Overview and history::Large denominations of United States currency


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Overview and history High-denomination currency (i.e., banknotes with a negotiable face value of $500 or higher)<ref>Friedberg & Friedberg, 2013, pp. 232–35.</ref> had been used in the United States since the late 18th century.<ref>Friedberg & Friedberg, 2013, p. 22.</ref> The first $500 note was issued by the Province of North Carolina, authorized by legislation dated May 10, 1780.<ref>Newman, 2008, p. 326.</ref> Virginia quickly followed suit and authorized the printing of $500 and $1,000 notes on October 16, 1780<ref>Newman, 2008, p. 454.</ref> and $2,000 notes on May 7, 1781.<ref>Newman, 2008, p. 455.</ref> High-denomination notes were also issued during the War of 1812 ($1,000 notes authorized by an act dated June 30, 1812),<ref>Friedberg & Friedberg, 2013, p. 32.</ref> as well as the American Civil War Confederate currency ($500 and $1,000).<ref>Fricke, 2014, p. 122 & 124.</ref> During the Federal banknote issuing period (1861 to present), the earliest high-denomination notes included three-year Interest-bearing notes of $500, $1,000, and $5,000, authorized by Congress on March 2, 1861.<ref>Friedberg & Friedberg, 2013, pp. 68–69.</ref> In total, 11 different types of U.S. currency were issued in high-denomination notes across nearly 20 different series dates. The obverse of United States banknotes generally depict either historical figures, allegorical figures symbolizing significant concepts (e.g., liberty, justice), or a combination of both. The reverse designs range from abstract scroll-work with ornate denomination identifiers to reproductions of historical art works.

Public versus institutional use

Series 1934 Gold certificates ($100, $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000) were issued after the gold standard was repealed and gold was compulsorily confiscated by order of President Franklin Roosevelt on March 9, 1933 (see United States Executive Order 6102). Thus the Series 1934 notes were used only for intra-government (i.e., Federal Reserve Bank) transactions and were not issued to the public. This series was discontinued in 1940. The Series 1928 Gold certificate reverse was printed in black and green. See History of the United States dollar.

Passive retirement

Although they are still technically legal tender in the United States, high-denomination bills were last printed on December 27, 1945, and officially discontinued on July 14, 1969, by the Federal Reserve System,<ref name = "Money Factory">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> supposedly due to 'lack of use'. The $5,000 and $10,000 effectively disappeared well before then.Unknown extension tag "ref"

The Federal Reserve began taking high-denomination bills out of circulation (destroying bills received by banks) in 1969, after an executive order by President Nixon. As of May 30, 2009, only 336 $10,000 bills were known to exist; 342 remaining $5,000 bills; and 165,372 remaining $1,000 bills.<ref name=slate>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} As to "cereal boxes" as a repository for ill-gotten bribes compare "Little Tin Box" in the musical Fiorello!.</ref> Due to their rarity, collectors often pay considerably more than the face value of the bills to acquire them. Some are even in museums in other parts of the world.

For the most part, these bills were used by banks and the Federal government for large financial transactions. This was especially true for gold certificates from 1865 to 1934. However, the introduction of an electronic money system has made large-scale cash transactions obsolete. When combined with concerns about counterfeiting and the use of cash in unlawful activities such as the illegal drug trade and money laundering, it is unlikely that the U.S. government will re-issue large denomination currency in the near future, despite the amount of inflation that has occurred since 1969 (a $500 bill is now worth less, in real terms, than a $100 bill was worth in 1969). According to the U.S. Department of Treasury website, "The present denominations of our currency in production are $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The purpose of the United States currency system is to serve the needs of the public and these denominations meet that goal. Neither the department of the treasury nor the Federal Reserve System has any plans to change the denominations in use today."<ref>our Treasury – FAQs: Denominations of Currency.</ref>

Large denominations of United States currency sections
Intro  Overview and history  High-denomination (HD) banknote issuing data  High denomination United States banknotes  See also  References  External links  

Overview and history
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