Shaz B. writes: I’ve recently came across an old $100.00 bill. It is from 1929 and has on it a rust colored US seal and numbers. It was questioned by my local bank and sent to a state crime lab. It came back as a valid bill but the police told me it was worth more than its face value. It has written on the front of it “The Federal Reserve Bank of CHICAGO ILLINOIS”. I could scan you the bill to verify the information. I’m dying to know its value and any feedback you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
You have a National Bank Note. There used to be many different kinds of paper currency. Some was a receipt for debt (United States Notes also known as Legal Tender Notes or, in post 1928 small size, Red Seals), Silver (Silver certificates), gold (gold certificates), interest bearing notes such as Refunding Certificates or the modern, fiat, Federal Reserve Notes.
National Bank Notes were issued from 1863 to 1929 and were an outgrowth of the National Banking Act during the Civil War. It allowed chartered banks to issue their own money against bonds deposited with the Federal Government. The printing was done at what became known as the Bureau of Engraving in Washington, D.C. All the designs were the same but differed only in the name of the bank and its charter number. Only series 1929 Nationals were issued in small size.
There are two types. Type I shows the charter numbers in black, type II shows, in addition to the black charter numbers, a brown charter number next to the serial number at left. All 1929 Nationals have brown seals. (See: National Currency). The Federal Reserve issues are generally more common than the State bank issues. There were 384,000 of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago $100 National issued.
Market value depends on the grade (condition of the note). Range: face value to approximately $400 (uncirculated). Other factors that might increase the notes value to a collector: Fancy serial numbers, low serial numbers or a star next to the serial number (replacement note).
I’m always surprised that the place that knows the least about paper money is a bank. If a counterfeiter wanted to “slip one by” he certainly wouldn’t make the money look different.