I 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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