The infamous $2 bill has seen it all.
From dirty politics to superstition and prostitution to gambling, the two-dollar bill had quite the reputation when it was still young.
Although it was tainted with negative connotations, the Federal Reserve Note (erstwhile Legal Tender Note) went through pretty hard times. And, it still managed to keep its demand consistent.
Among billions of such notes in circulation, most are worth only as much as their face value. So finding a $2 bill might not get you much, but it can be more than its face value in some cases.
A $2 bill’s worth would depend on multiple factors, including rarity, striking error or mark, year of series, and color of stamp and serial numbers.
But before we move on with a two-dollar bill’s value, let’s have a quick look at its History.
The $2 (USD) Bill – Brief History
The $2 bill was printed for the first time in 1862 and lasted until 1963. During those times, people often preferred coins more than paper currency.
Although a $2 bill might sound small for an average consumer, most households earned less than $15 per month at that time. The $2 bill was sufficiently large because of the low monthly wage rate.
Generally, there are two types of $2 bills – Federal Reserve Notes and Legal Tender Notes.
The Federal Reserve Notes were printed from 1976 until now. The notes have a green color seal and serial numbers. In contrast, the Legal Tender Notes were printed from 1862 till 1963 and had a red color seal and serial numbers.
Among other popular issues, the “Lazy Deuce” design and the Silver Certificates were also circulated.
Overall, the $2 bill underwent a few changes until its production was halted in 1966.
The $2 bill lost its demand through tough times, mainly through the Great Depression. Until 1941, it became almost impractical as most goods and services became cheaper – less than a dollar.
The Department of Treasury reinstated the production of $2 bills with some changes in design starting as early as 1974. Although the bills were not widely accepted and circulated, many bills in excellent condition were kept as collectors’ items.
Currently, there are 1.2 billion $2 bills with a total value of $2.4 billion.
$2 Bill Designs
- Years: 1862 – 1963, and 1976 – to-date
- Type: Legal Tender Notes and Federal Reserve Notes
The $2 bills were first introduced as large-size notes in 1862 as Legal Tender Notes, having the picture of Alexander Hamilton on the front side. Furthermore, the first $2 bills had four scrolls in each corner on the note’s reverse side, with ‘2’ appearing within every corner.
Also, the center of the reverse side includes two concentric circles of the digit ‘2’ encompassing the statement, “This note is a LEGAL TENDER for all debts public and private except duties on imports and interest on the public debt and is receivable in payment of all LOANS made to the United States.”
Since then, $2 bills have seen many designs, most prominently the “Lazy Deuce” design in 1875 and the Silver Certificates issued in 1896.
In 1928, the Treasury Department issued small-size $2 bills for the first time. With the change in overall size and dimensions of the note, some notable changes were made to the note design. For instance, the note’s face shows a picture of Thomas Jefferson adjusted in the center, while the reverse side shows ‘Monticello’ – Jefferson’s home – along with ornamental scrollwork
.Until production was halted in 1963, many changes were made to the design. However, the most significant difference can be observed when the note was reinstated in 1974.
Although the face of the $2 bill stayed the same, the back side of the note was changed to include a panoramic painting of the Deceleration of Independence, 1776, by John Trumbull.
$2 Bill Value Chart – How Much is a 2 Dollar Bill Worth?
A $2 bill might not be of much value other than its face value. However, there are some exceptions to this common feat.
There are many cases where $2 bills have been more than their face value. But in most cases, the values remain less than $100.
Still, some $2 bill series notes have been sold for more than $3,000. Yet, in sporadic cases, the bills have also been valued at more than $30,000. Given that the note is in excellent condition and a rare gem among collectors, the values can easily creep up to $1,000.
The table below shows how much a $2 bill’s worth through its lifecycle.
For instance, the 1862 and 1863 $2 Legal Tender Notes can be between $500 and $1000. Moreover, it can be valued the highest, up to $2,500, if available in uncirculated condition.
There are some series that have done exceptionally well. For instance, the 1928 series (from A to G) are valued relatively higher than others. And, almost 99% of 1928-series $2 bills are sold for at least $5 each. A 1928-E $2 bill (star note) has been sold for over $1,000. Moreover, a 1928-A $2 bill in an uncirculated condition can be worth more than $275.
You can also observe how the Silver Certificated and Treasury Bills have done well.
Treasury bills were only printed in 1890 and 1891, and the Silver Certificates were printed in 1886, 1891, 1896, and 1899. Silver Certificates for any year are easily valued for more than $500 in uncirculated condition. Whereas treasury notes from 1890 can be worth more than $2,000 if available in uncirculated condition.
The earliest $2 bill series (from 1862) is worth more than $1,000 in uncirculated condition. For instance, a 1974 $2 Legal Tender Note can easily fetch you a handsome value starting from $250.
|Table 1: $2 Bill Value Chart|
|Year||Note Type||Seal and Serial Number Color||Value|
|1862||United States Note||Red||$500 – $1,000||$2,800+|
|1869||United States Note||Red||$500 – $1,200||$3,800+|
|1874||United States Note||Red||$400 – $1,000||$2,400+|
|1875||United States Note||Red||$300 – $650||$1,100+|
|1875A||United States Note||Red||$300 – $650||$1,100+|
|1875B||United States Note||Red||$375 – $1,100||$2,300+|
|1878||United States Note||Red||$275 – $475||$1,100+|
|1880||United States Note||Brown/Red Serial #||$125 – $350||$550+|
|1880||United States Note||Brown/Blue Serial #||$600 – $2,200||$3,500+|
|1880||United States Note||Red/Blue Serial #||$175 – $350||$500+|
|1886||Silver Certificate||Red||$350 – $900||$1,300+|
|1886||Silver Certificate||Brown||$350 – $900||$1,400+|
|1890||Treasury Note||Brown||$550 – $2,500||$4,500+|
|1890||Treasury Note||Red||$550 – $2,500||$4,500+|
|1891||Treasury Note||Red||$200 – $750||$1,400+|
|1891||Silver Certificate||Red||$250 – $900||$2,000+|
|1896||Silver Certificate||Red||$300 – $1,100||$2,100+|
|1899||Silver Certificate||Blue||$75 – $225||$475+|
|1917||United States Note||Red||$50 – $100||$200+|
|1918||National Currency/FRBN||Blue||$175 – $375||$1,000+|
|1928||United States Note||Red||$7 – $20||$75+ ($750)|
|1928A||United States Note||Red||$50 – $80||$275+ ($6,500)|
|1928B||United States Note||Red||$70 – $175||$1,000+ ($15,000)|
|1928C||United States Note||Red||$10 – $20||$90+|
|1928D||United States Note||Red||$5 – $12||$45+|
|1928E||United States Note||Red||$10 – $25||$85+ ($7,500)|
|1928F||United States Note||Red||$4 – $15||$35+|
|1928G||United States Note||Red||$5 – $10||$25+|
|1953||United States Note||Red||$2.25 – $2.50||$12+|
|1953A||United States Note||Red||$2.25 – $5.00||$12+|
|1953B||United States Note||Red||$2.75 – $5.50||$12+|
|1953C||United States Note||Red||$3.50 – $6.50||$12+|
|1963||United States Note||Red||$2.25||$8+|
|1963A||United States Note||Red||$2.25||$8+|
|1976||Federal Reserve Note||Green||$2||$3+|
|1995||Federal Reserve Note||Green||$2||$2.25+|
|1995*||Federal Reserve Note||Green||*Uncirculated in BEP “Millennium Note” Holder||$30+|
|1995*||Federal Reserve Note||Green||*Uncirculated BEP Set of 12 notes in original packaging||$500+|
|2003||Federal Reserve Note||Green||$2||$2+|
|2003||Federal Reserve Note||Green||Premium Federal Reserve Set of 12||$700|
|2003A||Federal Reserve Note||Green||$2||$2+|
|2009||Federal Reserve Note||Green||$2||$2+|
|2013||Federal Reserve Note||Green||$2||$2|
Sometimes, you can observe how different seal and serial number colors affect the $2 bill’s value.
The red seal and serial numbers represent the United States Note. The red-seal note was issued at the time it was only backed by the U.S. government’s credit. The notes printed before 1966 have a red seal and serial numbers (except for Silver Certificates and Treasury Notes.)
The Federal Reserve Notes issued in 1976 and afterward) have green seals and serial numbers. The green seal means the notes are backed by the U.S Government and the Federal Reserve Bank.
Which $2 Bills Are Most Valuable?
Although most of the $2 bills might not fetch a staggering value, there are some cases where the bills can become a fortune.
For instance, a Star Serial Number appearing towards the end of the serial number takes your $2 bill’s value up a notch. The star symbol is struck as a result of a replacement bill and is rare. Sometimes, your $2 bill can be more than $10,000.
In other cases, Fancy Serial Numbers are equally valuable. Some serial numbers, such as Radar Serial Numbers, Low Serial Numbers, Serial numbers 1 through 9, Ladder Serial Numbers, and Binary Serial Numbers, are rare and valuable.
The serial numbers and the condition of your note can tell a lot about its value. Uncirculated $2 bills in excellent condition are worth more. In contrast, a beat-up and folded rare note would not be of as much value.
Here are some instances where a $2 bill was worth a fortune:
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note New York ($372) – Mismatch Prefix Error (The serial number shows the letter ‘H’ as the prefix, while the letter ‘B’ appears over it)
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note Boston($3,600) – Missing Print Error
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note ($74) – Radar Serial Number
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note($89) – Star Serial Number
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note ($16,800) – Additional Overprint (The overprint is struck twice, and also the serial number changed – it moved a number ahead)
- $2 1963 Legal Tender Note – Red Seal ($30,000+) – Star Serial Number – 1963 had many star notes printed. Therefore there will be a large quantity with star serial numbers. However, this one is quite rare and sold for over $30,000.
- $2 1928-B Legal Tender Note – Red Seal ($32,900) – Star Serial Number
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note ($860) – Reverse Printing Error (The stamp and serial numbers are printed upside-down)
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note Dallas ($585) – Paper Jam Error (The note paper jammed while being printed, causing a part of the lower right bottom to fold inwards)
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note New York ($540) – Mismatched Serial Number Error (The serial numbers on the front side do not match)
- $2 1976 Federal Reserve Note San Francisco ($29,000) – Very Low Serial Number (01) accompanied by a star
- $2 1953 Legal Tender Note ($4,500) – Double Error (Printing error that prints on the wrong side of the note)
- $2 2003 Federal Reserve Note San Francisco ($21,600) – Very Low Serial Number (01) accompanied by a star
- $2 2013 Federal Reserve Note ($45) – Star Serial Number
In most cases, error-struck notes with premium graded quality fetched reasonable amounts of money for $2 bills. Also, the chances of getting more worth for your $2 bill are higher if the $2 bill is a legal tender with a red stamp and serial numbers.
Collecting Valuable $2 Bills
As a beginner with a fresh mindset for collecting $2 bills, I suggest you collect Federal Reserve Notes issued between 1976 and the date.
Any series within these dates, particularly 1976, 1995, 2003, 2003A, 2009, and 2013, are easily obtainable at affordable rates.
For advanced collectors, I recommend collecting from the year series of 1928, 1953, and 1963. Furthermore, you can also find some error notes for the 1976 series. Moreover, getting large-size bills for the 1862 series can also be a jackpot.
Since the $2 bills do not have much demand, the chances of getting one in a circulated condition are slim. Therefore, you can find the bills from currency shows, coin dealers, and currency auction shows.
How much is a 2 dollar bill worth from 2013?
Generally, determining the value of a $2 bill from 2013 depends on several factors, such as the note’s condition, rarity, kind of serial number, misprints or errors, and whether it is circulated.
For instance, a star note in an uncirculated condition with an MS-63 grade can be valued at more than $20.
How much is a $2 bill worth from 2017?
Mostly, $2 bills from 2017 are worth the face value. However, depending on the condition, some bills can have more value than two dollars. For instance, an MS-63 $2 bill can fetch you around $4. Furthermore, a star note or a note with a fancy serial number can have even greater value.
Is a $2 bill from 2017 rare to find?
The $2 bills from 2017 are not that difficult to find. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is still printing it. And you can buy the bills from any bank.
There are close to 500 million 2017 $2 bills in circulation worldwide. Some can be just for their face value; others can have more value depending on multiple factors, including serial number and overall condition.
What is a fancy serial number on the $2 bill?
$2 bills with fancy serial numbers are worth more than two dollars.
Many serial numbers can increase the overall value of your $2 bill, including ascending and descending ladder numbers, binary numbers, radar serial numbers, million serial numbers, repeater serial numbers, single-digit serial numbers, rotator serial numbers, and more.
Furthermore, the value can increase exponentially if your note has a fancy serial number accompanied by a star. For instance, a 1976 $2 Federal Reserve Note from San Francisco sold for almost $30,000 because it had a very low serial number accompanied by a star.
More than a billion $2 bills have been in circulation around the globe. Although the bill faced many issues, such as lack of demand, and was tainted with allegations involving gambling and prostitution, the $2 bill gained much importance for collectors and currency specialists.
Despite being halted for production in 1963, the $2 bill was revived again in 1974 with new designs and features.
Most of the $2 bills will only get you a value close to its face value. Moreover, if the overall condition of note is excellent and it belongs to any of the year series discussed above, you can get anywhere between $20 and $100.
However, in rare and exceptional cases, $2 bills have also been known to be sold for more than $10,000.
If you have a $2 bill you think would be worth something more than its face value, get it valued by professionals.