Value of Savings Bonds to collectors

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006
Categorized as: Current value of a US Savings Bond

About once a month I receive a question about the value of a Savings Bond as a collector’s item. I typically refer the questioner to eBay, but before today I’d never actually seen a Savings Bond offered on eBay.

Now we have some data. This eBay auction for a $25 E bond issued December 1954 had a winning bid of $18.26. The actual value of the bond to the heirs of the owner would have been $177.53.

The auction began on April 5, 2006 with a starting bid of $9.99. It ended on April 12, 2006 and had three bidders.

Because Savings Bonds are registered securities, only the persons named on the bond or their heirs can cash them. Collectors are unable to redeem them for their actual value.

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FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:


On April 26th, 2006 Mario said:

Perhaps if they are named “Patriot Bond” or “Gulf Coast Recovery Bond” etc. they might fetch a good price in 30 years? Definitely should be a low denomination, otherwise the bond will be worth too much actual value. What other savings bonds with special inscription were there over the years?

On September 11th, 2007 Fred Smith said:

Interesting information. One of my friends, he is over 80 years old, has two bonds. One was issued July, 1942 ($50) and the other was issued on D Day, June 6, 1944 ($25). He is trying to find out how much they would be worth to a collector.

On September 11th, 2007 Tom Adams said:

I know of only one report of a 1942 E bond selling for more than its redemption value. That took place on eBay and was in all likelihood a rigged auction (designed to make old Savings Bonds look like they’re worth more than they are). My memory is that the same seller had other Savings Bonds for sale that didn’t even bring in their face value, much less their redemption value.

Tom Adams

On November 11th, 2007 Arlene White said:

My dad has 2 war savings e bonds. one was issued in June 1944 for $50 and the other is a hand-written bond issued July 1942 for $25. He wants to decide if saving them is better than cashing them in for the value. Based on what you said previously, it sounds like there is not much of a market but is there any and where would we most likely find it? Thanks for your time.

On November 12th, 2007 Tom Adams said:

Hi Arlene – if there’s no market on eBay, I can’t imagine there would be a market anywhere else, but I’m not an expert in this area.

Tom Adams

On December 5th, 2007 Dan Curdy said:

Hi-Want to sell two U S Savings Bonds E Series June 1946 $10.00 Any suggestions?

On December 6th, 2007 Tom Adams said:

Hi Dan – when people start posting here that they want to buy old Savings Bonds I’ll have suggestions. I don’t think that’s going to happen, though.

Tom Adams

On March 27th, 2008 alex said:

I have a $1,000 water works bond from year 1932 stamped 1952 year paid are ready signed by all three people and searching for how much this bond is worth today on the market.

On August 5th, 2008 Linda King said:

I was wondering if Series E savings bonds with the picture of George Washington have any collector value. (greater than the cash-in value)$25 dollar face value.

Also Series E with a picture of Independence Hall, with the words 1776 Bicentenial 1976.

On August 6th, 2008 Tom Adams said:

Linda – use the calculator at the top of this page, right side. You’ll find the cash-in value of the bond is a lot more than $25 (and also a lot more than a collector will pay for it).

Tom Adams

On January 1st, 2010 Robert said:

As a WWII collector, I bought a May 1943 E series bond, 25 dollar face value for one hundred dollars. As far as the government is concerned I can’t get anything for it. I think the 1954 bond offered here as proof of no after-market does not give a fair assessment of the collector value. The Korean War had ended and to the buyer, they are simply buying a 55 year old piece of paper. A WWII bond on the other hand you are buying a symbol of American will and the meaning behind all of the “Buy War Bond” drives.

On March 22nd, 2010 Nancy Sierchio said:

I was wondering if Robert who posted on January 1st 2010 would be interested in buying another E Series War Bond in beautiful condition? It is dated 8/1943. It’s face value is also $25.00 and worth a little over $102.00.

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

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