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Obsolete denominations of United States currency

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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[edit]

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 3cf-big.jpg 3cb-big.jpg George Washington
5 cent note 5cf-big.jpg 5cb-big.jpg 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 15cf-big.jpg 15cb-big.jpg Bust of Columbia
25 cent note 25cf-big.jpg 25cb-big.jpg Robert Walker
50 cent note 50cf-big.jpg 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 US100000dollarsbillobverse.jpg US100000dollarsbillreverse.jpg Woodrow Wilson

Coinage[edit]

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
1/2¢
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
Trime
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
20¢
1876-CC 20C (obv).jpg 1876-CC 20C (rev).jpg 5 g 22 mm 90% Ag
10% Cu
Plain 1875–1878
Gold dollar
$1
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
$2.50
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
$3
3 USA dollars obverse.jpg 3 USA dollars reverse.jpg 5.01 g 20.5 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1853–1889
Half eagle
$5
1912 half eagle obv.jpg 1912 half eagle rev.jpg 8.36 g 21.6 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1929β
Eagle
$10
1908 eagle obv.jpg 1908 eagle rev.jpg 16.7 g 26.8 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1933β
Double eagle
$20
1912 double eagle obv.jpg 1912 double eagle rev.jpg 35 g 34 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1849–1932γ

Note[edit]

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 gold double eagle coin.

References[edit]