Federal Reserve Notes

First authorized in 1913, Federal Reserve Notes are the only form of currently issued U.S. paper currency. The first two (large-size) series were dated 1914 and 1918. The Series of 1914 occurs in both red and blue seal varieties. The red seals, produced with imported red ink that became unavailable during the First World War, are much scarcer than blue seals. Series of 1914 denominations include $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Series 1918 denominations are $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000. All 1918’s are rare.

Small size Federal Reserve Notes were issued beginning with the Series of 1928, and have been produced, usually in enormous quantities, ever since. The Series of 1928 notes state that they are payable in gold, while later notes remove this provision entirely. Until the late 1940’s, $500, $1000, $5000, and even $10,000 Federal Reserve Notes were produced. All of these are still legal tender, but all are worth a premium over their face value. 


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