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Obsolete denominations of United States currency

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States has produced several coins and banknotes of its dollar which no longer circulate or have been disused. Many of these were removed for specific reasons such as inflation reducing their value, a lack of demand, or being too similar to another denomination.

Treasury Notes

The U.S. Dollar has numerous discontinued denominations, particularly high denomination bills, issued before and in 1934 in six denominations ranging from $500 to $100,000. Although still legal tender, most are in the hands of collectors and museums. The reverse designs featured abstract scroll-work with ornate denomination identifiers. With the exception of the $100,000 bill, these bills ceased production in the 1940s, and were recalled in 1969. Of these, the $100,000 was printed only as a Series 1934 gold certificate and was only used for internal government transactions. The United States also issued fractional currency for a brief time in the 1860s and 1870s, in several denominations each less than a dollar.

Denomination Obverse Reverse Portrait
3 cent note
George Washington
5 cent note
Thomas Jefferson
10 cent note
1874 United States Fractional Currency Ten Cent Note, Fifth Issue (obverse).jpg
1874 United States Fractional Currency Ten Cent Note, Fifth Issue (reverse).jpg
William M. Meredith
15 cent note
Bust of Columbia
25 cent note
Robert Walker
50 cent note
US 50 Cents note, 50cb-big.jpg
William Crawford
$500 bill
500 USD note; series of 1934; obverse.jpg
500 USD note; series of 1934; reverse.jpg
William McKinley
$1,000 bill
1000 USD note; series of 1934; obverse.jpg
1000 USD note; series of 1934; reverse.jpg
Grover Cleveland
$2,000 bill
Third Bank of the US $2000, Dec 15, 1840, obverse.jpg
Third Bank of the US $2000, Dec 15, 1840, reverse.jpg
Various historical figures
$5,000 bill
US $5000 1934 Federal Reserve Note.jpg
US $5000 1934 Federal Reserve Note Reverse.jpg
James Madison
$10,000 bill
10000 USD note; series of 1934; obverse.jpg
10000 USD note; series of 1934; reverse.jpg
Salmon P. Chase
$100,000 bill
Woodrow Wilson


There have been numerous coins throughout the United States dollar's history that no longer circulate. Some, like the half-cent coin were removed due to inflation reducing their value while others such as the two-cent piece were removed due to a lack of demand.

Note that this table shows the latest status before the coin denomination was rendered obsolete.

Denomination Obverse Reverse Weight Diameter Material Edge Issued from
Half cent
1851 half cent obv.jpg
1851 half cent rev.jpg
5.443 g 23.5 mm 100% Cu plain 1793–1857
Large cent
1855 cent obv.jpg
1855 cent rev.jpg
10.89 g 29 mm 100% Cu plain 1793–1857
Two-cent piece
1865 Two Cent Obverse.png
1865 Two Cent Reverse.png
6.22 g 23.00 mm 95% Cu
5% Sn and Zn
plain 1864–1873
Three-cent nickel
1887-6 3CN (obv).jpg
1887-6 3CN (rev).jpg
1.94 g 17.9 mm 75% Cu
25% Ni
plain 1865–1889
1851-O 3CS (obv).jpg
1851-O 3CS (rev).jpg
.8 g 14 mm 90% Ag
10% Cu
plain 1851–1873
Half dime
1857 seated liberty half dime obverse.jpg
1857 seated liberty half dime reverse.jpg
1.24 g 15.5 mm 90% Ag
10% Cu
Reeded 1792–1873
Twenty-cent piece
1876-CC 20C (obv).jpg
1876-CC 20C (rev).jpg
5 g 22 mm 90% Ag
10% Cu
Plain 1875–1878
Gold dollar
1875 gold dollar obv.jpg
1875 gold dollar rev.jpg
1.7 g 14.3 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1849–1889α
Quarter eagle
1929 quarter eagle obv.jpg
1929 quarter eagle rev.jpg
4.18 g 18 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1929α
Three-dollar piece
1874 Three-dollar piece obverse.jpg
1874 Three-dollar piece reverse.jpg
5.01 g 20.5 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1853–1889
Half eagle
1912 half eagle obv.jpg
1912 half eagle rev.jpg
8.36 g 21.6 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1929β
1908 eagle obv.jpg
1908 eagle rev.jpg
16.7 g 26.8 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1933β
Double eagle
1912 double eagle obv.jpg
1912 double eagle rev.jpg
35 g 34 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1849–1932γ


Some Early United States commemorative coins were minted in this denomination.
Some Modern United States commemorative coins are minted in this denomination.
The United States government claims that it never officially released the 1933 double eagle. Examples of the coin were minted in that year, but were never released to circulation following Executive Order 6102.


This page was last edited on 10 June 2020, at 00:01
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