The Paper Savings Bond

March 12th, 2012 by

While paper savings bonds are no longer available as of 1/1/12, the savings bond certificate for paper savings bonds which have been issued in the past is full of interesting information including:

Face Value

In the Upper Left Hand Corner, there is an amount of money listed. This is known as the bond’s face value.

For I bonds, this amount is the same as the purchase price. For EE Series, the amount is half the face value of the bond. At the maturity date for EE Series paper bonds, the value of the bond is at a minimum equal to the face value. Since 2003, the maturity for EE Series bonds has been 20 years.  Between 1980 and 2003, the maturity dates have ranged between  8 and 18 years.  See below for maturity dates on EE Bonds.

The face value of a savings bonds is not the same as its current value. Click here to find the current value of your savings bonds.

Series & Issue Date

In the Upper Right Hand Corner, there is a Series Number and Issue Date. If the current date is more than 30 years after the issue date, your bond has stopped earning interest and you should redeem it. Using the Series and Issue date you can find out the current value of the bond using this site’s Savings bond Calculator.

Serial Number

In the Lower Right Hand Corner, there is a serial number. Should you wish to convert your paper bonds into electronic bonds, you will need to use this number.


In the center of the savings bond is the name of the owner. If you have inherited the saving bond and therefor are not the listed owner, you will need to fill out some paperwork. For instructions, click here

Issue Date

Original Term

1/80 – 10/80 11 years
11/80 – 4/81 9 years
5/81 – 10/82 8 years
11/82 – 10/86 10 years
11/86 – 2/93 12 years
3/93 – 4/95 18 years
5/95 – 5/03 17 years
6/03 – present 20 years
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