Obsolete denominations of United States currency

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

The U.S. Dollar has numerous discontinued denominations, particularly high denomination bills, issued before and in 1934. 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 is an odd bill in that it was printed only as a Series 1934 gold certificate and was only used for internal government transactions. Even though most are in the hands of collectors or museums, they remain legal tender.

Denomination Obverse Reverse Portrait
$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
$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

The United States also issued fractional currency for a brief time in the 1860s and 1870s. These are:

  • 3 cent note
  • 5 cent note
  • 10 cent note
  • 15 cent note
  • 25 cent note
  • 50 cent note

Coinage

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 and dollar coin 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¢
Half cent obv.jpg Half cent rev.jpg 5.443 g 23.5 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 bronze
1863 Three cent bronze pattern, obverse.jpg 1863 Three cent bronze pattern, reverse.jpg 10.89 g 28.57 mm 95% Cu
5% Zn
plain 1863
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
1858 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
Dollar coin
$1
Sacagawea dollar obverse.png 2016 Native American Coin.jpg 8.1 g 26.50 mm 88.5% Cu
6 % Zn
3.5% Mn
2 % Ni
Lettered 1794–2016
Gold dollar
$1
1875 gold dollar obv.jpg 1875 gold dollar rev.jpg 1.7 g 14.3 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1849–1889
Quarter eagle
$2.50
1929 quarter eagle obv.jpg 1929 quarter eagle rev.jpg 4.18 g 18 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1929
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
Stella
$4
1879 Flowing Hair Stella obverse.png 1879 Flowing Hair Stella reverse.png 7.00 g 22 mm 6.00g Au
0.30g Ag
0.70g Cu
Reeded 1879–1880
Half eagle
$5
1912 half eagle obv.jpg 1912 half eagle rev.jpg 8.36 g 21.6 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1929
Eagle
$10
1908 eagle obv.jpg 1908 eagle rev.jpg 16.7 g 26.8 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1795–1933
Double eagle
$20
1912 double eagle obv.jpg 1912 double eagle rev.jpg 35 g 34 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1849–1929, 2009
Half-union
$50
1877 $50 Fifty Dollar pattern (Judd-1547, Pollock-1720) Obverse.jpg 1877 $50 Fifty Dollar pattern (Judd-1547, Pollock-1720) Reverse.jpg 83.58 g 50.80 mm 90% Au
10% Cu
Reeded 1877 (pattern)
1915 (commemorative)