How to Collect Paper Money

United States Paper Money

In this handy guide to paper money collecting, you'll receive valuable tips and information to explore and enjoy this popular area of numismatics. As you learn more about paper money and the fascinating variety of issues, you'll discover your own areas of interest and the ways to collect your favorite notes. You'll find that paper money offers beauty, color and artistic excellence, as well as numismatic and historical significance.

How to Collect Paper Money

Collecting genuine artifacts from the past has been an exciting and rewarding pastime for centuries. Collectibles recall the living conditions, lifestyles and interests of people who lived many years before us, and honor their contributions to our present-day lives. Authentic relics and artifacts illuminate the past – whether antiques, tools, artwork, coins or paper money – and awaken curiosity and interest in those who save them.

Collectors keep the past alive, especially through collecting paper money. Most popular U.S. issues can be easily divided into distinct types: Colonial, Private Bank Notes (popularly called "Broken Bank Notes"), Confederate and Southern States Notes, and large- and small-size federal issues. Although there are many types of U.S. paper money, this guide primarily covers major types of currency authorized by the U.S. government from the Civil War onward.

To see all of the U.S. notes available, see our U.S. Paper Money section.