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$2 notes still waiting to catch on

$2 NoteI started collecting in 1976. I had some coins prior to that, but I did not get interested in the hobby until then.

It wasn’t what got me started, but it was about the same time as the new $2 bill was being introduced. I remember thinking at the time that if it was going to work, it needed to be pitched as some thing patriotic to use, particularly considering its depiction of Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The $2s were released in April 1976 and there was an initial rush to get them. The April 14, 1976 issue of the Dallas Morning News reported that “Kids with rolls of pennies and adults with wads of cash bought first-day issues of the $2 bill Tuesday as though it were going out of style instead of coming back in.”

One Texas bank, it said, sold $20,000 to $30,000 of the new $2s in five hours.

“Banks in New York, Colorado, North Carolina and elsewhere ran short of supplies in the ‘collectors’ item’ craze,” with one man purchasing $800 worth of the bills from a North Carolina bank.

Many of these ended up being taken to post offices, where a stamp was affixed along with a first day-of-issue postmark.

Today, you rarely see a $2 note in circulation.


This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.


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3 Responses to $2 notes still waiting to catch on

  1. Aardvark says:

    I have a $2 bill from April 1976 with a postmark but no stamp (didn’t see the point of the postage stamp). I became interested in $2 bills when I first saw a pre-1976 bill that had the odd red colored treasury seal instead of the common green seal. That got me curious about them.

    These days I spend them (current issues not red seal) for the fun it causes with cashiers. They are often hard to get at the bank. They are usually available around Christmas and then are gone in the new year. I still have a bunch left that I am spending. Have to make them last the year.

  2. Impala69 says:

    At the “cheap seats” movie theater in Cedar Rapids, IA, they seem to make it a habit of utilizing $2 bills. We get them in change there any time we pay with cash.

  3. Ralph Beaty says:

    Monticello still always gives out the $2 bill as change. As Thomas Jefferson’s estate, they must have some arrangement to always get fresh crisp bills. Because I can never get them at a bank and because I live one-hour from Monticello, I always pick up a few to use when I take friends or family who come to visit me.

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