Historically, $2 bills have been considered a sign of “bad luck.”
Americans might change their minds about this after learning how much these rare notes can be worth.
An estimated price list published by US Currency Auctions, a website dedicated to documenting paper money resources for collectors, suggests that some $2 bills can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Two-dollar bills in circulation have a varying average value of between $2 and $2,500, depending on the year the bills were issued, according to US Currency Auctions.
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Uncirculated $2 bills, on the other hand, have a varying average value of between $2 and $4,500 – which also depends on the year of release and other physical factors.
Older $2 bills generally have a higher value, but the type of bill and the color of a bill’s seal also play a role in the value of each bill, according to US Currency Auctions.
Note types for which U.S. Currency Auctions have estimated values at the time of publication include United States Note, Silver Certificate, Treasury Note, National Bank Note (National Currency/FRBN ) and the Federal Reserve Note.
The paper money auction resource has also organized $2 note values by seal color, which can be red, brown and red, brown and blue, red and blue, brown, blue, or green.
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According to US Currency Auctions, there are two uncirculated $2 bills that may be worth more than $4,500.
Both are 1890 Treasury notes. One has a brown seal, while the other has a red seal.
Many $2 bills listed on eBay – a popular multinational auction website – come packaged in sets ranging in price from $7.50 to $10,000.
Current listings of $2 bills on GreatCollections coin auctions have bids that do not exceed $100.
GreatCollections Coin Auctions is the official auctioneer of the American Numismatic Association, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about coins, currency, medals, tokens, and related items.
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FOX Business recently reported that coin collectors place a high value on “double die” coins, a rare type of coin that is not meant to be released into circulation when there is a detectable double stamping, but which is accidentally made public.
Blake Alma, of Lebanon, Ohio, coin collector and founder of coin-collecting blog CoinHub, told FOX Business that a coin’s rarity usually adds “an extra level of excitement and interest” to collectors.
“A lot of people are willing to pay top dollar for unique and rare pieces to add to their collections,” he said.
In 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System reported that approximately $2.8 billion worth of $2 bills were in circulation.
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Two-dollar bills were once considered a negative coin; that’s because these notes were often used for corruption, election rigging, gambling and prostitution in the 1920s, according to a report by CNB St. Louis Bank.
Superstitious believers eventually deemed the denomination of the note to bring bad luck.
“The $2 bill was often considered a lucky charm, as ‘devil’ was a name for the devil,” wrote CNB St. Louis Bank.
“Recipients would tear off a die, thinking it would negate the bad luck of the note. This resulted in many notes being withdrawn from circulation as mutilated currency.”
The $2 bill made its debut in 1862. It first featured a portrait of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Hamilton’s portrait was replaced with that of Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president, with the 1869 United States Notes series.
He remains the face of the $2.
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The Bureau of Engraving and Printing said there are no plans to redesign the $2 bill.