Virtually every day, for the past 3 decades, I've received at least one email that says "I have a <insert description of bank note here> , what is it worth?" Or, "I have a <whatever> I would like to sell, what will you give me for it?"
To put it simply, it is IMPOSSIBLE to accurately determine the value of a banknote without seeing it. And I mean PHYSICALLY seeing it, not a copy or a scan or a fax. Just because something is old, doesn't mean that its valuable. Did you know that a 1966 $100 bill is typically worth FAR more than a 1934 $100 bill? Age is just one factor in determining a bank note's value, there are many others. For example, a single, barely detectable, light fold in what otherwise appears to be a crisp uncirculated note can cut its value by half or more. Condition, age, rarity, color, all sorts of factors determine the value and desirability of bank notes.
"I have a bill issued by the Bank of the United States in 1860, serial number 8894 ...."
No, you don't. What you have is a novelty item, a valueless reproduction. This single item has caused more grief and dashed hopes in the wonderful world of collectible currency than anything else. THOUSANDS of these notes were printed as promotional items in the early 1960s . They have absolutely no value.
"I have a million dollar bill ..."
The United States government started printing paper currency in 1862. The highest denomination EVER printed for circulation was $10,000 . If you have something with a denomination higher than that, you have a fantasy note, a novelty item.
SELLING CURRENCY TO US:
We don't buy currency sight-unseen. Uspapermoney.com is the oldest currency site on the web, having gone online in 1995. As a result of our longevity and high profile, we are frequently targeted by scam artists who think they can rip us off by simply sending us a picture of a bank note and saying "I have this for sale, send me $200". Suuuuuuuure. If you have something you'd like to sell, send it to us. We will appraise it, and email you an offer. If our offer is acceptable, we'll send you a check. If not, we'll send your note back. Now, I know what you're thinking ... "I don't know you, why would I take the chance of sending you my bank note through the mail??" Fair enough. Like I said, we are the oldest site on the web servicing collectors of rare US currency. Many sites have come and gone, and we're in our 18th year, and have cultivated THOUSANDS of customers over the years. We would not be in business today if we made a habit of stealing from people.
With that in mind, its very important that you contact us FIRST before you send anything to us in the mail. We've being saying this for years, but some people still do it. For example, a well-circulated 1957 $1 silver certificate is worth about $1.10 . It is pointless to spend nearly 50 cents on a stamp to mail us something worth 10 cents over face value. ALWAYS email us first and tell us what you have so we can determine if its worth looking at. On the other side of the coin, in 2001, someone sent us four beautiful, crisp uncirculated 1934 $500 bills in the mail, uninsured, unregistered, and unsolicited. Just two stamps on the envelope. While we were happy to buy those notes from the customer, they took an enormous risk sending something like that through the mail improperly. We will tell you how to ship notes to us so that they arrive safely, with documentation, and protection against loss, theft, or damage.