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Did $2 Notes Circulate More In The Past?

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 Posted 10/03/2022  11:42 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add nick10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Prior to the Kennedy design, half dollars used to circulate with some routine. What about $2 notes prior to the 1976 series? At some past time were they used more frequently than they are now?
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 Posted 10/03/2022  2:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add datadragon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A good question. Pre-1929 (when it was a large sized note) it was continually used regularly and actually started in 1862, but that is so long ago I can see why most wouldnt know that, and at that time it was issued as a United States Note, National Bank Note, Silver Certificate, Treasury or "Coin" Note, and Federal Reserve Bank Note. The size changed in 1928 to the size we use now and then was redesigned and issued only as a United States note until 1966. Then United States notes were phased out and $2 denomination discontinued until 1976 when it was reissued as a Federal Reserve Note with a new reverse design which do not circulate as widely as other denominations. The Treasury cited low usage of the two-dollar bill during that time as the reason for not immediately resuming use of the denomination.

The two-dollar bill is one of the most rarely seen in circulation and actual use. They are almost never given as change for commercial transactions, and thus consumers rarely have them on hand. There seems to be a lack of public knowledge now that the bill is even still in production and circulation and accepted in all those vending and self checkout machines etc. People are apparently hording them thinking wrongly they are rarer and more valuable than they are. Although they are generally available at most banks, two-dollar notes are usually not handed out except upon specific request by the customer, and may require the teller to make a trip to the vault, or order the desired amount if not present at the branch.

Edit: The first $2 notes are actually Continentals and are nine days older than America. On June 25, 1776, the Continental Congress authorizes issuance of the $2 denominations in "bills of credit" for the defense of America.
Edited by datadragon
10/03/2022 2:36 pm
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 Posted 10/03/2022  2:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Nycstlrr to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can remember getting a few on my paper route 40+ years ago. More than likely, they were all 1976 issues. Probably not the answer you are looking for though.
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 Posted 10/03/2022  2:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Two dollar notes were a staple in the early to mid 20th century and a favorite for betting at parimutuel establishments.
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 Posted 10/03/2022  6:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add morgans dad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Always felt the $2.00 notes were Special, The Reverse Design is Not only Historic, it's Spectacular !!!!!!!!!
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 Posted 10/03/2022  6:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add morgans dad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
datadragon, Thanks for the Effort and Information........
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 Posted 10/03/2022  7:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I do not recall the small $2s circulating very much even back in the 1950s when I was a kid.
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 Posted 10/03/2022  10:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The main problem that $2 notes in America had was stigma.

Some time in the late 19th or early 20th century, a superstition arose - don't know how, where, or when, just one of those silly superstition things - that receiving a $2 note was "unlucky". Further, the superstition required that to break the bad luck curse, you needed to tear the corners off the $2 note before you spent it.

This of course, rendered the note unsuitable for re-issue by the bank that ended up receiving it in deposit. Which in turn meant that banks tended not to want to issue them, knowing that some darn fool would just go and tear the corners off them and they'd have to order in a new batch. The superstition no doubt inflated the actual demand for $2 notes, because they had to keep printing replacements.

This seems to be the main reason why issue of $2 notes was never as strong in America as it was in, say, Canada, where an otherwise identical currency system was in use. $2 notes were heavily used in Canada, right up until they were replaced with a circulating $2 coin, the "twoonie", which remains in common everyday use in Canada. Needless to say, the "bad luck" superstition never seemed to have crossed the border.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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 Posted 10/04/2022  12:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nick10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've read that during the 1800s, $2 was the going rate for, shall we say, certain services from women. So carrying $2 notes was deemed questionable by other members of society.
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 Posted 10/04/2022  1:04 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I've read that during the 1800s, $2 was the going rate for, shall we say, certain services from women. So carrying $2 notes was deemed questionable by other members of society.

I'd also heard that $2 bills were commonly given by corrupt politicians when they wanted to 'buy' votes...

In 1990 I was working as a tour manager and was escorting a group of American tourists on a bus tour of Europe. I often had to exchange small sums of money from dollars into local currency for them so they could buy souvenirs, postcards and snacks. I remember one very elderly American lady from St Louis (she must have been in her mid-eighties at least) opening her wallet and I noticed a red seal $2 bill inside. I asked her why she kept it, and she told me she always kept a $2 bill in her wallet 'for luck'.

Strangely, as a tour guide I do sometimes get $2 bills given to me as tips nowadays by US tourists!
Edited by NumisRob
10/04/2022 6:10 pm
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 Posted 10/04/2022  2:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Unlucky? Corrupt?

For some of us, they are just a way to show economic impact.

Go Tigers!
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 Posted 10/04/2022  3:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SteveInTampa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I snagged a pair of Tiger Twos when Clemson faced Alabama in the Championship Game held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa several years back.

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 Posted 10/04/2022  3:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I snagged a pair of Tiger Twos when Clemson faced Alabama in the Championship Game held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa several years back.
Outstanding!
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 Posted 10/08/2022  12:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bchase44 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My father left me his small collection, mostly coins but this was the only bill:


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 Posted 10/08/2022  11:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

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My father left me his small collection, mostly coins but this was the only bill:
Very nice!
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 Posted 10/09/2022  03:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
...and with a corner missing, I see.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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