Paper Money Value by Serial Numbers: Determine Your Money’s Worth


Pull any bill out of your wallet. See the dark green numbers on the top-left and top-right corners? They could mean your bill is worth much more than its face value.

If a serial number’s digits are unique or interesting, collectors might be willing to pay big bucks — hundreds or even thousands of dollars — for your bill. You’ll make the most profit off a $1 bill with a fancy serial number, since its face value is lower than, say, a $20 bill, but it’s worth scrutinizing all your cash. Who knows what your $100 bill could actually be worth?

Knowing what your paper money might be worth is all in the serial number.

What Are Serial Numbers?

Serial numbers are eight-digit-long codes that are unique to each bill. They are accompanied by other identifying letters and numbers that tell us which series year the bill is from and where it was printed. They are found on the front of US currency and are always printed twice.

Series Year

On bills worth $5 and up, each serial number begins with a letter, which tells us the series year of the bill. The years are represented by letters AP as follows:

  • A: 1996
  • B: 1999
  • C: 2001
  • D: 2003
  • E: 2004
  • F: 2003A
  • G: 2004A
  • H: 2006
  • I: 2006
  • J: 2009
  • K: 2006A
  • L: 2009A
  • M: 2013
  • N: 2017
  • P: 2017A

The series year is also printed separately on the currency, in between the portrait of the historical figure (such as Lincoln on the $5 bill) and the Secretary of the Treasury’s signature in the bottom right part of the bill. You can check on a bill you have at home to see how these match up.

On dollar bills (and $2 bills), the series year only appears in the bottom right quadrant.

US Federal Reserve Bank Identifier

Additionally, each serial number has a letter and number that shows us where the currency was printed. The US Federal Reserve has 12 banks, and each bank has a letter and number combination associated with it. The identifiers are as follows:

  • A1: Boston
  • B2: New York City
  • C3: Philadelphia
  • D4: Cleveland
  • E5:…



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