With more and more people using online versions of currency to pay for things, people have less and less reason to use paper money these days. Still, most people would be excited to find themselves in possession of a $500 bill. It turns out that it’s a pretty rare find.
According to the Motley Fool, the first $500 note was issued by the Province of North Carolina in May of 1780 with Virginia following with a $500 note of its own later that year. Other states followed in subsequent years. In 1861, Congress authorized the issuance of $500 notes.
According to Investopedia, there have been several versions of the $500 bill, but. The last $500 bill was printed in 1945, and it was formally discontinued 24 years later in 1969.
If you do find a $500 bill, you can still use it: it remains legal tender. However, it’s most likely worth more than its face value: most $500 bills in circulation today are in the hands of dealers and collectors, and are sometimes sold for hundreds of times more than five hundred dollars.
But consider yourself lucky if you do find one: according to Magnify Money, Federal Reserve Banks are required to destroy any $500 notes (as well as any other notes that have been discontinued from public circulation) they receive. It’s unclear how many $500 bills are being destroyed on a regular basis, but there aren’t many of them left.