All the Info on the $500 Bill (Yes, It’s Real)

Does a $500 dollar bill really exist?

The US currency system has gone through many changes over the years especially paper money. These changes in the paper money were made due to many reasons. One of those reasons is to overcome the sophistication of thieves.

The other reasons include the lack of demands and the rising costs. Due to these changes, there were many denominations of the paper currency which also includes the 500 dollar bill.

The US treasury stopped printing this builds many years ago but the $500 bill did not lose it’s worth even today. What is not merely a piece of paper but holds a lot of value and worth.

You’re right to be skeptical. A bill with that high of a denomination sounds crazy.

It’s almost inconceivable to picture carrying one piece of paper that can buy you 500 items from the dollar menu?

Is there a $500 dollar bill?

Yes, there is a $500 dollar bill and it’s completely real.

500 dollar bill

Though the bill as been uncirculated since 1945, it’s still legal tender. If you had one, you could use it to buy your groceries. But I wouldn’t recommend it. The actual value of a $500 bill is much larger than the face value of the bill. Which is common when it comes to large bills since they are rare bills.

The first federal reserve note worth $500 was printed in 1918. The next series of bills were printed between 1928 and 1934.

The History of $500 Bill

The province of North Carolina issued the very first $500 note in May of 1780. After one year Virginia followed it by creating a $500 note of its own.
During the civil war and the war of 1812, these high denomination notes were issued as the confederate currency. Later the issuance of these 500 dollar notes was authorized by Congress.

This was the period of the federal banknote which begin in 1860. The federal reserve note issued the last $500 bill in 1934. On the front of this $500 note, there was the picture of President William Mckinley.

The federal reserve system officially discontinued the high denomination bills which also includes the $500 bill in July of 1969. It was done because these bills got out of circulation.

However, these bills are still considered legal tender. As it is a collector’s item, so, if you have a 500 dollar bill then it is better for you to sell it to a collector then to make a purchase from these bills.

Who is on the $500 dollar bill?

William McKinley is the president of the $500 dollar bill.

But, as I mentioned, there are two series of five hundred dollar notes. John James Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States, is on the 1918 series of the $500 dollar bill. William McKinley is on the 1928-1934 series.

$500 Bill Series 1918 Blue Seal

The front of this series bill is adorned by the face of John James Marshall. He was the Chief Justice from 1801 to 1835. This makes him the longest-serving Chief Justice. Fun fact: he was also classmates with the future president James Monroe.

The backside of the bill depicts an image of de Soto discovering the Mississippi.

picture of $500 dollar bill with John Marshall

$500 Bill Series 1928-1934 Green Seal

This series of the bill actually depicts a president. The 25th president of the United States, William McKinley is on the $500 dollar bill.

The backside of the bill depicts “500 hundred dollars” as shown below:

Picture of $500 dollar bill with President William McKinley

Can I still get a five hundred dollar bill from the bank?

Though the $500 dollar bill is still considered legal tender, you won’t get one at the bank. Since 1969, the $500 bill has been officially discontinued according to the Federal Reserve high-denomination bills. This included the $500 dollar bill, the $1,000 dollar bill, the $5,000 dollar bill, and the $10,000 dollar bill.

Whenever a bank receives one of those bills, they’re instructed to send it in for destruction. Of course, if you bring a $500 dollar bill to the bank to deposit, they’ll honor the value but you’ll lose the bill.

Why did they stop making these bills?

Initially designed to ensure faster high-denomination transactions between banks and account holders, the Federal Government developed the $500 bill (along with other high denomination bills).

However, these have fallen out of circulation and are no longer printed due to low levels of use, and the ease of counterfeiting increasing with time.

What is a $500 dollar bill worth?

As the $500 bill is a collector’s item. The worth of any collector’s item is determined by the number of factors.
These factors include the condition of the item and its rarity. So, the worth of a $500 bill is determined by the same factors. The most commonly used $500 bill is that which was issued in 1934 having the picture of McKinley.

At that time over 900,000 of these notes were printed. Out of those 900,000, it is believed that 75,000 of those notes are still in circulation today and are available to the collectors.

These bills are worth between $600 to $1500. Their average worth can be 40% premium to the face of bill value.

500 dollar bill

However, they can be of much more worth. The $500 bill that was issued in 1928 has the most value and worth. This five hundred dollar bill has the star symbol at the end of the eight digits a serial number of the note.

This star symbol boost it’s worth. It has more worth just because of its rarity. It’s worth is more than $10,000.
You should not use it to buy your groceries or something like that, as the worth of this bill is far more than its face value.

Because of the rarity of a $500 dollar bill, its real value is much greater than its face value.

The value of a collector’s item is really whatever a collector is willing to pay for it. A bill in good condition is worth more than one in bad condition.

The 1934 $500 dollar bill that depicts William McKinley is the most common series, which means it has the least value. Even still, these bills are worth between $600 and $1,500 depending on their condition.

The rarer, 1918 $500 dollar bill is worth considerably more – between $5000 and $10,000 depending on condition.

Where can I buy a $500 dollar bill?

Unfortunately, you won’t probably find a “$500 dollar bill for sale” sign at your local pawn shop.

If you’re looking to buy one of these five hundred dollar bills your best bet is to contact several online dealers to see if they have any for sale.

You can also try looking on eBay. However, it’s definitely riskier to buy a $500 dollar bill from eBay than a trusted and certified dealer.

In a Nutshell

While not as rare as higher-tier bills, the $500 bill is still 100% legal U.S. government tender.

If you’re able to locate a rare/older series of the $500 bill, its value may be 20x its actual denomination.

While these bills were made to create faster, more accurate transactions between banks and customers, they were rarely used and eventually fell out of circulation and production.

These aren’t the only high tier bills..

There’s a $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and even a $100,000 bill—to know more about those, check out our other guides on quite literal old money.


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One Comment on “All the Info on the $500 Bill (Yes, It’s Real)”

  1. I know that they are real because my mother got one while working in a bank back in the early 80’s call my dad and asked him if he wanted it. Put 500 in and took the bill home. Still have.

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