Due to their rarity, some 2-dollar bills' value may be much more than two dollars. In certain cases, these bills can be worth thousands. Like all collectable coins and bills, 2-dollar bill value depends on many factors, including condition, the year of production, and more. The bills aren't easy to find, but they are very special.
How Rare Are 2-Dollar Bills?
According to Business Insider, 2-dollar bills account for less than 0.001% of all currency in circulation. Two-dollar bills are the rarest currently produced money in the United States, and only about 1.2 billion 2-dollar bills are in current circulation. That may sound like a lot, but when you compare it to the 11.7 billion 1-dollar bills in circulation, it takes on a new perspective.
One of the reasons 2-dollar bills are so rare is that fewer of them were printed. No one wanted them. In fact, 2-dollar bills weren't even produced from 1970 through 1975 because of lack of demand.
Another reason for the rarity of 2-dollar bills involves the economy and inflation. From the time of its original production in 1862, this bill has occupied a strange spot in the list of currency denominations. During the years of the Great Depression and prior, two dollars was a lot of money. Back in 1936, the average American made a starting wage of about 45 cents per hour, and many families didn't have two spare dollars to tie up in one bill. Later, as inflation took off, the difference between one dollar and two dollars shrank in comparison, making it feel kind of silly to have two bills so close together in value.
How Much Is a 2-Dollar Bill Worth?
2-dollar bills can range in value from two dollars to $1000 or more. If you have a pre-1913 2-dollar bill in uncirculated condition, it is worth at least $500. Even in circulated condition, these very old 2-dollar bills are worth $100 and up. Newer 2-dollar bills, such as those from the 1990s, tend to be worth close to their face value.
Because of its rarity, collectors pay attention to the 2-dollar bill. The rarity doesn't always translate to increased value, but it definitely does sometimes. As with all rare coin values, other factors are also important, including the following:
- Condition - A 2-dollar bill in uncirculated condition will be worth more than one with significant wear.
- Age - Older 2-dollar bills are more valuable than newer ones, as a general rule.
- Serial number - 2-dollar bills feature different serial numbers, some of which are more valuable.
- Misprints - Certain misprints, such as seals that are doubled or not placed properly, are very rare but are valuable.
2-Dollar Bill Value Chart
It helps to have a quick-reference chart to determine the value of 2-dollar bills based on date, seal color, and condition. This chart was compiled using data gathered by USA Currency Auctions about historical sales prices of 2-dollar bills and covers some important examples, such as the 1862 2-dollar bill, the 1953 2-dollar bill, and the re-issued 1976 2-dollar bill.
|Year||Type||Size||Seal Color||Circulated Value||Uncirculated Value|
|1862||United States Note||Large||Red||$500 - $1,000||$2,800|
|1869||United States Note||Large||Red||$500 - $1,200||$3,800|
|1874||United States Note||Large||Red||$400 - $1,000||$2,400|
|1878||United States Note||Large||Red||$275 - $475||$1,100|
|Large||Brown or Red||$550 - $2,500||$4,500|
|Large||Red||$300 - $1,100||$2,100|
|Large||Blue||$175 - $375||$1,000|
|1928||United States Note||Small||Red||$4 - $175||$25 - $1,000|
|1953||United States Note||Small||Red||$2.25 - $6.50||$12|
|1963||United States Note||Small||Red||$2.25||$8|
Federal Reserve Note
Federal Reserve Note
Federal Reserve Note
Federal Reserve Note
Five of the Rarest 2-Dollar Bills to Watch For
Although you probably won't encounter super rare 2-dollar bills in your change or sitting around, it's still worth knowing about these valuable examples. This chart of super rare 2-dollar bills makes it easy to see them at a glance.
|Rare 2-Dollar Bill||How to Spot It|
1928B $2 Red Seal Star Notes
|Look at the serial number. If it starts with a star and ends with a B, it's rare.|
1890 Treasury Note 2-Dollar Bill
|Check the portrait. This rare bill features General James McPherson.|
|1862 2-Dollar Legal Tender Note||Look at the portrait. On these early bills, you'll see a profile picture of Alexander Hamilton.|
|1976 Bureau of Engraving & Printing Doubled Serial Number 2-Dollar Bill||Take a look at the serial number. If it's doubled, or printed over itself, it could be very rare.|
|1869 2-Dollar Legal Tender Note||Look at the location of the portrait. An oval with a picture of Thomas Jefferson is located on the left side.|
Which 2-Dollar Bill Serial Numbers Are Valuable?
Unlike US coins, some bills have serial numbers printed on them. If your 2-dollar bill has a serial number on it, it may be worth more. Look for the following symbols or patterns that can indicate a valuable 2-dollar bill:
- Palindromes - Also called "radar notes," these serial numbers read the same whether you look at them backwards or forwards.
- Repeated numbers - If the serial number repeats, this is rare and more valuable.
- Star - If the serial number includes a star, it is a replacement bill and may be much rarer.
Can I Look Up My 2-Dollar Bill Serial Number?
Although there's no place to type in a serial number and get instant information about your 2-dollar bill, you can learn what the parts of the serial number mean from the Bureau of Engraving & Printing.
Where to Get 2-Dollar Bills
You won't get many 2-dollar bills in change, but they are out there in circulation. If you want to collect newer ones or use 2-dollar bills to give a gift of money, you can ask for them at your bank. They may need to go back to the vault to get them, but most banks have them on hand. You can find collectible 2-dollar bills on auction sites as well.
If in Doubt, Have It Appraised
If you are wondering if you have a valuable 2-dollar bill, consider getting it appraised. Some appraisers specialize in rare coins and currency, and they can give you the final word on whether you have a bill that's worth two dollars or thousands.
Other rare currency, such as Sacajawea dollars, can have surprising values as well.