One popular facet of collectible paper money is fancy serial numbers. Like star notes, it's especially fun because you can check the bills in your purse or wallet, the change from the coffee shop, or break large denominations at one bank to search, then exchange them at a separate bank.
What makes a serial number worth more than face value? It's simple really - curb appeal is everything. The most valuable fancy serial numbers are pleasing to look at at first glance: 012345678, 00000001, 33333333, etc. If you have to do mental gymnastics to convince yourself that a serial number is fancy, it probably isn't. For example: 57081391 is interesting in that it is a prime number or 24157817 is in the Fibonacci series, but the average collector isn't itching to buy numbers like those for their collections.
What types of serial numbers are worth something?
In no particular order, these are the types of fancy serial numbers to look for:
- High serial number (4 or more starting 9's)
- Low serial numbers (4 or more starting 0's)
- Ladders (e.g. 01234567)
- Binary (74774747)
- Repeater (e.g. 19951995)
- Super Repeater (e.g. 12121212)
- Quad Double (e.g. 55551111)
- Radar (e.g. 64977946)
- Binary Radar (e.g. 02022020)
- Repeater Radar (e.g. 61166116)
- Solid (e.g. 88888888)
- 7-of-a-kind (e.g. 44444244)
- 7-in-a-row (e.g. 11111118)
Some fancy serial numbers are not typically worth more than face value. Such as:
- Date/birthdate numbers (e.g. 02221732 - February 22, 1732 - George Washington's birthday)
- Trinary (e.g. 44284824)
What are they worth?
Fancy serial numbers can be worth anywhere between a few dollars over face value to $2000+ in absolutely perfect condition. Values and more details of each type of fancy serial number are available here: Types And Values Of Fancy Serial Numbers.