Two Dollar Bills
After printing large size notes for over sixty-eight years, the U.S. Government realized in the 1920’s that it could save a lot of money by printing small size currency instead. So on July 10, 1929, the government officially started circulating its first small size currency, known as the "1928 Series." This series included $2 bills.
People are often curious about $2 bills, likely because these bills are seldom seen or used in everyday transactions. Some folks, thinking that the notes will be worth a lot more money in the future, stash two dollar bills in safe places. Others happily carry them in their wallets and spend them freely. Some superstitious types will even tell you that $2 bills are good luck charms, while others will tell you that the bills bring bad luck. No matter what you believe, you have to admit that two dollar bills are interesting.
From 1928 through the 1953 series the obligation was "the United States of America will pay the bearer on demand two dollars" with a notation that reads "this note is legal tender at its face value for all debts, public and private." After the 1953 series the "will pay to the bearer" was dropped from the obligation and the legal tender clause was changed to "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."
By the way, had your older relatives tucked away a new pack of 1928 $2 Red Seal United States Notes (USN), that would have been a wise move. A pack (100 ct.) of the 1928 $2.00 Red Seals, if they’re in choice, crisp uncirculated condition, is worth over $20,000 today.
Whose portrait is on the $2 bill?
Easy - Thomas Jefferson!
Where to find $2 bills
You can usually get $2 bills by requesting them at your bank. Some banks will even order the bills for you upon request. However, keep in mind you’ll likely only find the most current series, the 2003A series. If you’re searching for bills from an older series, you should try searching at a local paper money show or on dealer websites. Of course, I’ve got some available too!
How much are two dollar bills worth?
The answer is that it depends on which series you have & also the condition of the note. See below for more information.
The 1928 Series Red Seal bill was the first of the two dollar United States Notes in the small size category followed by 1928A, 1928B, 1928C, 1928D, 1928E, 1928F, and finally the 1928G series. Star notes were also included in each of these series. A "star note" is indicated by a star before the serial number and denotes a replacement for one that was made in error.
The 1928 series $2 bill featured above is in Fine (F) condition and worth approximately $10.
The Red Seal $2 notes include the 1953, 1953A, 1953B, 1953C 1963 and 1963A series and Star Notes were also included in these series.
Most of the Red Seal $2 bills such as the one shown below will sell for about $10 in very good condition, $14 in very fine condition to over $50 in crisp uncirculated condition. The 1953 series rounds out red seals.
The 1953 series example above is in Extra Fine (XF) condition and worth approximately $10.
The Red Seal $2 notes include the 1963 and 1963A series and Star Notes were also included in these series.
The 1963 series example above is in Extra Fine (XF) condition and worth approximately $9.
1976 Series Green Seal
Next came the $2 Green Seal United States Federal Reserve Notes (FRN) series 1976. These notes consist of series 1976, 1995, 2003 and 2003A. Star notes are included in these as well. Most of these are common and worth very little over face value if they have been in circulation at all. They are readily available for purchase from $6 up to $50 or $60 in Gem Uncirculated condition and on several other factors including district, serial number, eye appeal, etc.
The 1976 series example above is in Very Good (VG) condition and worth face value.
The best reference available on these is "The Standard Guide to Small Size U.S. Paper Money" by John Schwartz and Scott Lindquist, published by Krause Publications. Find this book and more on our regularly updated list of the Best Numismatic Reference Books.