The thing that makes people think the 1953 2 dollar bill may have a high value is the red seal and its unique look. However, just because some items look pretty and are unusual, it doesn’t mean they are extremely valuable.
Today, we will be talking about the 1953 $2 bill and teach you how to recognize truly special and rare examples of this exceptional series. You will learn everything you need to know about 1953 $2 bills and their different varieties so you can score a great deal without taking too much risk.
List Of The Most Valuable 1953 $2 Bills
It is always important to know what your bill should look like in its original condition. The 1953 $2 bills feature a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse side, and his residence Monticello on the reverse side. These bills were printed only in Washington DC and circulated across the country.
All 1953 $2 bills have red seals and red overprints. In total there were 79,920,000 notes printed. Keep in mind that some banknotes were replaced with star notes.
These are four different series of 1953 $2 bills categorised by signature combination:
- 1953 – signed by Ivy Baker Priest and G.M. Humphrey
- 1953A – signed by Ivy Baker Priest and Robert B Anderson
- 1953B – signed by Elizabeth Rudel Smith and C. Douglas Dillon
- 1953C – signed by Kathryn O’Hay Granahan and C. Douglas Dillon
Grading System Guidelines For Beginners
A lot of people might get confused by the condition labels in the table so we will explain what each condition means. When you know how to recognize these small differences in the grading system you will be able to better classify your own banknotes, and avoid getting scammed.
We are all aware that paper money is very easily damaged by folding, staining, rips, cuts, and so on. Just one moment of recklessness is enough to make some significant damage to your paper bill. Unfortunately, all of these imperfections will significantly lower the price tag.
The following list will describe in detail how a banknote must look to gain a particular grade. Make sure you thoroughly inspect your banknote and look for the following signs:
- Fair or poor – These are circulated bills that will show a lot of marks caused by wear and tear. Check for folds, rips, and also large pieces of the bill will be missing, in most cases corners. These bills are never worth more than their face value, and sometimes not even that.
- Good – These bills were also used in circulation but they have fewer damages, folds, tears, and small or no pieces missing. If your bill is graded good it can earn you some extra cash besides the face value, but not very much.
- Very good – Banknotes were used or still are in circulation and remain in the best possible condition despite this. Some minor signs of usage are visible like small tears or light folds but without any significant damage.
- Fine – Banknotes from circulation that show no tears, and only have some fine folds. In most cases, the color of the bill will be lighter.
- Very fine – These banknotes were used in circulation. However, they remain whole with minor discoloration and possible wrinkling or folds.
- Extremely fine – These bills were in circulation yet they are still crisp and firm. There are possible minor damages like pinches, delicate folds, and smudges.
- About uncirculated – These bills were in circulation for an extremely short period of time. There are no signs of handling and no more than 2 folds or corner folds.
- Choice uncirculated – CU-graded banknotes will never have folds, there is a slight chance of minor corner folds but these are the only signs of handling.
- Gem uncirculated – These bills are 100% fresh. They were never released into circulation and always end up in collections. A lot of these banknotes will have perfectly centered images.
What Dictates The Value Of The 1953 $2 Bill?
We all know that the value of any collectible item is not dictated only by its rarity. There are some other factors that can enhance or decrease the value. There are trends among antiques and vintage items which can dictate the price as well.
When you try to determine the value of your banknote and decide how much you can earn by selling it, think about the following factors:
- Is your banknote currently in demand? – A lot of people think that $2 bills are extremely rare and valuable due to the fact that they are the least printed denomination, but this is a false assumption. Unfortunately, most $2 bills, no matter the year of origin will be worth only their face value since they are not in high demand.
- Star banknotes – There are some star banknotes that can make this situation a bit more bearable. Star notes are printed to replace damaged banknotes, and will be worth significantly more. Star notes are much less common than regular notes.
- Condition – Every collector strives to collect items that are in the best possible condition. This is logical since the better the condition the greater the price. Also, they will look much better in your collection. When we talk about banknotes, make sure you chase the uncirculated bills. The holy grails are the ones that have well-centered images.
- How rare they are – No matter which collectible item we are talking about it is logical that those that are extremely rare will always achieve high prices and will be in demand.
- Serial number – Banknotes with interesting sets of digits will bring you a lot of money. The premium price is reserved for banknotes that are the first or last bills printed in the series. Also, palindromes, ladder serial numbers, solid serial numbers, and birthday serial numbers will enhance the final price of your banknote.
- Printing errors and mistakes – Any rare error will increase the value of the collectible item. When we talk about banknotes, the most common mistakes are overprinting, inverted serial numbers, misplaced seals, and the wrong ink color used for printing serial numbers.
Where Can You Find Valuable 1953 $2 Bills?
Searching for valuable and rare $2 bills is an exhausting task and it will require a lot of your time, patience, and excellent detective skills. You will need a very sharp eye for detail, and know when and where to look to come across unique $2 bills.
The strategy that we always propose is to first look for the banknote at the most reliable sources – antique shops and specialized shops and events. Here you will meet a lot of like-minded people who will be able to share some valuable information with you.
Also, the next step is deep research of the Internet auction platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers.
Check online forums and communities and if you don’t find anything there you have one more place to look – social networks.
Why do these bills have the red seal?
I bet that some of you were wondering why these bills have red seals. Well, this is because during the time they were in production America still practiced the gold standard.
At that time there were silver and gold certificates that had blue seals. To make sure people could tell the difference between these banknotes, legal tender notes were printed with a red seal.
Legal tender notes were made because the government needed extra cash to spend, so the red seals were basically loan bills. This is the main reason why they couldn’t be redeemed for silver or gold.
Is it true that the $100,000 bill is an illegal collectible item?
Yes, the $100,000 bill can’t be legally a part of any collection since it was actually a gold certificate. It was never issued for public use, but created and printed during the Great Depression in 1934. Their use was for conducting official transactions between Federal Reserve banks.
Today only some institutions such as the Museum of American Finance and The Smithsonian Museum display them for educational purposes.
What is the most commonly used denomination in the US?
$1 and $100 bills make up the vast majority of U.S. currency. To be more precise there are around 10.7 billion $1 bills in circulation and 9.7 billion $100 bills in circulation. $2 bills make up only around 2% of all the bills that are currently in circulation.
In most cases, a circulated 1953 $2 bill will be worth around $9 regardless of the series if it is in very good condition. On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to come by a star note this will significantly increase the value of the bill.
A star note in very good condition can bring your around $90, and uncirculated bills can go up to a few thousand dollars if they feature a unique serial number. This can be very beneficial to your budget, especially if you have several bills in your collection.
If you know some valuable information about these interesting banknotes make sure you share it with us!