The $1000 bill is one of the highest denomination banknotes ever issued by the United States. Known for their rarity and collectability, the $1000 bill was last printed in 1945. Since then, this high-value banknote has been out of circulation. Let’s take a look at the history and key facts around the $1000 bill to understand when it was last printed and why it is no longer issued.
When Was the $1000 Bill Last Printed?
The $1000 bill was last printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1945. This banknote features a portrait of Grover Cleveland on the front and an ornate design on the back. The $1000 bill was issued as a result of the Great Depression, when many people hoarded gold and cash. The high-denomination banknote made it easier for banks to transport large sums of money.
Prior to 1945, the $1000 bill was printed at various points starting from the Civil War era in the 1860s. However, there were gaps in between when the $1000 bill was not printed for decades at a time. The last time $1000 bills were regularly printed was from 1928 to 1945, a total of 17 years. In this duration, over 400 million $1000 bills were issued.
After World War II ended, the $1000 bill was no longer needed for large bank transactions. In 1969, the Federal Reserve decided to stop issuing the $1000 note due to lack of use. Existing $1000 bills remained legal tender but were quickly removed from circulation by banks.
- 1863 – First $1000 bill issued by the U.S. Treasury
- 1869 – $1000 bill stops being printed
- 1900 – $1000 bill issued again as gold certificates
- 1928 – Regular printing of $1000 bill resumes
- 1945 – Last $1000 bills are printed, about 468 million in total
- 1969 – Federal Reserve stops issuing $1000 bills
Why Was the $1000 Bill Discontinued?
There are a few reasons why the U.S. government discontinued the $1000 bill and has not brought it back into circulation:
- Lack of commercial demand – By the mid-20th century, $1000 notes were not heavily used for routine financial transactions. Higher denomination notes were primarily used for bank transfers, which could be facilitated through electronic systems.
- Illicit activities – Large bills like the $1000 note facilitated money laundering, tax evasion, and other criminal activities. Discontinuing them helped curb these issues.
- Cost of production – It was not economical for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to continue dedicating resources to print low-demand $1000 bills.
The potential disadvantages of reintroducing $1000 bills also outweighed any advantages. The Federal Reserve received little public outcry when the note was removed in 1969. For all of these reasons, the $1000 bill has not been printed again since 1945.
How Many $1000 Bills Are Left?
The $1000 bill is now quite rare, as most of the notes in circulation were eventually redeemed or destroyed. However, the Treasury Department estimates there are still around 165 million $1000 bills in existence.
Many of these high-value banknotes are held by coin and currency collectors or dealers. Some $1000 bills also remain in bank vault collections and museums. A small number may still be in the hands of criminals and smugglers attracted by the anonymity and untraceability of cash.
According to the Federal Reserve, there were 468,000,000 $1000 bills printed between 1928 to 1945. So most of the original supply has been taken out of circulation, and only about a third remain. Their rarity makes existing $1000 bills highly valuable to collectors and dealers today.
Estimated $1000 Bills Left in Circulation
|Total $1000 Bills Printed||468,000,000|
|Estimated Bills Remaining||165,000,000|
Value of a $1000 Bill Today
The $1000 bill may no longer be in circulation, but it still carries financial value for anyone holding one today. In pristine condition, a $1000 bill is worth at least $1500 to collectors and dealers. However, the value can be significantly higher depending on factors like condition, printing year, and serial number uniqueness.
Here are some examples of how much a $1000 bill can be worth:
- Circulated $1000 bill in very fine condition – $1,500 to $2,000
- Uncirculated $1000 bill – $3,000 to $7,000
- Star notes, interesting serial numbers, or misprints – $10,000+
The most valuable $1000 bills can fetch over $20,000 at auction. In 2014, a rare 1934 series $1000 bill sold for $30,000. However, the average used $1000 bill typically sells for around $2000 to $3000.
So if you come across an old $1000 bill in a family inheritance or hidden away somewhere, don’t throw it away! Be sure to get it appraised and sell to an interested collector or dealer. It’s worth far more than just the $1000 face value today.
Estimated Value of a $1000 Bill in Good Condition
|Circulated/Very Fine||$1500 – $2000|
|Uncirculated||$3000 – $7000|
The $1000 bill holds an interesting place in American financial history. First printed during the Civil War, it was last produced in 1945 and officially discontinued in 1969. About 165 million $1000 bills remain in existence today and can be valuable collector’s items worth thousands of dollars. While we are unlikely to see this high-denomination banknote return to circulation, it remains a unique artifact of a bygone era in currency and banking.