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You May Own a $2 Bill That is Worth More Than Your Car

Source: Terrence Horan

When listing their most valuable assets, most people focus on the obvious choices – such as trading cards, rare stamps, antiques, automobiles, and real estate. However, what most people do not realize is that there are rare $2 bills that are worth a lot more than they realize. Here is a brief history of the $2 bill, interesting facts that you more than likely did not know, and why these rare bills are so valuable today.

When Were $2 Bills First Issued?

Source: Pixabay/905513 a $2 Bill

The original $2 bill (also referred to as U.S. Note and “Legal Tender”) was first issued in 1862 by the federal government. Even though later versions of the $2 bill featured Thomas Jefferson in the portrait, the first portrait actually belonged to the face of Alexander Hamilton.

Long before Alexander Hamilton was the subject of an award-winning Broadway play, he made history as the first Secretary of the Treasury from 1789-1795.

Has the $2 Bill Ever Been Pulled Out of Circulation?

Source: Pixabay/Mike a $2 Bill Fan

There have been several points throughout history when the $2 bill was pulled out of circulation. For instance, a low demand led to a 22-year hiatus in the late 1890s. It was printed again in 1918 during World War I but then later discontinued again during World War II. The scarcity of the $2 bill led to the overall belief that it was rare, which later fed into other myths and folk legends about this particular legal tender.

When Did the Portrait Change to Thomas Jefferson?

Source: Wikimedia/Graysick

The portrait on the $2 bill changed from Alexander Hamilton to Thomas Jefferson in 1869 – 7 years after the note’s initial issuance. Ever since its debut within the Series 1869 U.S. Notes, the same portrait of the third U.S. president has been used within all of the $2 Federal Reserve notes and $2 U.S. notes. The back of the $2 bill included Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia estate, starting with the Series 1928 release. The most recent design still in circulation was issued in the Series 2017A group.

Why Do Some $2 Bills Have a Red Seal on the Front?

Source: Wikimedia/United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing

In the early 1920s, a lot of businesses simply do not take the $2 bill seriously as acceptable currency. It was viewed as a practical joke to present a vendor with a two-dollar tender – even if you wanted to use the money for gambling at the nearby racetrack or casino. The U.S. decided to issue a limited series of $2 bills with a red seal from 1928-1966. The treasury seal was changed to green starting in 1975, making the red seal versions very rare and valuable to the knowledgeable collector. One of the rarest $2 bills with red seals is from the 1928-B series and is currently valued at $20,000.

What is the Highest Value $2 Bill in the History of Currency?

Source: Pixabay

The “Grand Watermelon” design of 1890 is perhaps one of the highest-value $2 bills in the history of the currency note. It was widely known for its distinctive look and intricate scrollwork featured on the back of the bill. The nickname “Grand Watermelon” came from the watermelon-like artwork. A high-grade 1890 Grand Watermelon $2 bill was sold at an auction in 2014 for more than $3.2 million. This reportedly set a record for the highest bid ever paid for paper currency.

Are $2 Bills Used for Educational Purposes?

Source: Pexels

The $2 bill serves a wide range of educational purposes – perhaps in more ways than most people realize. For instance, there are financial literacy programs throughout the country that use this rare currency to educate their students on various currency denominations. They are also used as tools to teach about the history of U.S. currency in addition to the allure of collecting high-value items. This bill is also included in promotional giveaways and campaigns at times in addition to community engagement projects.

What is the Big Deal about Tipping with $2 Bills?

Source: Pexels/RDNE Stock Project

An increasingly popular trend is tipping servers and other service industry professionals with a $2 bill as gratuity. The concept is based on the opportunity to make sure that your tip stands out as different from the other commonly-used denominations in circulation. It is also believed that this type of rare tip could leave a positive impact on the server and may even generate buzz as a viral photo when posted online. At the very least, it is an appealing gift for collectors and people that are always on the lookout for a great conversation starter.

Is It True That a $2 Bill is a Good Luck Charm?

Source: Pixabay/Pablo Jimeno a Lucky Fortune Cookie

The concept that a $2 bill is a good luck charm is primarily based on cultural beliefs and superstition instead of proven facts. For instance, there are some cultures that believe the number “2” symbolizes harmony and balance. This belief is then reflected onto the $2 bill as if possessing one would bring happiness and harmony into your life. Like a shooting star or fallen eyelash, its rarity also enhances the popularity of the belief that the $2 bill is a good luck charm.

Has the $2 Bill Been in Any Popular Movies or TV Shows?

Source: Pixabay/Bruno a Movie Theater

The $2 bill has made an appearance in quite a few television shows and movies over the years. Some even place a lot of emphasis on the $2 bill as a key element of the plot. For instance, in the 1994 hit Jim Carrey movie “Dumb and Dumber,” the two main characters use a $2 bill to pay for their epic journey. This rare note was also featured in an episode of the hit television sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory” when the character Sheldon Cooper appreciates its rare presence.

Are There Still $2 Bills in Circulation Today?

Source: Wikimedia/Edward Betts

As of January 2024, the $2 bill is still in circulation and being printed within the United States. It still features the portrait for Thomas Jefferson on the front with an artistic depiction of the Declaration of Independence on the back of the bill. For security purposes, the most recent series of $2 bills features color-shifting ink, distinct watermarks and other counterfeit deterrents. Those who are interested in adding some to their collection can typically request them at banks when making withdrawals. However, chances are that you will never find them coming out of an ATM.

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Charlotte Clad

Written by Charlotte Clad

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