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Is Old Paper Currency Valuable? Here’s How to Sell Paper Money

Collectible currency on display

We hear a lot of talk about coin collecting and the value of rare coins. But what about collecting currency, like old dollar bills and silver certificates? Is old currency valuable? And if so, what’s the best way to sell collectible currency?

Is Old Currency Valuable?

Yes, many types of old currency are valuable — but it depends on each item’s rarity, condition, and market conditions.

Some old US paper money may be worth around face value, or it may be worth much more. Foreign currency has even more variability, with some notes being essentially worthless, and others worth thousands.

So how do you tell how much your currency collection is worth?

Old US Currency is Worth At Least Face Value

The US Federal Reserve requires that all US currency made after 1914 remain “legal tender”. This means that if you have any old US currency bills, they’re still worth their face value, at a minimum. In other words, a $5 bill is still worth $5 – whether it was made in 1944 or 2024.

Keep in mind that local businesses won’t necessarily accept old bills, but banks will typically swap them out for newer ones (as long as they can verify their authenticity).

But before you swap your currency for cash, make sure you’re getting what your notes are worth!

How to Estimate the Value of Collectible Currency

If your old currency has collector value, it could be worth more than face value. Here are a few methods you can use to determine a note’s value.

1. Stop by Bellevue Rare Coins (or your local coin shop)

If you’re in the Seattle area, Bellevue Rare Coins is the best rare currency buyer. We have coin shops in Bellevue, Issaquah, Lynnwood and Tacoma. We can help evaluate your items and prepare a cash offer for them, if you wish to sell. Learn more about selling to Bellevue Rare Coins here.

If you live elsewhere, research local coin shops in your area. Many coin shops will also buy rare currency — just make sure to check reviews to ensure you’re working with a trusted company.

2. Use Rare Currency Price Guides

Several resources exist to provide estimated values of rare paper money. Examples include PMG World Paper Money Price Guide and the Greysheet Currency Price Guide.

You should take these values with a grain of salt, however. For one, it’s difficult to tell the condition of your paper money unless you are a very experienced collector. And two, the Grey Sheet price isn’t necessarily what someone will pay for your currency – but it’s a useful starting point.

3. Use eBay and Other Marketplaces

Many paper currency collectors buy and sell items on eBay, and to a lesser extent, Amazon. eBay is a particularly useful resource because you can browse items that have already sold — and see the prices that each item sold for.

Again, these values should be taken as rough guidelines, not exact values. Also, keep in mind that eBay will keep 10-15%+ of your sale price in eBay fees, and you’ll also need to pay for shipping.

We generally don’t recommend selling your currency on eBay, unless you’re an experienced eBay seller. However, it’s still useful as a guide to pricing.

4. Network with Other Collectors

If you are passionate about paper money collecting, it’s a good idea to find others who are interested in the same hobby! This can be done in person (for instance at Washington State coin clubs), or online (for instance at the Reddit Paper Money community)

Don’t Underestimate Your Collection!

You never know what treasures you have until you get them professionally evaluated. If you’re in the Seattle area, Bellevue Rare Coins is your trusted paper currency buyer. We pay the most for rare bank notes, old US and world currency, and so much more. Get in touch today to learn more!

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  • Bellevue


    321 Bellevue Way NE
    Bellevue, WA 98004
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-454-1283
  • Lynnwood


    18411 Alderwood Mall Parkway Suite F
    Lynnwood, WA 98037
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-672-2646
  • Issaquah


    1175 NW Gilman Blvd Suite B16
    Issaquah, WA 98027
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 425-392-0450
  • Tacoma


    2302 Pacific Ave
    Tacoma, WA 98402
    Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am - 6 pm
    Saturday & Sunday Closed
    Phone: 253-328-4014