$100,000 U.S. Gold Certificate

During the early 1930s, the United States and the rest of the industrialized world experienced an economic depression. In 1934, the United States continued its movement toward removing its currency from the gold standard. It even became illegal to possess gold coins or gold-based currency until Congress relented somewhat for collectors. The Gold Certificate Series of 1934 poses a slight puzzle since the United States was off the gold standard by 1934. The $100,000 note shown here was not intended for general circulation but was used as an accounting device between branches of the Federal Reserve. This $100,000 note was the highest denomination ever issued by the United States.
Currently not on view
Object Name
gold certificate
date made
Wilson, Woodrow
issuing authority
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 15.7 cm x 6.6 cm x .01 cm; 6 3/16 in x 2 19/32 in x in
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
serial number
Coins, Currency and Medals
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Dep't of the Treasury
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

2/12/2014 1:07:32 AM
Hi are these notes still illegal to own and were they used in the sixties in trade for gold bullion? cheers Nick
5/19/2015 8:56:48 AM
I would love to see this bill on my visit to the Smithsonian. So, it would be nice for this to be viewable to the general public. When is this going to be open to the public?
5/19/2015 8:58:33 AM
National Museum of American History
A new exhibit, "The Value of Money," will open in July 2015 and will display one of these notes.
8/1/2016 11:10:13 AM
Vidyut Gandhi
What happened to the other notes in the series? Are they exchangeable for Gold?
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