The New $100 Bill is Out and Collectors Are Scrambling for the Rare Ones

The new $100 bill will start to circulate today and will have all kinds of new security features, like a blue strip that appears to change when you move it. The security measures are supposed to help prevent counterfeiting — especially since 65 percent of $100 bills are actually held outside of the U.S.

A few of the new $100 bills will be worth more than $100 — at least to collectors. As the Boston Globe reports, bills with low serial numbers (under 100, i.e. 00000100) can be worth thousands to a currency collector, and so are other combinations of numbers:

In addition to the “low numbers,” which stop at 100, there are “ladders,” which have numbers in sequence, such as 12345678 or 54321098. These sell for as much as $1,300. A “radar” (selling for $20 to $40) is a palindrome, such as 35299253, and “repeaters” are notes with two blocks of the same four digits, like 41884188. Undis observes subcategories of each of these, such as “super radars” ($75 to $100) that have all internal digits the same, like 46666664.

Undis says he got started looking for serial numbers about 30 years ago, when he found a note that had nothing but 3’s and 8’s. He is now trying to find the last nine notes in a set of all 254 serial numbers consisting solely of 1’s and 0’s (“binaries”).

Of course, you’d have to go to your bank and pull out some $100 bills and the odds are stacked against you.


More ...