How Much Is a Two Dollar Bill Worth?
Shrouded with mystery and sometimes met with disbelief, the two-dollar bill is quite possibly the most unique paper note currently circulating in the United States. With a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse of the note and a depiction of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the reverse, two-dollar bills are very pleasing to the eye.
Unfortunately, its long-running unpopularity and discontinuation in 2003 have resulted in very little usage in circulation today. Its rarity has caused the misinformed belief that the bills are somehow very valuable. The truth is the two-dollar bill is worth a whopping two dollars.
Well, for the most part, that is. In this article, we will explore the history of this unique note and the methods by which we can determine its worth.
Type of Two Dollar Bill
1976 to 2003
1963 Red Seal
$4 to $6
1953 Red Seal
$4 to $6
1928 Red Seal
$10 to $20
Determining the Value of Two Dollar Bills
Since two dollar bills are still legal circulation tender, they are worth exactly what they claim to be worth: two dollars. Although it may seem like you’ve stumbled on a national treasure, the truth of the matter is the bill is not valuable (at least, not yet) and should be spent like any other paper money. As long as they were produced between 1976 and 2003, there’s no need to hoard bunches of two-dollar bills.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself with a red seal two dollar bill, it might be worth tucking away. The red seal bill, issued from 1928 to 1966, won’t make you a millionaire by any means, but they are more valuable than their modern successor.
Below is a value breakdown for two-dollar bills in crisp, uncirculated condition.
History of the Two-Dollar Bill
- Before printed money was standardized and produced at a specific size, the two-dollar bill spent its early life in the form of many different large note designs. The oldest of these large note variations dates back to 1862.
- New legislation set forth in 1929 declared a standard printing size for paper money in the United States. At this time, the two-dollar bill was converted to a smaller size. The modified notes were printed with red seals, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on the obverse side and a rendition of his home, Monticello, on the reverse of each bill. The red seals found on these two dollar bills indicated that they were United States Notes.
- As a United States Note, the two-dollar bill was printed in three different series, 1928, 1953, and 1963. The two-dollar bill was later discontinued in 1966 due to its unpopularity as an available circulation note.
- For ten years the two-dollar bill remained discontinued. It was reintroduced in 1976 as a Federal Reserve Note. As such, the seal was changed from red to green. This signified that the bill was no longer a United States Note. While the Thomas Jefferson portrait remained the same, the reverse of the bill was changed to an illustration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
- Fun Fact: Since two dollar bills are so lightly circulated, they have an average life span of six years. The one-dollar bill has an average lifespan of only ten months!
Overall, most two-dollar bills are regular cash and should be spent like it. Many people find them easier to use than the standard one-dollar bill. Perhaps if people start spending these artistically-crafted dollars, we will see them in circulation more frequently and they’ll gain the popularity they deserve.