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Value of 1862 & 1863 $1 Legal Tenders

Picture of Legal Tender Note with red seal and Salmon P. Chase's Face on it from 1862 and 1863


Old $1 Legal Tenders from 1862 & 1863 were the first bills to be Federally-issued by the United States Government following Confederate paper money during the American Civil War. Considering the time period these were printed for and the type of technology readily available, its impressive the quality the government was able to put together for such a beautiful banknote.

These notes were fully issued as Legal Tender, meaning even today you could technically legally spend this bill in the United States. Although I highly advise against doing so, as these bills can bring an incredible premium above their face value.

Dictionary: Legal Tender is coins or banknotes that must be accepted if offered in payment of a debt. 

If you have an old $1 bill but it doesn’t look like the one pictured above, check out our full $1 bill guide we wrote here.

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Determining the Value of your 1862 or 1863 Legal Tender

Figuring out how much your Legal Tender is worth will come down to a combinations of multiple factors which lead to the value of the banknote.

The first, and arguably most important factor, is supply and demand. Typically, the earlier issued U.S. government banknotes are worth more money; as long as supply is low for the particular banknote. The paper money market is constantly fluctuating, which makes pinpointing an evergreen value near impossible.

The reality for some banknotes is there can be extremely low supply, but there are no collectors interested in the banknote. Some types of old paper money have a larger collector base than others, making their value significantly increase.

Each Legal Tender issued banknote and variety was printed for a finite amount of time and quantity before production was halted. This means some banknotes had print runs of close to a million, while others only had tens of thousands.

We wrote a whole in-depth guide about fancy serial numbers you can check out here, but without going into too much detail many collectors enjoy rare serial numbers. For example, the first Legal Tender bills printed always start with Serial Number 1. If you have a banknote with a low serial number like Serial Number 1 through 9, there’s a high likelihood your banknote is valuable, regardless of condition.

Condition is a key factor when determining the value of a Legal  Tender bank note. We’ve paid a few hundred dollars for a poor condition example 1862 or 1863 banknote when in the past we’ve paid quite literally thousands of dollars for the same banknote in pristine condition.

The final variable when determining a Legal Tender banknote value is the market. Markets are constantly fluctuating for better or worse. When you buy or sell Legal Tender bills, it really depends on the market and how much money it brings. We will help you with your old paper money, contact us for more information.

These are the variables to take into consideration: supply & demand, condition (overall eye appeal matters), the market, and the serial number. If you’re unsure how valuable your 1862 & 1863 $1 Legal Tender Bill is, send us a clear photo of the front and back of the bill. We will respond within 24 hours with a free appraisal and our best offer if you want to sell your banknote.

What is the value of 1862 & 1863 $1 Legal Tenders? The value of these banknotes depends on multiple factors but mainly the serial number and condition. In average condition, they are typically worth $100 to $200. In decent condition, they’re worth over $500. And in pristine condition are worth over $850.

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Frequent Questions

We get a lot of questions every day that can easily be answered right here! If you don’t see your question answered here, feel free to reach out to us today, we’d love to chat.

Who is pictured on the 1862-63 $1 Bill?: Salmon P. Chase; Former Chief Justice of the United States.

How old is my $1 bill?: These bills were printed in the late 1800s making your bill over 130 years old.

Is my $1  bill fake?: The short answer is maybe. It’s actually impossible for me to authenticate a bill over the phone without seeing clear photos of both the front and back of the banknote.

Why don’t I see my bill on your guide?: If you’re having trouble finding your paper money, a good place to start is here.

Do you want to buy my old paper money?: Yes! Contact us today and we’ll evaluate your paper for free. We are able to pay more than our competitors due to our low overhead costs.


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