- Did you recently come across a $2 bill and wonder what it's worth? You're not alone. The $2 bill is one of the seemingly most unusual types of banknotes Americans have the pleasure of (occasionally) stumbling upon today. Quite often, the non-collector's rare encounter with a $2 bill is associated with an event of good tidings - perhaps the $2 bill is a holiday gift, or it's given to the recipient as part of a tip. However it is that the unsuspecting Joe or Jolene happens upon the $2 bill, it's generally a moment met with at least two thoughts: "I didn't know they made $2 bills!" and/or "what's this $2 bill worth?"
The Series 2003 $2 bill carries Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and on the reverse a vignette depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776
Suffice it to say, that first thought isn't all that uncommon, especially among our friends in the non-numismatic community. Let's be frank here - when did you last see a $2 bill outside of a numismatic shop or banknote collection? Have you ever seen a $2 bill in regular circulation, let alone used one to pay for something? If you're of a certain age, chances are rather good that you can say you've spent a $2 bill as bona fide money - and not just to give to someone as a special sort of tip or a birthday gift to a youngster.
The first $2 bills were printed under the second issue of Legal Tender Notes, produced as Series 1862. In those days, a $2 bill represented a decent sum of money - especially considering that a typical laborer in any of the big East Coast cities may have been earning about 75 cents to $1 during the Civil War era. Over time, the note saw gradually increasing use, perhaps more a function of inflation than preference for the note itself. By the middle of the 20th century, the $2 bill began falling away from common use in circulation.
Why? It didn't help that, by that time, the $2 bill had become associated with gambling and political bribes - both deeds often done with $2 bills. Still, it wasn't just the $2 bill's less-than-innocent reputation that became an obstacle to the denomination's success in circulation. It was also a matter of practicality. With other similarly denominated bills as monetarily adjacent options, most Americans preferred carrying around $1 and $5 notes instead of $2 bills.
The United States Bicentennial in 1976 was cause for the United States government to honor the nation's 200th anniversary on banknotes, just as was being done in the mid-1970s with special designs on the quarter, half dollar, and dollar coins. The $2 bill, anchored by an obverse portrait of Thomas Jefferson, had carried a reverse motif of the president's sprawling Virginia home "Monticello" since 1928. But, for Series 1976 the decision was made to print a famous vignette on the reverse depicting the presentation of the Declaration of Independence in 1976. The ornate design drew accolades from the numismatic community and the general American populace.
As happened with the dual-dated 1776-1976 Bicentennial coins, countless Americans began hoarding the Series 1976 $2 bills, either because these folks deemed the special notes perhaps too beautiful to spend or, maybe, they were thinking these unusual notes were more valuable than they really are. It's safe to say that a great many non-collectors to this day mistakenly believe that modern-era $2 bills are worth more than face value. So, if you're one of those persons who thinks the $2 bill is a valuable novelty, it may surprise you to learn that the typical, lightly circulated $2 bill encountered today is worth exactly the amount stated on the note: two dollars.
How can this be? Especially if the $2 bill is so rare.Read the Entire Article