10 Most Valuable And Rare 10 Dollar Bills: A Complete Guide

When most money collectors have been told about ten-dollar bills that sell for thousands of dollars, it is not uncommon to begin searching for them as soon as possible. And although you may think that finding one would be a difficult task, it actually is something that you can do.

In this article, we are going to go over the 10 most valuable and rare $10 USD banknotes from the United States mint. We will discuss general information about them and give you a little background on their history. To start, let us go through the top 10 valuable and rare $10 dollar bills below:

10 Most Valuable And Most Rare 10 Dollar Bills: List

The ten dollar bill is constantly changing, with different marks and features introduced as times change. Each of these changes has a story behind it, as do many of the rarest ten-dollar bills available. This guide takes a look at these 10 most valuable 10-dollar bills in the world and what makes them worth so much.

1869 $10 Legal Tender
AU 58
1901 $10 Legal Tender
AU 58
1863 $10 legal tender
AU 58
1864 Confederate Currency
GEM 67
1875 $10 Legal Tender Note
Choice New 63
1878 $10 Silver Certificate
Extremely Fine 40
1880 $10 Legal Tender Note.
Choice About New 58
1891 $10 Silver Certificate.
Choice Fine 15
1908 $10 Silver Certificate
VF 20
$10 1902 Plain Back.
VF 30

1.1869 $10 Legal Tender

Grade: AU 58

Price: $5,040

1869 $10 Legal Tender

This bill is $10 from 1869. It is graded by PMG as About Uncirculated condition. The bill is well preserved and very rare and valuable. It is referred to as a rainbow $10 piece. It features a beautiful margin and colors.

Bills with a star in front of their serial numbers are considered valuable by collectors and this one has a star in front of each serial number. It is referred to as a rainbow on account of the green and red overprinting which gives it a beautiful appearance.

Only three of these bills are graded by PMG at GEM 67. It features the image of Daniel Webster on the front which was engraved by Alfred Sealey. On the right side is a vignette that is titled Introduction Of The Old World To The New. A nickname for this note is the ‘Jackass’ on account of what happens to the image of the eagle which resembles a donkey when the note is turned upside down.

2.1901 $10 Legal Tender

Grade: AU 58

Price: $6,300

1901 $10 Legal Tender

Here comes this rare bison bill from 1901, a very valuable and rare $10 bill. It is a well-margined dollar bill with a beautiful color mix. Grades higher than the AU 58 are kind of rare. Gem grades are pretty scarce and can sell at triple this amount.

This one sold on Heritage Auctions for more than six thousand dollars which isn’t a small amount in my opinion. Of course, the date is so far back in time it should earn more. The bill features a bison on the front and is flanked by the images of Clark and Lewis.

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The bison itself is modeled after a real one in the National Zoo Washington which was named Pablo. Lewis and Clark were the two men who led the expedition to chart the territories of Louisiana. The reverse shows the image of Columbia, the historical figure that represents the United States of America before Lady Liberty did.

3.1863 $10 Legal Tender

Grade: AU 58

Price: $8,700

1863 $10 Legal Tender

This $10 bill is from the American civil war period and it features a very nice margin and quality paper. It also has the image of Abraham Lincoln on the front. The image was created by Charles Burt using ideas from a photo taken by a man named C.S German.

The image on the right is that of a woman who stands for The Art Of Painting. This bill belongs in the greenback series which were not so loved by the public of those days because they preferred coins. Though some estimates say this rare legal tender is worth $15,000 to $20,000 this one sold for $8,700.

4.1864 $10 Confederate Currency

Grade: T-68

Price: $7,200

1864 $10 Confederate Currency

This sample came on top of 4,900 T-68 $10 bills from this year graded by PMG. This bill is loved for its full margin and really bright colors. This bill is a confederate bill, called so because it was printed in the American war period.

Some of these notes were reportedly hand-signed by confederate soldiers and members of their families. There’s a vignette of soldiers on horseback on the front of the bill pulling an artillery. This one sold for more than seven thousand on Stacks & Bowers.

5.1875 $10 Legal Tender Note

Grade: Choice New 63

Price: $18,000

1875 $10 Legal Tender Note

This sample is one of the few bills from 1875 that were graded highly by PCGS and PMG. And it’s been said that this sample has had a long journey through auctions which began in 1993 with the Stacks And Bowers auctions.

Before this sale, it was bought for $21,850 in 2006. 12 of these bills have been seen by collectors and grading services alike. The image on the left side of the front is that of Daniel Webster, a politician and two-time senator from the state of Massachusetts.

He also served under Harrison, Tyler, and President Fillmore as secretary of state. Pocahontas is seen on the other side and is shown to a group of European men. And of course, this note is called a jackass for what happens to the bird when you turn the bill upside down.

6.1878 $10 Silver Certificate

Grade: EF 40

Price: $240,000

1878 $10 Silver Certificate

This bill is not just rare as a single note, it belongs also to a rare series. The series comes with the appellation, CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT, and on the back SILVER is written. The front shows the image of secretary of finance Robert Morris who served from 1781 to 1784.

These bills come with several signatures; two treasury signatures, and a hand-signed countersignature of a different treasury official. Soon after this, the press decided to make things a little easier by having the extra signatures entered into the printing plate.

Some say the bold word, silver, written on the back is printed in that size because the treasury wanted to please a certain faction of people who lobbied the government on the price of silver and matters relating to the metal.

7. 1880 $10 Legal Tender Note.

Grade: Choice About New 58

Price: $1,320

1880 $10 Legal Tender Note

This very fine legal tender note from 1880 would go on to become a star of its own, its image making it onto canvases as artists painted and sold it. It would have a comfortable stature of its own that symbolizes how paper money could be sold.

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One such artist was Nicholas Alden Brooks. This is a jackass note, as called because if you turned the bill upside down the image of the bird looks like the head of a jackass. The seal on the bill is read. It sold on Stacks and Bowers auction for $1,320.

8.1891 $10 Silver Certificate

Grade: Choice Fine 15

Price: $480

1891 $10 Silver Certificate

 This note is called the tombstone design because the frame on which the image of Thomas Hendricks is placed looks like a tombstone. He died while serving as vice president of the United States in 1885.

No one knows if the design of the frame to look like a tombstone was deliberate or not. It is estimated that 3,400,000 of these notes were printed in 1891. Only about 100 of that number now exists which makes the note very rare or one of the rarest on this list.

9.1908 $10 Silver Certificate

Grade: VF 20

Price: $1,020

1908 $10 Silver Certificate

Here’s another tombstone $10 note but this is from the year 1908. This one is a blue seal edition. It also features a big blue X on the front to the left. This is one of those samples considered cheap by those in the numismatic world.

It is a good point to begin if you are a newbie in the American note collection game. This note shows some handling but is altogether a good one. It was sold by Stacks And Bowers.

10.$10 1902 Plain Back

Grade: Very Fine 30

Price: $3,120

$10 1902 Plain Back

The bank for this note was the Boonton National Bank. It is a rare find that came out of that bank that you have here. This one is one of a few. This sample here is the first to be reported from the printing of the 1902 $10 bills. This one sold at the auctions of Stacks and Bowers.

History Of The Ten Dollar Bill

The American $10 bill has a storied history that began in 1861 when the first ten dollar bill was printed. At the time the bills were called Demand Note. These demand notes would be issued from August of that year till April of 1862. Demand notes were used to pay for salaries of both workers and military personnel, and all war expenses.

The image on demand notes was that of Abraham Lincoln on the front left side and a fictitious figure representing art on the right side.

A different type of $10 dollar note came out in 1862 that was called the United States Note. It was also known as a legal tender. This was printed from 1862 to 1971. The legal tender has the longest lifespan of US notes. Their design was like that of the demand notes. One distinction with them though was the large X on the left front of the notes.

All ten dollar notes that were printed from the year 1861 to 1923 were all referred to as large notes because of their sizes.

In 1929 the US changed the size of the $10 bill into small notes and they maintain this size till now. From then on $10 bills carried the image of Alexander Hamilton on the obverse and a vignette of the US Treasury building on the reverse.

How Much Is A Rare $10 Bill Worth?

If you have a $10 bill you may wonder if it’s worth anything. Any ten dollars can be worth more than its face value, but you have to know how to tell. And if it’s an old and rare ten dollar like any of the dates featured in the list above and you find any, the chart below will give you an idea of how it can be worth.

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The worth of your $10 bill depends also on the condition of the note. If it is heavily folded to the point where it has lines in it or the colors and design images are faded, this reduces its value, even if it’s a rare sample. The most valuable bills are well preserved.

Also ten dollar notes that are graded either by PCGS or PMG are very valuable.

Color of Seal
Brown or Red

Do They Still Make $10 Bills?

Yes, the United States treasury still makes $10 bills. They are not like the old and rare ones on this list though. They are much smaller in size. Their designs have changed as well. The portrait of Alexander Hamilton is on the obverse, and the treasury building is on the reverse. Finally, all $10 bills are now called Federal Reserve Notes. The ten dollar bill is one of United States paper money. It is alongside the one dollar to 100 dollars.

How Rare Are $10 Bills?

Ten Dollar Bills are not rare because they are still printed today. The rare ones belong in the class of dates that are not made again. For example, all the ones on our list are now extremely rare. More recently produced ten dollars are in circulation and can be found in pocket change.

Where To Get $10 Bills

You will find ATMs that dispense $10 in your area. Or you can ask for them at your bank when making a withdrawal. You can also get them as change when making grocery purchases.

And if you are interested in collecting old and rare $10 bills, you can buy them at auctions if you have the budget for graded, authentic dollar bills. Auction houses include Stacks And Bowers, Heritage Auctions, and JM Bullion.

And if you wish to begin your collector hobby small, you will find $10 bills are sold on eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, to mention a few places.

Final Thoughts

If you have not given the $10 note much thought in the past, perhaps a Broadway show like Hamilton would make you take a second look at how far this paper money has come.

The American treasury continues to make redesigns of currency.

In 2016 debates arose about having a woman replace Hamilton on the $10 note. The debates continue. Life the $10 bill is redesigned and becomes far removed in appearance from the rare ones, then expect the old notes to become even rarer and more valuable.

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