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Valuable two bills most sought after by collectors

Although they are considered good luck, they could land you in jail if you try to pay with some of them. Here I tell you all about it in detail.

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Billetes de 2 dólares

Although they are considered good luck, they could land you in jail if you try to pay with some of them. If you think I am exaggerating, wait until you get to the end of the text where I tell you an anecdote that validates what I have just told you.

In this article I will tell you how many $2 bills exist, which ones are the most valuable and why collectors love them. I promise you that nothing I tell you here will leave you indifferent. What’s more, if you don’t have one of these bills yet, you will probably want to get one after reading the whole text.

Most Wanted Two Dollar Bills for Years

Although all $2 denomination bills are highly valued, the reality is that there are a few that are sought after more than others. The reasons vary, why these particular bills are more in demand than others.

Below, I will tell you about the most sought after $2 bills.

2 dollar bill from 1776

In 1776, several denominations of banknotes were issued in the United States, including $2 bills. However, these 1776 $2 bills should not be confused with today’s bills, as they are different currencies.

The bills printed in 1776 are part of what became known as Continental Money of the United States. Continental currency predates the official creation of the U.S. dollar.

The decision to create these Continental bills was made on May 10, 1775, at a meeting of the Second Continental Congress. They were created to finance the American War of Independence.

Billete de 2 dólares de 1776
2 dollar bill of 1776

The first issue of Continental Money consisted of denominations of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 20 dollars. Of all denominations, 49,000 bills were printed, except for the 20 dollar bill, of which only 11,800 were printed.

It is important to note that at that time few people earned more than 1 dollar a day. In addition, they preferred to keep their money in coins, which, being metallic, were more difficult to deteriorate.

2 dollar bill of 1862

In 1862, the first 2-dollar bills were officially printed in the United States. These bills measured 7.3 inches by 3.1 inches, larger than the bills we know today.

Billete de 2 dólares de 1862
2 dollar bill from 1862

On the front was an engraving of Alexander Hamilton, while on the back was a complex drawing with shapes and the denomination of $2 in each corner. As was the case with Continental money, these bills were not very popular and did not circulate much.

Today, collectors can pay as much as $6250 for a $2 bill from 1862, provided it is in Uncirculated quality.

2 dollar bill from 1869

Just 7 years after the first issue, the 1869 $2 bill changes its design. Hamilton is replaced by Thomas Jefferson, and a visual of the U.S. Capitol is included on the front. Jefferson remains on banknotes of this denomination to the present day.

Billete de 2 dólares de 1869
2 dollar bill from 1869

Any 1869 $2 bill is a prized collector’s item. If in acceptable condition it can trade for more than $470. However, a specimen in excellent condition can sell for up to 7500 dollars.

In 1874, adjustments were made to the design that were maintained more or less until 1917.

2 dollar bill, 1928 series.

In 1928 the dimensions and design of the US two-dollar bills are changed. The size is reduced to 6.14 inches by 2.6 inches, and the stage known as small size bills begins.

On the front, the color of the number and the Reserve seal changes. All bills issued between 1928 and 1963 would be part of what is known as the red-stamped $2 series. Another change in the design is that the Capitol on the reverse is replaced by Jefferson’s home, known as Monticello.

Billete de 2 dólares de serie 1928
2 dollar bill series 1928

According to A Guide Book or United States Paper Money, the 1928 series can cost $100 and $3250. Of course, the most valuable are those $2 bills that are uncirculated and hard to find.

A significant fact is that, after the Great Depression, in 1929, many of the myths and legends that exist to this day about the two-dollar bills began to be established. I will tell you more about these myths and some curiosities later on.

1953 and 1965 series of 2 dollar bills

In 1953 the bill changes slightly. The Federal Reserve seal is moved from the left to the right of Jefferson. All other elements of the paper money design remain the same.

The two-dollars were hardly ever accepted by the public, so they hardly ever circulated. Consequently, large print runs were not printed either, as is the case with the $1, $5, $10 or other denominations.

Of the series printed in 1953, the scarcest and therefore the most valuable is the 153-C series. Of this series only 360 thousand bills were printed, therefore, they are the most difficult to obtain and a copy in good condition can cost more than 100 dollars.

Billetes de 2 dólares de 1953
2 dollar bills from 1953

Motivated by the low demand and little use of the 2 dollar bills, they were discontinued in 1965. From then on, they were only issued for a few years and not continuously.

2 dollar bill of 1976

In 1976 was the bicentennial of the American Revolution, and the U.S. Congress approved the issuance of a series of $2 bills commemorating the date. On the front, the color of the serial numbers and the Federal Reserve seal changed to green.

Billete de 2 dólares de 1976
2 dollar bill from 1976

On the back of the bill, the Monticello motif is replaced by a scene of the signing of the Declaration of Independence based on an 1818 painting by John Trumball. The scene shows a group of men, including Jefferson himself, at the moment of signing the famous document.

About these banknotes I will tell you some curiosities below.

2 dollar bill of 1995, 2003, 2009, 2013 and 2019.

The $2 bills were reprinted on non-consecutive dates and spaced in time. As it is a denomination with low demand, there is no need for the large print runs that are made with other bills of the monetary cone.

Any of the two-dollar bills from 1995 onwards have a value equal to their denomination. In other words, they are not worth more than the two dollars stamped on them. Only a few very specific specimens are attractive to collectors of $2 bills.

Basically, the specimens that can be worth a little more are those that have a star printed in front of the serial number. The price of collectible $2 bills, by year, would be more or less like this:

Year Serie Bank Quantity Value (Uncirculated)
1976 F-1935I ★ Minneapolis 640 000 150.00 dólares.
1976 F-1935J ★ Kansas City 640 000 160.00 dólares.
1995 F-1936A ★ Boston 9999 37.50 dólares.
2003 F-1937F ★ Atlanta 16000 75.00 dólares.
2003-A F-1938F ★ Atlanta 320000 120.00 dólares.
2003-A F-1938L ★ San Francisco 384400 150.00 dólares.
2009 F-1939B ★ New York 128000 175.00 dólares.
2013 F-1940F ★ Atlanta 640000 30.00 dólares.

As you can see, buying or selling $2 bills is not a highly expensive or lucrative activity. Although these bills are not seen every day, they are also not considered rare specimens that raise their price significantly.

Other two dollars bills that exist

Up to this point I have presented you with information about the United States Federal Reserve Notes. However, there were other 2 dollar bills printed by different banks and institutions in the United States, authorized by the Government. These are the most expensive 2 dollar bills.

National 2 Dollar Bank Notes

National bank bills were bills created by National Banks authorized by the U.S. government. They were usually backed by bonds that the bank deposited with the U.S. Treasury.

Billetes de 2 dólares de Banco Nacionales 1875
2 Dollar National Bank Notes

The $2 National Bank bills date from 1875. The front features a woman unfurling a flag, while the reverse has the King of England smoking tobacco.

These $2 bills are very rare and scarce. Whoever wants one for his collection will have to pay between 1900 and 11500 dollars, depending on the state of conservation.

Two Dollar Silver Certificates

Silver Certificates are banknotes issued between 1878 and 1964 in the United States. The creation of this type of banknote was motivated by the discomfort of citizens with the Fourth Currency Act, which placed the United States on a gold standard.

Certified Silver $2 bills were printed in 1886, 1891, 1896 and 1899. Of these, the 1896 series, known as the “Educational Series,” are considered the most beautiful and artistic of all U.S. paper money types and designs.

Dos dólares certificados de plata 1896
Two certified silver dollars 1896

The reverse depicts Robert Fulton and Samuel FB Morse. The motif on the bill is an allegory for “The science that introduces steam and electricity to commerce and manufacturing”.

All certified silver dollar bills are extremely rare and scarce, therefore very valuable. A 1986 specimen in its best grade of preservation and quality can fetch up to $4500 .

Two Treasury Dollar Bill

The bills known as “Treasury” were issued by the United States government between 1890 and 1893. To print them, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was passed, designed to create bills with which to pay people who sold silver to the government.

Two issues of $2 Treasury bills were made. Both the bills printed in 1890 and those of 1891 bear James B. McPherson stamped on the front. The 1890 issues have the brown stamp and those of the following year have red stamps.

Billete de dos dólares del Tesoro
Two-dollar Treasury bill

The 1890 $2 bill specimens are in high demand by collectors. In good condition they can be worth about $700; however, an uncirculated specimen could cost more than $17,000.

2 Dollar Federal Reserve Bank Notes

Federal Reserve Bank bills were issued between 1915 and 1934, in order to replace National Bank notes that were being withdrawn from circulation. The $2 bills of this type were specifically printed in 1918.

Billetes de la Reserva Federal de 2 dólares
2 dollar Federal Reserve Notes

This 1918 bill is just one among other blue series $2 bills that collectors love. They are known as the “Battleship” bills, because they feature a military vessel of this type on their reverse side.

Collectors interested in obtaining these bills can do so by paying between 330 and 2000 dollars, depending on the place where they were printed and the state of preservation. However, if they want to get their hands on a 2 dollar bill printed in Philadelphia (uncirculated), they should be willing to pay $ 10,000, or even a little more.

Curiosities about 2 U.S. dollar bills

Next, I will tell you some particularities and curiosities about these banknotes that you probably don’t know, and they will make you exclaim with astonishment or smile.

Incredible facts about the two-dollar bills

The 2 dollar bills currently have Thomas Jefferson printed on them. This is something that everyone knows and can easily observe. However, what not many people know is that Jefferson is the only person to appear on the front and back of the same bill.

On the back of the $2 bills from 1976 and to date, the scene of the signing of the Declaration of Independence appears. The curiosity is that the $2 bill shows 6 less people than the John Trumbull painting.

Infographic: Representation of the Jhon Trumbull painting on a 2 dollar bill.
Infographic: Representation of the Jhon Trumbull painting on a 2 dollar bill.

Many people consider $2 bills to be good luck. It is believed that keeping a bill of this denomination as a charm in your wallet attracts fortune and money. However, the people involved in the following events may not think so.

Police trouble over $2 bills

In 2016 a 13-year-old girl in Texas in Texas was taken to the police for trying to pay for school lunch with a $2 bill. The problem arose when the counterfeit detector pen flagged the bill as a possible counterfeit. Was it really counterfeit? No.

The girl’s grandmother handed her a $2 bill from 1953. The pen did not work on that bill because the technology used by the pen had not been developed at that time. Fortunately, the incident did not escalate, as the police were able to verify with the bank that these old $2 bills are still legal tender.

Similar cases have been reported all over the United States, and in other parts of the world. If you search the internet you can find many similar anecdotes involving $2 bills. Some funny, some not so funny. Apparently for some people these specimens are as rare as $500 bills.

To sum up

I really hope that in this article you have discovered some interesting things about these bills. As you may have noticed, there are many good reasons that could lead anyone to become a collector of $2 bills. In this article I barely touch on any of them, as much more could be written about these specimens.

If you liked the article, you can share it on your social networks and send it directly to your friends so they know everything you now know. Also, I would love for you to leave me a comment telling me what impressed you the most, and if you already have your separate $2 bill.

Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at Startup.info.

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