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Old paper money like 1934 Hawaii $10 bills can be quite valuable to collectors, especially if the bills are in pristine condition. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the history of these rare banknotes and examine what contributes to their value today.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Uncirculated 1934 Hawaii $10 silver certificates in perfect condition can sell for $1,500 to $2,000 or more.

A Brief History of 1934 Hawaii $10 Bills

Released by the Hawaii Territorial government: The 1934 Hawaii $10 bill holds significant historical value as it was released by the Hawaii Territorial government during a time when Hawaii was not yet a state.

These bills were part of a series of currency notes issued exclusively for use within the Hawaiian Islands.

The unique design of these bills featured the portrait of King Kamehameha I, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

The release of these bills aimed to establish a sense of Hawaiian identity and pride among its residents.

Replaced by the U.S. dollar in 1944: Despite their historical significance, the 1934 Hawaii $10 bills were eventually phased out and replaced by the U.S. dollar.

In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States, which led to the adoption of the U.S. currency as the official currency of the state.

This transition marked the end of the use of Hawaiian-specific currency, including the 1934 Hawaii $10 bills.

Today, these bills are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts due to their unique design and limited availability.

Key Design Elements

Depicts Hawaiian King Kamehameha I

Depicts Hawaiian King Kamehameha I

The 1934 Hawaii $10 bill holds significant historical and cultural value due to its depiction of Hawaiian King Kamehameha I.

This influential figure was the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The portrait on the bill showcases the noble and regal qualities of the king, highlighting his contribution to the history and heritage of Hawaii.

The inclusion of King Kamehameha I on the bill adds a sense of pride and identity to the currency, making it a cherished collector’s item for those interested in Hawaiian history.

Blue seal and serial numbers

One of the distinguishing features of the 1934 Hawaii $10 bill is its blue seal and serial numbers.

The blue color adds a vibrant touch to the overall design of the currency, setting it apart from other banknotes.

The blue seal represents the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which was responsible for issuing these bills.

The serial numbers, on the other hand, serve as unique identifiers for each individual bill, making them highly sought after by collectors who value rare and distinct banknotes.

Tropical plant motifs

Another notable design element of the 1934 Hawaii $10 bill is the inclusion of tropical plant motifs.

The intricate illustrations of hibiscus flowers, palm trees, and other native plants pay homage to the lush and diverse flora found in Hawaii.

These motifs not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the banknote but also serve as a reminder of the natural beauty and rich biodiversity of the Hawaiian islands.

The incorporation of these tropical plant motifs adds a touch of uniqueness to the currency, making it an interesting piece for collectors and enthusiasts.

Determining the Bill’s Condition

Crispness of paper and ink

One of the key factors in determining the condition of a 1934 Hawaii $10 bill is the crispness of the paper and ink.

A bill in excellent condition will have sharp, well-defined edges and vibrant colors.

On the other hand, a bill that has been heavily circulated may show signs of wear and tear, such as fading ink or creases in the paper.

It is important to carefully examine the bill under proper lighting to assess its overall crispness.

Presence of folds or tears

Another important aspect to consider when evaluating the condition of a 1934 Hawaii $10 bill is the presence of folds or tears.

Bills that have been folded multiple times or have tears along the edges will generally be considered to be in less desirable condition.

These imperfections can significantly impact the value of the bill, as collectors typically prefer bills that are free from such damage.

It is advisable to handle the bill with care and avoid excessive folding or handling to maintain its condition.

Centering of design elements

The centering of design elements is another factor that plays a role in determining the condition of a 1934 Hawaii $10 bill.

Bills with well-centered designs, where the elements are aligned symmetrically, are generally considered to be in better condition.

On the other hand, bills with off-centered designs may be seen as less desirable by collectors.

Examining the bill closely and comparing the alignment of design elements can provide valuable insights into its overall condition.

When assessing the value of a 1934 Hawaii $10 bill, it is important to consider these factors and determine its overall condition.

This will help collectors establish a fair market value for the bill and make informed decisions regarding its purchase or sale.

Impact of Rarity on Value

Only 3 million $10 bills printed

Back in 1934, the United States government printed a total of 3 million $10 bills for use in Hawaii.

While this may sound like a large number, it is actually relatively low compared to the number of bills printed for other denominations and locations.

The limited supply of these bills is one of the factors that contribute to their rarity and increased value.

Most fell out of circulation

Over time, many of the 1934 Hawaii $10 bills fell out of circulation due to wear and tear.

As people used these bills in their everyday transactions, they would become damaged and eventually be taken out of circulation by banks.

This natural attrition process further reduced the number of surviving bills, making them even rarer and more valuable today.

Few survive in top condition today

Of the original 3 million 1934 Hawaii $10 bills printed, only a fraction remain in top condition today.

These bills, known as “uncirculated” or “mint condition” bills, have been preserved over the years and show no signs of wear.

Collectors and enthusiasts highly covet these pristine bills, driving up their value in the market.

It’s important to note that the rarity of the 1934 Hawaii $10 bills is not the sole factor determining their value. Other factors such as demand, historical significance, and overall condition also play a role.

However, the limited supply of these bills certainly adds to their allure and makes them highly sought after by collectors and numismatists around the world.

How Dealers Price 1934 Hawaii $10s

Grading on the standard 1-70 point scale


When it comes to pricing 1934 Hawaii $10 bills, dealers use a grading system based on the standard 1-70 point scale.

This grading system takes into account the condition of the bill, including factors such as wear, creases, and overall crispness.

Higher grades indicate better condition, while lower grades suggest more wear and tear.

A bill with a higher grade will typically have a higher value, as collectors are willing to pay more for bills in better condition.

High premiums for uncirculated notes

Uncirculated notes, or bills that have never been used and are in pristine condition, are highly sought after by collectors.

As a result, dealers often assign a high premium to these uncirculated 1934 Hawaii $10 bills. The scarcity of such bills on the market, coupled with the demand from collectors, drives up their value.

If you happen to come across an uncirculated 1934 Hawaii $10 bill, you may be looking at a significant increase in its price compared to circulated ones.

Adjustments for flaws like stains and tears

While uncirculated notes command a premium, bills with flaws such as stains, tears, or other damages can have their value adjusted accordingly.

Dealers take into consideration the severity and visibility of these flaws when pricing 1934 Hawaii $10 bills.

A bill with a minor flaw may still retain a significant portion of its value, while a bill with a major flaw may have a reduced price.

It’s important to note that the rarity of the specific bill can also come into play, as some collectors may be willing to overlook certain flaws if the bill is particularly scarce.

For more information on grading systems and pricing methods for 1934 Hawaii $10 bills, you can visit or


In the world of paper money collecting, 1934 Hawaii $10 silver certificates are undisputed classics. With only a handful left in true uncirculated condition, prices for these rare banknotes remain strong.

Understanding what contributed to their special status helps collectors determine if that old $10 bill inherited from Grandpa is a true hidden gem worth its weight in silver.

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