notes were first released with the 1928 Series in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000. They were followed by the 1934 Series, which was the last for large-denomination notes: $500 through $10,000. The highest denominations were principally used for transactions between financial institutions.