Old Bills/Coins – Are they worth the space they are taking up in your closet?

Do you or someone you know have a collection of old coins or bills being stored in a box/envelope in the hopes that they are valuable or that they will appreciate in value over the years?
Old bills are collectible because of their rarity – unique ink patterns, number sequences, and certain letter sequences such as “AUX” or “AUH” at the beginning of the serial number. Most bills that are out there are not collectible and are only worth a little bit over the tender value, but only if they are in crisp condition. If they are wrinkled, torn, or written on they are only worth to be deposited into your bank account to get the tender value, since they will be too old for stores to accept them.
Old coins are another thing to consider. Silver dollars made in 1967 and before are worth more than their face value: they may contain about $8-9 worth of silver, or more depending on the year. If they were manufactured after 1967, they are made of nickel and are only worth $1. These may be able to be taken to the bank to be exchanged for current currency, but if they won’t accept it, you can probably sell it to a friend or family member for the novelty of it.
These are just a few tidbits I have garnered from a conversation with a local collector. The best way to learn the value of your old money is to call a collector – they know what people are looking for. It is hard to get information online because each serial number on a bill is unique, and the info online does not take into account the exact quality of your bill. If you are local to the K-W region, check out Colonial Acres Coins! They are incredibly helpful. Give them a call and describe your coins/bills and they can tell you whether or not they’re worth anything.
Are you holding onto you old currency for sentimental reasons or because you think they are valuable and will only go up in value? Sentimental reasons, that’s fine. Unless it’s a briefcase full of cash, then maybe trade some of that in and keep a few of the bills for yourself. But if you are holding onto cash or coins because you think they are valuable, it is worth your while to make sure that they are! Just because they are old does not give them value. There are enough of the older bills out there to make them “ordinary”, which negates any uniqueness you thought they might have.
It is very liberating to get rid of a stash of something that you’ve been holding onto under false pretenses. And at least in the case of currency, it will actually make you money in return, whether it’s the literal face value or a little bit more.