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My nostalgia 'trip' put me on my face

I had a rare inquiry in my morning email.

The writer had a question about $2 bills.

My first thought was to try to determine whether the email came from a collector or noncollector.

This determination affects the way I respond.

Here is the text of the email I received:

“Are $2 Dollar Bills, in mint condition, or not, of any collectible monetary value.??

“I have a few of 1976 issue, one mint, other not. Also some 1995, and many 2009 issue, most in mint, Uncirculated condition.

“Any idea on value other than face value.??”

The way the writer used words and the mention of some of the series dates indicate he is not just a member of the general public who happened find a $2 in grandma’s bureau.

However, he did not specify Federal Reserve Districts, sheets or sets, nor did he use the word “Series” with the date.

For me, the email invoked some nostalgia.

I was editor of Bank Note Reporter for about 20 years. That ended about a decade ago.

Perhaps it was my nostalgia that tripped me up.

I responded quickly, before checking eBay.

After checking, it appears I am a little rusty.

This is what I wrote:

“The Series 2003 notes are the scarcest. You might get $10 or $15 for the mint condition ones. The other series you will be lucky to get double face. Spend the circulated Series 1976.”

It is clear that the prices of the Series 2003 have sunk since I last paid attention.

After I finish this blog, I will send a second email to the sender to indicate that I overestimated current value.

That will teach me for not checking eBay first.

I should also thank him for a trip down memory lane.

In this case, it was a little trip on my part, a trip over current market realities, where I figuratively skinned my knee.

It is a good thing I am not a dealer.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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