Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by kanga, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Questions pop up not infrequently about whether a serial number deserves a premium.
    Here is a general guide to the answer:


    Information condensed from:

    "An Official Whitman Guidebook"

    Collector’s Guide to Modern Federal Reserve Notes / Series 1963-2009

    By Robert Azpiazu


    General Comments

    Quoted values are for Choice Crisp Uncirculated (CHCU)

    Higher face values sometimes get a higher premium BUT not in proportion to face values. A $100 face note does NOT get 100 times the premium of a $1 face note. The factor is more on the order of 2 times.

    Special exceptions have a significantly higher value.

    Low Numbers - The lower, the better.

    Single-digit numbers

    00000001 through 00000009

    Value Range - $500 to $1,500 depending on face value (with a few special exceptions)

    Two-digit numbers

    00000010 through 00000099

    Value Range - $200 - $300 depending on face value

    Three-digit numbers

    Value Range - no significant premium

    Solid Serial Numbers

    All have a significant premium.

    11111111 to 99999999

    Value Range - $1,500 - $4,000 depending on face value (999999999 is a special exception)


    Full Ladder – Eight numbers in order (no skips)

    01234567, 12345678, 23456789

    98765432, 87654321, 76543210

    Value Range - $1,000 - $3,000 depending on face value (98765432 is a special exception)

    Partial Ladder

    00123456, 00012345, 00002345, … ,00000123, 00000012

    65432100, 54321000, 43210000, … ,32100000, 21000000

    Value Range – no significant premium

    10 Million Notes

    10000000, 20000000, … ,80000000, 90000000

    Value Range – $2,500 to $6,000

    Radars – Numbers read the same forward and backward

    15677651 – four-digit radar

    97722779 – three-digit radar

    11888811 – two-digit radar

    25522552 – radar repeater

    12344321 – radar ladder

    10000001 – super radar

    Value Range – 3- & 4-digit radar $8-10

    Value Range – 2-digit radar $20-30

    Value Range – Super radar $85-100

    Repeaters – Notes with repeating digits

    15671567 – four-digit repeater

    34453445 – three-digit repeater

    77887788 – two-digit repeater

    01010101 – super repeater

    Value Range – 3- & 4-digit repeater $8-10

    Value Range – 2-digit repeater $20-30

    Value Range – Super repeater $85-100
    MEC2, paddyman98, kaparthy and 7 others like this.
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  3. harrync

    harrync Active Member

    I have seen three digit numbers go for a premium on eBay - usually not much, maybe a few dollars over face, but sometimes more. Same comment applies to some partial ladders.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  4. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Again, it will depend on if the underlying note has other rare traits.

    A 3-digit SN on a Hawaii or North Africa or $5,000 bill note is going to command a big premium as opposed to on a recent $1 or $5 or $10 bill from 2010 onward.

    But I generally agree with most of the Rules posted above by Kanga. But it always depends on what note you are starting out with.
    deadmancoins and harrync like this.
  5. Legomaster1

    Legomaster1 Cointalk Patron

    Condition is also a large part of determining value. It all depends on the individual note, but, your guide mostly covers the rarest banknote serial numbers.
    deadmancoins and GoldFinger1969 like this.
  6. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, condition is probably the #2 factor behind the specifics of the bill itself like a $1,000 bill or a dated Hawaii or North Africa or Black Eagle bill.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Nice post @kanga. Thanks for the info.
    Chuck_A and GoldFinger1969 like this.
  8. harrync

    harrync Active Member

    I would add that on national banknotes [especially small size banknotes] three or even two digit numbers generally add no value. Some scarcer banks issued less than a thousand sheets, so all the notes would be three digits or less! Of course, number one notes still command a big premium, and other single digits might have some premium.
  9. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Always Learning

    Great information @kanga , thanks for sharing.

    Bob’s guide is a wonderful source for insider information as well as for ballpark estimates on values. I hope he gets a chance to update the guide, it’s one of my favorites.

    Chuck_A likes this.
  10. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Makes sense...when we talk about sub-100 and sub-1000 (even sub-10,000) serial numbers, we assume millions or tens of millions of notes printed.
  11. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Even if this note was considered rare, it would demand "ZERO PREMIUM"
    condition should always be considered first and foremost.

    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  12. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Always Learning

    @mpcusa, a Web Star would command a premium in that condition.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  13. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    I'll give you $125 for that....that's my highest offer. :D
    harrync likes this.
  14. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Last year at the Baltimore Whitman Show I talked to someone who was supposedly working with Bob on an update.
    If I remember I'll ask again at the Baltimore Whitman Show in March.
    SteveInTampa and GoldFinger1969 like this.
  15. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Will that be check or money order...LOL
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  16. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    I've seen or bought or bid on all of those other unique variety of serial numbers, but I have never seen the 10 Million umberical increment (or even 1 Million with a 0 preceeding it).
  17. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    I have been collecting $1 notes and writing Excel spreadsheets to look for squares, cubes, and other special sequences. It so happens that Pi 31415926 is special. e should be as well 27182818. And there's Planck's constant, Avagadro's number, and much more... No one seems to care. But, about 100 years ago, no one cared about Mintmarks.
  18. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Like the 10,000,000 (and even 1,000,000) numbers, I have never seen a bill advertised with those features.

    I do agree that a bill with Pi would be kinda cool.:D
  19. MEC2

    MEC2 Enormous Member

    Someone pin the $#!+ out of this thread... should be stop number one for questions about serial number value...
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  21. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Mint marks and errors once had no value. Not too long ago, "first strike" and "early strike" meant nothing special in the market. Once upon a time, there were five grades of coin with "Uncirculated" being the top. Zero through 70 was just the relative dollar value of Early American Copper according to the kleptomaniac psychologist William Sheldon.

    Besides, who says what value anything has? Which price guide do you follow? One of my dealer friends has a stock answer for people who wave price guides at him. "You want that price, go to them. This one costs [so much]. (Or: "I am offering [this much].") Of course, people who publish price guides are not really offering those prices buy/sell, but just reporting what other people told them they once bought or sold for.
    Hookman and GoldFinger1969 like this.
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