How much is a dollar bill worth? For rare currency collectors, it’s a broad question, and for one type of U.S. banknote, it’s even broader.
The $2 bill, first printed in 1862, is hard to find due to its lack of use. There have been several editions of the $2 bill, with the most recent version designed in 1963, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
Depending on which version of the $2 bill you’ve got on hand, in a wallet, or kept in a safety deposit box, may feature a portrait of America’s first Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton.
After a redesign in 1869, the portrait changed to Thomas Jefferson, another Founding Father and the third President of the United States, 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 printed before 1976, when the most recent printing started, 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.
One of the main factors in determining a bill’s worth is whether or not it was in circulation.
An original print of the $2 bill from 1862 can range in value from $500 at its lowest for a circulated note, to more than $2,800 if uncirculated, the USCA determined based on the average prices of recent and past currency auction results.
The highest value for a $2 note was found on 1890 Treasury Note versions, with the circulated version worth between $550 and $2,500, or at least $4,500 if uncirculated. The collector value is the same for both versions of the 1890 bill, either with a brown seal or a red one.
The note with the most value after that is an 1869 U.S. note, which is typically worth between $500 and $1,200 if circulated and as much as $3,800 if not, according to USCA.
Even though the print is less common, $2 bills are still being printed (160 million entered circulation in 2019) 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.