25 Rare 50 Dollar Bills: Value And Price Chart

The $50 dollar bill is a currency used in the United States of America. As you read this article, you likely have one tucked away in your wallet, folded and worth only the same exact amount written on it. You may know a few things about this bill; it makes up more than 3% of notes printed in 2019, the Federal Reserve Banks deliver them in beige straps and it has the lowest circulation after the 2 dollar bill.

But what you may not know is that there are select $50 bills that are worth more than the face value. And that these bills are not the sort that you find in every wallet in the country. In fact, some $50 bills are worth thousands of dollars in value. It may be new to you to learn that there are people whose life’s work includes searching for these currency collectibles, and paying for them because the bills are special.

In this article, you will learn about some $50 bills that are considered rare, including a chart that shows their prices of them in the market. And if you happen to have any of the 50 Dollar bills mentioned here you will have an idea how much you can make off a sale.

No
Year
Name
Grade
Price
1
1875
The County National Bank, Clearfield, Pa.  
Very Fine 20
$30,550
2
1882
German National Bank, Little Rock Brown Back
Apparent Fine 15
$14,100
3
1861
Confederate Montgomery Bill
PCGS New 62
$25,300
4
1869
$50 Legal Tender
Very Fine 25
$29,900
5
1913
$50 Gold Certificate
Choice Uncirculated 64
$19,550
6
1875
The Citizens National Bank, Louisville, KY
Extremely Fine
$23,000
7
1891
$50 Silver Certificate
Superb Gem New
$18,400
8
1880
$50 Legal Tender Note
Gem Uncirculated 66
$31,200
9
1862
$50 Legal Tender Note
Apparent Very Fine 20
$33,600
10
1880
$50 Silver Certificate Note
Very Fine 30
$40,800
11
1918
$50 Federal Reserve Bank Note
Choice Extremely Fine 45
$33,600
12
1882
$50 Gold Certificate Note
Very Fine 30
$16,800
13
1922
$50 Gold Certificate Note
Gem Uncirculated 65
$24,000
14
1928
$50 Gold Certificate Note
Choice Uncirculated 63
$28,800
15
1864
$50 The Third National Bank Ch
Very Fine 25
$36,000
16
1875
The Commercial National Bank Ch
Very Fine 20
$50,400
17
1875
$50 The National Bank of Baltimore Ch.
PMG Fine 12
$25,200
18
1902
$50 1902 Red Seal Fr. 664 The First National Bank Ch
PMG Very Fine 30
$40,800
19
1914
$50 Red Seal Federal Reserve Note
Extremely Fine 40
$15,600
20
1863
$50 Interest Bearing Note
PMG Very Fine 30
$96,000
21
1815
$50 Treasury Note
Gem Uncirculated 65
$12,600
22
1861
$50 Interest Bearing Note
Choice About Uncirculated 58
$38,400
23
1864
Interest Bearing Note
PMG Very Fine 20
$84,000
24
1880
$50 Silver Certificate
PMG Very Fine 20
$45,000
25
1864
$50 Compound Interest Treasury Note
PMG Very Fine 30
$52,800

1. County National Bank, Clearfield, Pa. 1875

Grade: Very Fine 20

Price: $30,550

County National Bank, Clearfield, Pa. 1875

$50 bills from County National Banks are generally considered very rare. And with successive censors of bills from years past the rarity of these bills has become even more apparent. A few originals have been found and this one here is one of them. This one has been well preserved. It shows its original colors except with a few repairs on it.  The front has some allegorical and historical figures on it. This bill sold for more than 30 thousand dollars at Heritage Auctions in 2017.

2. German National Bank, Little Rock 1882

Grade: Apparent Fine 15

Price: $14,100

German National Bank, Little Rock 1882

This 50 Dollar Bill is from Arkansas, and only four Brown Backs like this are known to have come from there. This one is also rare because it is one of two that has the ethnic name attached to it. PCGS graded this one and noted that apart from the splits in the edges, the margin and color on the bill are stunning.

This bill has always done well at auctions and this one did respectably well too. Brown backs are called so because the color on the back is entirely brown. The note has the serial number printed in big digits on the back which is an eye-catching design feature that appeals to the eyes. This note was sold in 2015 at Heritage Auctions.

See also  1960 Penny Value Guide and History

3. Confederate Montgomery Bill 1861

Grade: PCGS New 62

Price: $25,300

Confederate Montgomery Bill 1861

This 1861 $50 bull is rare because very few Montgomery bills are as beautiful as this one; the texture and paper used speak of a very exceptional sample. One look and you’d think this note was printed the previous day on account of the abiding overprint colors and black ink. This note is a true rare uncirculated bill. It shows two men working the fields on the front and a beautiful scrawl of calligraphy on the back. It was sold on Heritage Auctions in 2009.

4. $50 Legal Tender 1869

Grade: Very Fine 25

Price: $29,900

$50 Legal Tender 1869

Only 63 notes like this are in the census. Fondly called Rainbow Fifties, they are both extremely rare and popular among collectors. If you find one of these by chance, you could possibly be looking at a fake because counterfeits abound of the $50 bills from the old days.

This example here is the real deal; it shows a well-proportioned margin, lightly toned paper, and bright ink. This sample has been in a number of at least two collections, first a Bill Donlon’s collection, and further, down the road, it was a part of Tom Flynn Holdings. In all instances where it was sold, the bill made a big deal. Here it was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2012 for a good deal too.

5. $50 Gold Certificate 1913

Grade: Choice Uncirculated 64

Price: $19,550

$50 Gold Certificate 1913

If you find the book, American History as Seen Through Currency published in 2003 you will find a photo of this $50 bill on page 342 of it. It has been tagged as the note with exceptional paper quality. This bill is of the 1913 series and it is the first to carry the portrait of Grant on the front in bold realism. This note was listed as a full Uncirculated note. The bill was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2006.

6. $50 The Citizens National Bank, Louisville, KY 1875

Grade: Very Fine

Price: $23,000

$50 The Citizens National Bank, Louisville, KY 1875

This $50 constitutes the best of a very small group of rare types. It is from the Kentucky First Charter. It was obtained privately by another collector called Glenn Martin who exposed it later in 2002. It is indeed a rare one with a beautiful print and color. The signature on it is bold and the bill has a general eye-catching appeal.

7. $50 Silver Certificate 1891

Grade: Superb Gem

Price: $18,400

$50 Silver Certificate 1891

This is one of about 15 notes in this category. It shows broad margins and nice colors. The embossing is still fresh on it like it was when the note left the printing press in 1891. These certificates were once redeemable for silver. But now they are only exchanged for their face value. This note was once sold by Bill Donlon, a collector in 1977. The value and rarity of the bill have increased from the $2,600 that it made then to a five-figure sale now.

8. $50 Legal Tender Note 1880

Grade: Gem Uncirculated 66

Price: $31,200

$50 Legal Tender Note 1880

This $50 bill belongs in a class of its own. PCGS has only graded three that are higher than this. And it comes with provenance to support its rare quality and sentimentality. This bill was in the possession of Thomas F Harris II, whose father was a paper money designer, and an employee at the ABNCo and at BEP.

The younger Morris too was a paper money enthusiast and researcher. This note was once in the J. Roy Pennell Collection before it was sold at auction in 2000. The front has the portrait of Franklin and an allegorical woman. The note was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2022.

9. $50 1862 Legal Tender Note

Grade: Apparent Very Fine 20

Price: $33,600

$50 1862 Legal Tender Note

Bills reported for this quality are fewer than 50, not just from this year but also into 1863. The portrait of Alexander Hamilton is on the front and the lathe design on the back is so pervasive it was difficult to make a fake of this $50 note. Yet, three counterfeits have been known since that have mimicked this design quite well.

The rarity of this note comes from the number of it that was printed in the series of 1862 and ’63: 600,000. The sample here is very old with some repairs done to it to at least make it presentable. It is still a decent one and is worth the price here.

10. $50 Silver Certificate Note 1880

Grade: Very Fine 30

Price: $40,800

$50 Silver Certificate Note 1880

All silver certificates that were printed amounted to 416,000. And here lies the rarity of these notes. This series was made from the 1880 to the 1890s. And even though that was a long span of years in between we have just that amount of silver certificates.

The example here was one of those with the signatures of William S Rosecrans and J.N. Huston. Only 27 of these silver certificates have made it into our own time which includes the Federal Reserves and Smithsonian. While grading, PMG did some repairs to this beautiful sample. It was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2022.

See also  10 Most Valuable Kennedy Half Dollar: Complete Value Guide

11. $50 Federal Reserve Bank Note 1918

Grade: Choice Extremely Fine 45

Price: $33,600

$50 Federal Reserve Bank Note 1918

This note with a Friedberg number 831 was among only 4000 that were issued of Federal Reserve Bank Notes. And the Saint Louis bank was the only one to issue this beautiful type. This is a very rare $50 note.

From all indications these notes survived till now because samples were removed from circulation after they were printed. 53 of these notes are known to be around, 7 of which are locked away in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis. Another 2 are reported to be kept by the Smithsonian Institute and the ANA. This sample here exhibits all the features of a note with higher grades and it was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2022.

12. $50 Gold Certificate Note 1882

Grade: Very Fine 30

Price: $16,800

$50 Gold Certificate Note 1882

This is a rare note with Friedberg number 1192. It features a rare very large brown treasury seal on the front middle of the note. The rarity of this note comes from the fact that only 23 serial numbers of it are recorded. Four out of this number are in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In 1990 this note was in James Thompson Collection. The ore has been so well preserved that you couldn’t tell that at one point in time it was folded into eight parts. When it was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2022 it had been repaired so well.

13. $50 Gold Certificate Note 1922

Grade: Gem Uncirculated 65

Price: $24,000

$50 Gold Certificate Note 1922

This is an altogether beautiful piece of $50 note from 1922 made from some the papers. Its embossing is one of a kind. Heritage Auctions reported it’s been three years since they beheld a note of this quality. As a true Gold Certificate, it’s got a yellow seal on the front along with other features.

14. $50 Gold Certificate Note 1928

Grade: Choice Uncirculated 63

Price: $28,800

$50 Gold Certificate Note 1928

This note here is one of the $50 with a star in the serial number that is graded uncirculated. The printing in this 50 Dollar is just so beautiful you have to notice it. The orange overprint is bold and the white paper provides a beautiful contrast. The capitol building is very noticeable on the back, printed in a subdued green. This rare note was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2022.

15. $50 The Third National Bank Ch

Grade: Very Fine 25

Price: $36,000

$50 The Third National Bank Ch

This is an extremely rare $50 bill from 1864 that is one of only two known from Pennsylvania. It is one of the 28 originals that have been reported for all $50 series. This makes this one even rarer. It shows some repair along the lower margin. This sample has always sold for a huge amount. The last time in 2018 it did more than 50 thousand dollars in sales. This particular sale is from 2022.

16. $50 The Commercial National Bank Ch 1875

Grade: Very Fine 20

Price: $50,400

$50 The Commercial National Bank Ch 1875

Here’s a rare $50 from the Don Kelly Collection which holds currency rarities. There are as little as 70 of these types of notes from all over the banks in the country. Only three of them are from Ohio and this is one of them. This bank is one of the uncommon ones in the country, making this $50 note even scarcer. There is evident circulation on this note but this has not reduced the quality; it shows strong colors still, beautiful paper and the signatures are still very clear on it.

17. $50 The National Bank of Baltimore Ch

Grade: PMG Fine 12

Price: $25,200

$50 The National Bank of Baltimore Ch

Here’s another rare 1875 $50 note but from a different bank: The National Bank of Baltimore. This one happens to escape the impounding of others like it into the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank vault. This sample was first handled by Heritage Auctions in 2000. It was sold there again in 2022.

18. $50 1902 Red Seal Fr. 664 The First National Bank Ch

Grade: PMG Very Fine 30

Price: $40,800

$50 1902 Red Seal Fr. 664 The First National Bank Ch

This is a rare red seal $50 note that’s one of the 104 on record for the whole country. This one comes from the First National Bank, Havre de Grace, Maryland. Its rarity stems from its being one of only five from Maryland. If you are a native of Maryland, and you find a sample among your old stuff in your attic, your copy would be the sixth. If it’s original, that is. Its provenance is respectable; it was once in Bob Cohen’s collection in the 1970s. Then it was Marc Watt’s for a time. This note was up for bidding again in 2022 at Heritage Auctions.

19. $50 Red Seal Federal Reserve Note

Grade: Extremely Fine 40

Price: $15,600

$50 Red Seal Federal Reserve Note

This is a rare Minneapolis $50 with a striking design and attractive red seal on it. There are only 20 pieces in the census of its type. There are only two like this that have been graded by PMG at EF 40. This one shows striking contrast in the printing and color giving it great eye appeal. It was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2022 for more than fifteen thousand dollars.

See also  15 Most Valuable Modern Quarters: Complete Value Guide

20. $50 Interest Bearing Note 1863

Grade: PMG Very Fine 30

Price: $96,000

$50 Interest Bearing Note 1863

This is a rare two-year $50 interest note from 1863 which was part of the Michael Coltrane Collection. Eight of these kinds have been tracked and recorded and one of out of them is in the Smithsonian institute.

No higher grades of this note have been found either by PCGS or PMG. Its provenance includes Harry Bass, Robert F. Schermerhorn, and Joel Anderson’s collection, all respected collectors in the field. The front of the note features female allegorical images and a beautiful spread of vignettes at the back. Other than this one, Heritage Auctions has cataloged only two. This one sold there in 2021.

21. $50 Treasury Note 1815

Grade: Gem Uncirculated 65

Price: $12,600

$50 Treasury Note 1815

This is one of the rarest pieces of $50 on this list. We doubt that anyone would find another copy of this treasury note. Only three of these are known and this is the finest of them. At the time this $50 proof was the highest denomination.

It was made with Indian paper and minted by Murray, Draper, Fairman & Co. This note features styles that were previously on the smaller notes like the $5, $10, and $20. There’s an eagle on the front holding an olive branch and three arrows in its grasp, a sunburst behind it, and letters; UNITED STATES, FIFTY, and E PLURIBUS UNUM. This note went on sale in Heritage Auctions in 2021.

22. $50 Interest Bearing Note 1861

Grade: Choice About Uncirculated 58

Price: $38,400

$50 Interest Bearing Note 1861

This is a unique interest-bearing note with a face value of $50. It was from the Mike Coltrane Collection. One of the distinctive features of this note is that it is printed on bound paper. This isn’t really a peculiar thing for this is what is used for issue notes. This specimen was not known until 1981 and was sold at auction in 1982. This one was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2021.

23. $50 Interest Bearing Note 1864

Grade: Very Fine 20

Price: $84,000

$50 Interest Bearing Note 1864

This interest-bearing note is from a later series and is very rare. These were called seven thirties because the interest paid was 7.30% plus five coupons on the right hand. This high denomination note is now extremely elusive. Its pedigree includes the Albert Grinnell Collection and the first Friedberg plate note. This note was bigger than the demand notes and legal tenders before it. After 21 years this note returned for sale at Heritage Auctions in 2021.

24. $50 Silver Certificate Note 1880

Grade: PMG Very Fine 20

Price: $45,000

$50 Silver Certificate Note 1880

There are six pieces like this $50 silver certificate and this is one of them, an extremely rare sample. The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank holds one of those 6 notes and this one here is the only one Heritage Auctions have sold since 1996. It is also the only one piece to appear since 2013. Very few notes can beat this rarity. Back in 1996 only four of them were known and from that time till now only two like this have been found. So we can confidently say this is about the rarest of the lot on this list. It has been worked on for repairs but still very appealing.

25. $50 Compound Interest Treasury Note 1864

Grade: PMG Very Fine 30

Price: $52,800

$50 Compound Interest Treasury Note 1864

This compound interest treasury note is one of the finest ever known among collectors. It is from the Mike Coltrane Collection, distinctive for its features that makes them different from the interest bearing notes before them. These compound notes were legal tender too. They were used to redeem interests that accrued over three years. The note was printed at the treasury department. It features vignettes that have been used by the American Bank Note Company. Heritage Auctions say this is a rare find.

Conclusion

Have you begun to look at your $50 bills differently? You bet the folks who lived in the 1800s never dreamed of a time when a $50 would be sold for thousands of dollars. But the reality of currencies shows that; low mintage and other features contribute to the rarity of a dollar bill. What then? It is suggested that you take a good look at your $50 bill for unusual features, then seek expert advice on the bill. Who knows, your bill just might make you a fortune.

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