10 Rarest Types of Dollar Bills

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Money is a fickle thing. Save enough and you’ll be rich, but then it becomes worthless sitting in a bank. Spend it all and give it worth, but also have nothing left to fall back on. The only straightforward thing about money, it seems, are the values listed on it. You can say with confidence that a one dollar bill is worth less than a $20 one. Or, can you? As it turns out, the serial number on a dollar bill can be the difference between a buck and $7,000. At their most basic, the randomly selected pattern of eight numbers and two letters on a banknote serves as a way to track the dollar from production to circulation. For collectors, these serial numbers can enhance the value of any tender, given that they have the right pattern. Read the list below to discover the rarest serial numbers that give a real bang for your buck.

  1. Binary Dollar Bill
  2. Odds of finding one: 1 in 8,749
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 11,430
    Worth: $10 – $50
    Binary Dollar Bill
    photo source: Flappity via coincommunity.com

    Binary serial numbers consist exclusively of the numbers one and zero. The value of a binary dollar depends on the pattern, with some collectors seeking particular combinations over others. In total, all binary dollars are worth some amount of money as they are generally rare. Some collectors consider two repeated numbers that are not one and zero to be binary as well, but most define these dollars as “repeaters.”

    Did you know

    Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase was the first person whose visage was on the paper dollar.

  3. Repeater
  4. Odds of finding one: 1 in 10,010
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 9,990
    Worth: about $100
    photo source: oldcurrencyvalues.com

    A repeater is fairly self explanatory. It describes a note that has a serial number with any sort of repetitive pattern. These patterns can include any kind of numbers in any sort of arrangement, as long as they meet the basic qualifications. As a result, repeater notes aren’t worth very much because, although rare, they are a lot easier to come by. With that said, they’re still considered collectibles.

    Did you know

    The dollar sign was developed in 1785 based on the Spanish American version of the sign for pesos, which was a P with a tiny s next to it.

  5. Radar
  6. Odds of finding one: 1 in 10,010
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 9,990
    Worth: about $25, but could be more
    photo source: oldcurrencyvalues.com

    A radar is a note with a serial number that reads the same backwards and forwards; it’s a numerical palindrome, so to speak. The term radar itself is also a palindrome, hence the name. While it only shows up once every 10,000 times, collectors don’t consider it rare in comparison to other serial patterns. However, radars were less common pre-1958 so a radar bill dated from that time might be worth a bit more. In general, seek out radars with other interesting elements to get more money from collectors and auctions

    Did you know

    The Massachusetts Bay Colony was one of the first groups in America to use paper dollars. Several other colonies followed suit and the British government imposed restrictions on such notes.

  7. Seven-of-a-Kind Dollar Bill
  8. Odds of finding one: 1 in 138,889
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 720
    Worth: up to $500
    Seven-of-a-Kind Dollar Bill
    photo source: Virtualnetwork via Ebay

    A seven-of-a-kind serial number has seven numbers repeated. It is significantly rarer than the 01 binary with only 0.7 percent of dollar bills with this pattern. Five-of-a-kind dollar bills are also worth some money, but significantly less at only around $20 to $30.  The number seven is considered lucky in several cultures and religions, which could also play a role in its value.

    Did you know

    The number seven comes up in Christianity, Confucianism and the Quran.

  9. Seven-in-a-row
  10. Odds of finding one: 1 in 555,556
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 180
    Worth: About $200
    photo source: Worthopedia

    In contrast to a dollar with a seven-of-a-kind serial number, seven-in-a-row must have a repeated number without any breaks. So, for example, instead of 77717777, it would have the one either at the beginning or end of the series. Since serial numbers are determined randomly, the likelihood of finding a dollar bill with seven of the same numbers all in order is quite low. One seller managed to impress even further, finding a twenty dollar bill with seven sevens all in a row.

    Did you know

    Paper money isn’t made from paper at all, but a fabric blend of cotton and linen.

  11. Double Quad
  12. Odds of finding one: 1 in 1,111,111
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 90
    Worth: Inconclusive
    Double Quad
    photo source: coolserialnumbers.com

    With the double quad, the dollar bill enters more patterned territory. Unlike a binary serial number, which can have two numbers in any random arrangement, a double quad has one number repeated at the beginning and a different number repeated at the end. Due to the specificity required for this particular serial number, double quads are extremely rare. The range in values for this type of dollar bill is astronomical with some Ebay sellers asking for $20 and others asking for $999.

    Did you know

    Almost half of the dollar bills made are worth one dollar.

  13. Radar Repeater
  14. Odds of finding one: 1 in 1,111,111
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 90
    Worth: About $94
    Radar Repeater
    photo source: coolserialnumbers.com

    A radar repeater is a combination of the radar and the repeater serial number combinations. In essence a radar repeater serial number has a pattern that’s repeated in the first four and last four digits. Examples include: 98899889, 72277227, etc. These could also double as binary dollar bills if the patterns involve one and zero.

    Did you know

    Martha Washington is the only woman to be featured on a US note. This might be changing, however, as the government pushes to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.

  15. Super Radar
  16. Odds of finding one: 1 in 1,111,111
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 90
    Worth: About $80
    Super Radar
    photo source: coolserialnumbers.com

    The super radar is a subcategory of the radar. In this pattern, the first and last digits match and sandwich six repeating and/or patterned numbers. For example, 20000002  and 8455548 are both super radars. Interestingly, you have a similar chance of finding this type of bill as you do a radar repeater and a double quad. This shows a possible pattern within patterned serial numbers.

    Did you know

    The penny is the only coin where the figure, in this case, President Abraham Lincoln, faces right.

  17. Super Repeater
  18. Odds of finding one: 1,111,111
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 90
    Worth: About $100
    Super Repeater
    photo source: Thomasodel8l4-4 via Ebay

    In a super repeater, the first two digits in a serial number are repeated throughout the sequence. Super repeaters, like most repeaters, range a lot in value. Some repeaters aren’t worth much, while others can cost hundreds of dollars. This shows that, although rare, these kinds of dollars are still not the rarest possible. Either way, though, they’re definitely more valuable than their intended price!

    Did you know

    There are approximately 38 million bills printed each day. Some of these add to the money currently in circulation while others replace worn out dollars that are no longer viable.

  19. Solid
  20. Odds of finding one: 9
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 1 in 11,111,111
    Worth:  $500, but can go into the thousands
    photo source: Happyalways4 via Ebay

    Solid serial numbers are extremely rare and cost at least $500. A dollar with a solid pattern has the same number repeated in the serial number. Their value increases as the number does. So, for example, a solid serial number of nines is more valuable than one with repeated twos. In fact, solid nines are the most valuable version of the solid because modern serial printing only goes up to 96000000.  A buyer might pay even more if the letters in the serial number match as well.

    Did you know

    Before currency was established and run through the federal government, American banks had the right to create, design and produce their own tenders. As a result, there were about 7,000 unique notes in circulation.

  21. Ladder
  22. Odds of finding one: 1 in 16,666,667
    Number of occurrences in 9,999,999 run: 6/1
    Worth: $5,000 +
    photo source: oldcurrencyvalues.com

    The ladder dollar bill is the rarest dollar ever. There are two categories within the ladder serial number because a true ladder is so rare, only occurring once in every 96 million notes. A ladder is a serial number that follows the standard numerical pattern of one through eight. A true ladder is 12345678 and, as noted, difficult to find. Variations of the ladder pattern include numbers in order that don’t start with one such as, 00123456 or 034567. Additionally, ladders can be backwards so the numbers are in reverse order. Both of these variations are more common and less valuable than the real thing.

    Did you know

    There are also “scattered” ladders in which the numbers from a series are jumbled. While these might be worth more than the bill they’re on, most collectors don’t consider them on par with true or reverse ladders.


Head of Content at Rarest.org


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