How Much Are Old Five Dollar Bills Worth?

How Much Are Old Five Dollar Bills Worth?

First let’s get the biggest misconception out of the way.  The idea that the older a five dollar bill is the more valuable it will be is simply false.  Age really is just a number when it comes to paper money.  There are some $5 bills from 1953 that are worth more than $5 bills from 1853.  When trying to value any five dollar bill you need to focus mostly on rarity, condition, and serial numbers.  Read below for more information about values and pricing.

Rarity – The rarity of a five dollar bill cannot be determined by doing a google search.  You really need to get a dealer or expert involved to tell you how rare a bill is.  Rarity is a function of number known to exist and number printed.  Determining how rare your $5 bill is is the first step in finding its value.

Condition – Anyone involved with collectibles knows that condition is key.  There are some five dollar bills that might only be worth $7 in average condition.  However, if the same type of bill is in perfect condition it could be worth $700.  Condition is always important.  However, wild swings like the example above are mostly for common five dollar bills.  Things that are truly rare can be very valuable just based on rarity alone.

Serial Number – There are lots of $5 bill collectors who only collect what are known as fancy serial numbers.  So the serial number A00000071A might be important to someone born in 1971.  People also like serial number one notes and high serial numbers like 99999999.  For a serial number to command a premium, it has to be immediately obvious even to the casual observer why the number is important.

Provenance – This is a wildcard factor that can take anything from common to special.  The $5 bill that was in Abraham Lincoln’s pocket when he was assassinated is extremely valuable and the value has nothing to do with rarity, condition, or serial number.  It is important purely as a historical item.  Do remember that provenance really only matters when dealing with lower end items.  Some five dollar bills are already worth thousands of dollars.  If a rare 1886 $5 bill in perfect condition is worth $10,000, the fact that it was from the estate of a Hollywood actor probably won’t add much extra value.

Popularity – There are some five dollar bills that don’t necessarily follow the guidelines above.  People just like them and they might be willing to spend money on them even if they are common and ugly.

If you have questions about the exact value of your five dollar bill then send us scans or digital photos of it.  We would be happy to share our opinion about its value.