Rarely seen by ordinary people, both the $500 and $1,000 bills are genuine U.S. legal tender. These bills, however, were last printed by the US mint in 1945. In 1969 the government completely halted the distribution of these large denomination bills. When APMEX reviews the reasons these bills were used in the past, they see that they were mostly used in transactions between large institutions, such as banks. In addition, private people could have used these large bills for larger than usual purchases, such as for down payments on homes, according to APMEX reviews.
Today large transactions are almost exclusively done electronically, with no need to ever exchange cash in large amounts. Collectors might be interested to know that it is possible to purchase $500 notes, which bare the likeness of President William McKinley. Notes printed in 1928 can sell for about $2,300, while notes from 1934 cost about $1,000.
Featuring the face of President Grover Cleveland in profile, $1,000 notes printed in 1928 can be acquired for about $3,500 to $4,000. Notes printed in 1934 are valued today at about $2,250 to $3,000.