TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It might be time to check those $2 bills you have lying around the house because some of them could be worth thousands.
First printed in 1862, the $2 bill is difficult to find, mostly because they’re hardly used. There have been several editions of the $2 bill, with the most recent version designed in 1963, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
Some versions of the $2 bill have a portrait of America’s first secretary of the treasury while others feature one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. An 1869 redesign put Thomas Jefferson on the bill, according to the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Depending on which version of the bill you’ve got, it could be worth far more than just the $2 printed on the front and back.
According to online auction service U.S. Currency Auctions, if the bill was minted and printed before 1976, the bill could actually be worth as much as $4,500. However, even with notes printed in the same year, different versions have different values for collectors.
Newer bills, like one printed in 2003, could have significant value. A $2 bill recently sold at an auction for $2,400, according to Heritage Auction, the largest numismatic auction house in the world. Heritage Auction said the bill had a very low serial number for the 2003 series. The bill was later resold for $4,000.
One of the main factors in determining a bill’s worth is whether or not it was in circulation.
According to U.S. Currency Auctions, uncirculated $2 bills with red or brown seals can fetch thousands. For example, an uncirculated 1890 series $2 bill with a brown seal can be worth at least $4,500. A circulated $2 bill with a red seal can sell for $2.25 to $2,500.
The U.S. Currency Education Program said there are 1.2 billion $2 notes in circulation.
While the note is less common, $2 bills are still being printed (108.3 million entered circulation in 2022) and count as legal tender. You can even pick them up at a bank, though it’ll likely only feature the design that took to the presses in 1976.
Because they’re still circulating, most $2 bills are worth exactly that – $2. Any $2 bill dating back to 1976 that has been in circulation – and any uncirculated versions since 2003 – are worth only their face value, USCA says. Uncirculated bills between 1976 and 2003 range in estimated value from $2.25 to as much as $500.
As Professional Coin Grading Services explains, if your $2 bill is relatively recent and “has no special markings, errors, or other oddities,” it likely isn’t worth much more than its intended value.