How Long Must You Keep Currency Before It Is Rare and Valuable?
Old Currency is not an investment, it is a collectible item. There is no constant rate of appreciation. The value of currency can go up or it can go down. As the number of collectors increases then the demand could increase. As the supply increases then prices will go down. It really is that simple.
We often get asked “How old does money have to be in order to be rare?” There is no set age at which currency becomes rare or collectible.
We get emails and phone calls from thousands of people each year looking to find out what their note is worth. Sadly, at least 95% of the time the note is really just worth face value or a few cents over face value. When we relay this information to the owner, generally they are surprised at the small premium. Many people assume that if the note is held for a few more years it will appreciate in price or become rarer. There is only one ultimate truth in currency collecting: Your note will never be any rarer than it is today.
At a certain point a note reaches the level where its collector value is higher than its face value. Once this is established it is very unlikely the note will ever be spent. However, this also means that for the rest of history any time someone sees such a note and realizes it is worth more than face value he or she won’t spend it and instead it will just increase the supply available to collectors. Many notes including modern small size silver certificates and 1953 and 1963 red seal legal tenders are in this category. They are worth more than face value, but not by much. Rather than saving these and hoping for the best – sell them for a premium today and take the proceeds and buy a real investment.
It has taken over fifty years for a 1957 one dollar bill to be worth $1.50. It doesn’t make sense that the value will increase much more than fifty cents over the next fifty years.