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October 02, 2021

Some new U.S. $100 bills could be worth a lot

If you pick up the new $100 U.S. bill going into circulation on October 8, you might want to keep it in pristine condition and check the serial number. It could be worth a lot more than you think.

Coin collectors are stoked about the new bills going into circulation since it means that the serial numbers are reset to single digits. 

The number one note could be sold for as much as $10,000 to $20,000 in mint condition, an independent dealer told NBC. Any bills with low-serial numbers, such as 0000002, will bring in the most money.

But don't fret if you can't get your hands on the first few bills. If you have a bill with a certain serial number combination, such as eight of the same digit, otherwise known as "solids" in the dealer world, they could be worth about $3,000. You should also be on the lookout for serial numbers with the first four numbers mirroring the last four numbers, known as "radars," or serial numbers in sequential order, known as "ladders".

If you're a coin collector, you'll be glad to know that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing won't be affected by the government shutdown. The Federal Reserve, which circulates the bills, won't be affected either since it gets its funding from another source.

It's interesting that the United States decided to stick with the paper bill route compared to plastic banknotes, which countries such as Canada and England have switched to. It looks like the new bill will be more colourful than the old green Benjamins with a blue ribbon and copper-coloured bell serving a new security features.

The release has been a long time coming with the original circulation date set back in 2011. But it's not as if Canada's recently circulated notes went all that smoothly either.

While these new bills are sure to be worth more than their value, who knows, maybe the older bills will rise in value too. They will be one-of-a-kind.

Did you keep any of the older Canadian banknotes with hopes that they'll be worth more later?

Josephine Lim, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...