Legal tender is the term used for outdated forms of currency and rare coins issued by the United States. The old money now considered legal tender was different than the regular form of currency because it didn’t earn interest, it wasn’t issued by a bank, and it wasn’t backed up by gold, silver, or some other kind of precious metal.
What Is the History of Legal Tender?
Legal tender wasn’t popular when it was first introduced. The U.S. first came up with the idea during the Civil War to help the dangerously divided nation survive the chaotic economic environment. Eleven different denominations of legal tender and a few rare coins were issued to the public. The two- and five-dollar notes were printed with red seals and featured Thomas Jefferson and Monticello. There are two sizes — small and large — but the small size was only available for the one, two, five, and one hundred denominations. Finding a legal tender over $50 is extremely rare, and those bills are now worth more than they were while in circulation.
What Can You Do With Your Legal Tender?
If you have legal tender sitting around the house, inherit it from a grandparent, or find it in a rare stroke of luck, you can keep it as part of a collection or sell it. While the two- and five-dollar bills are barely worth as much as their face value, other bills are worth much more. The exact worth will depend on the year of issue, condition, color, and signature on the note. You’ll need to speak with an experienced coin dealer to learn exactly how much yours is worth.
To learn more about selling your legal tender, contact American Coins & Gold at one of their three locations in New York (East Garden City) and New Jersey (Bridgewater and Wayne). Learn how to sell your coin collection or get cash for gold on their website.