Collector's Rare $10 Bill Could Be Worth $500,000

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Currency collector Billy Baeder owns what might be the most valuable piece of currency printed since 1929. His $10 bill — a 1933 silver certificate — is one of a small batch the government released, then tried to remove from circulation. His bill also has a rare serial number, making it worth an estimated $500,000.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a kind of hyper inflation. A 10-dollar bill that is worth half a million dollars.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Billy Baeder is a currency collector whose first word of advice about a new bill is don't fold it. His second word, check the serial number. If there's something special about it like all the same digits or if a particular bill contains a printing mistake, it could be worth a lot.

INSKEEP: Mr. Baeder would know because he owns the most valuable piece of currency printed since 1929 when American bills were shrunk to their current size. He has a 10-dollar bill known as 1933 silver certificate, one of a small batch of bills the government released and then tried to removed from circulation.

MONTAGNE: His bill contains a unique serial number, the letter A, then seven zeros followed by one A. That means it was the first off the printer, making it even more rare and worth $500,000.

INSKEEP: Zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, one, A. But Mr. Baeder is not willing to part with his Hamilton for any number of Benjamin Franklins. He says the bill was bought by his late father, the man who taught him all about the currency trade. It apparently has sentimental value worth more than half a million dollars to him.

And that's the business news on Morning Edition from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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