Close-up of a $2 bill
Source: Getty Images

$2 Bills Are More Common Than You Probably Think

Dan Clarendon - Author
By

Sep. 16 2022, Published 1:43 p.m. ET

Considering how rare they seem, are $2 bills worth anything? After all, you see a “Tom” far less often than you see a Washington or a Jackson, so that rarity has to translate into high demand, right?

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Well, the $2 bill might not be as rare as you think. As of 2017, there were still 1.2 billion $2 bills in circulation, according to the U.S. Currency Education Program. And believe it or not, the U.S. Department of the Treasury was still printing $2 bills as recently as 2019.

What is the $2 bill?

The $2 bill is a denomination of U.S. currency that was first issued by the federal government in 1862, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

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Close-up of a $2 bill
Source: Getty Images

In that first design, a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, graced the front of the bill. Starting with the Series 1869 United States Notes, however, the portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president, was used for $2 bills. In 1928, the backside of the $2 bill was redesigned to feature artwork depicting Monticello, Jefferson’s Virginia residence.

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In 1976, upon the United States’ bicentennial, the $2 bill was redesigned again. Starting with Series 1976, the backside of the bill featured a vignette of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, based on a painting by John Trumbull. The original Trumbull painting featured 47 men, but space constraints meant that only 42 appear in the engraving shown on the bill.

Are $2 bills still made?

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s annual production reports — which go up to the 2020 fiscal year — show that $2 bills were still being printed in fiscal 2019, when 160 million entered the national supply, compared to 339 million $10 bills, 736 million $2 bills, and 2.1 billion $1 bills. No $2 bills were printed in fiscal 2020.

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The bureau says that the latest printings of the $2 bill have the Series 2017A designation, and there are no plans to redesign the $2 bill.

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According to the U.S. Currency Education Program, the design of the $2 bill used from 1976 onward features raised printing, a Federal Reserve Bank seal, a U.S. Department of the Treasury seal, and two serial numbers. The design is printed on paper made from one-fourth linen and three-fourths cotton, which contains red and blue security fibers.

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Are $2 bills worth anything?

As numismatist James Bucki wrote for The Spruce Crafts, $2 bills issued from 1862 to 1918 are worth at least $100, even in well-circulated condition. $2 bills from Series 1928 are worth $60 (for circulated notes) to $100 (for uncirculated notes). Those from Series 1953 are worth $10 (circulated) to $25 (uncirculated). Those from Series 1963 are worth $9 (circulated) to $20 (uncirculated). And uncirculated $2 bills from 1976 to today are worth up to $10.

“Two-dollar bills are not popular among banknote collectors,” Bucki added. “Therefore, the demand is low while there is an ample supply to meet the banknote collector requirements.”

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