When is the last time you have seen a $2 bill? They usually end up being tucked away in secret hiding places as souvenirs or used as birthday and Christmas gifts for kids. LenPenzo.com listed some facts you probably didn’t know about $2 bills:
Although Thomas Jefferson has been featured on the $2 bill since 1869, it was Alexander Hamilton’s portrait that originally graced the front of the bill when it was introduced in 1862.
Jefferson’s home, Monticello, was first featured on the bill’s reverse side in 1929. The Monticello gift shop reportedly now gives them out as change to encourage their circulation.
In 1925, the U.S. government tried – unsuccessfully – to increase the popularity of the $2 bill by placing one in federal employee pay envelopes.
After years of public indifference to the $2 bill, production was finally discontinued in 1966, only to be restarted as part of the American Bicentennial celebration in 1976.
The revised $2 bill from 1976 replaced the Monticello with a depiction of John Trumbull’s painting, “Declaration of Independence.”
People looking to create a money-making collectible had the new $2 bills postmarked by the U.S. Post Office on their first day of issue (April 13, 1976). However, so many of them did so that, even today, there are enough postmarked bills floating around to ensure they don’t command much above the $2 bill’s face value.
As a general rule of thumb, if a $2 bill has a red Treasury seal and serial numbers, it’s at least somewhat-valuable. If the bill has a green Treasury seal and serial numbers, then it’s probably not worth more than face value.
$2 bills are seen in circulation so rarely that some people still think they’re counterfeit upon first encountering them.
In 2005, a Baltimore man was arrested and held in custody until Secret Service agents could verify that the 57 $2 bills he used to pay Best Buy for installing a radio-CD player in his son’s car were genuine.
As late as the turn of the 21st century, there were more than $1.1 billion worth of the bills in circulation.
The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing continues to print $2 bills, including 230 million of them in 2006. Even so, $2 bills make up just 1% of all U.S. bills in circulation.