The Red Seal Two-Dollar Bill is a rarity in modern times, as two-dollar bills are seldom encountered. The $2 bill with red ink, issued between 1928 and 1963, was not widely accepted by the American public due to its resemblance to a “large-size” bill. Despite this, some of these bills are more valuable than others. To learn more about these bills, read on.
1. History of the Two-Dollar Bill
The two-dollar bill red seal has a long and varied history, with many types of notes having been in circulation since its inception. These include
National Banknotes, Treasury or Coin Notes, and Legal Tender Notes, all of which are typically larger than regular bills and feature ornate portraits of presidents, heroes, and other figures.
Banks and retailers have historically been reluctant to accept red seal two-dollar bills due to a lack of standardization. In 1920, these bills were thought to bring bad luck, and even today, some retailers will refuse to accept them.
The United States issued a 2 dollar legal tender note with a pour seal from 1928 to 1966. The front of the note featured a portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Charles Bert, while the back was engraved by Joachim C. Benzing and depicted Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. In 1963, the United States Treasury Department added the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” to the back of the note, accompanied by an engraving of Monticello.
Treasury markings on banknotes, typically in bright red, were located on the left side of the note in 1928 and moved to the right side in 1953. The two-dollar banknote first issued in 1928 was still in the gold standard, while silver standard banknotes remain in circulation and are distinguished by a blue treasury mark. These notes are issued by the US government.
Beginning in 1975, the Federal Reserve issued two-dollar notes with a green stamp to distinguish them from Legal Tender Notes. The front face of the two-dollar notes remained virtually unchanged, featuring an intricate design, while the back was replaced with a motif depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
2. Collecting Modern-Day Two Dollar Bills
The red-stamped two-dollar bill is a distinctive variant of the widely circulated two-dollar bill. These notes, featuring a red seal, are highly sought after by collectors and have a limited lifespan. A complete collection of standard size notes issued since 1928 would include all red-stamped
– Red 2 dollar bill :
- 1928 to 1928-G
- 1953 to 1953-C
- 1963 to 1963-A
– Green 2 dollar bill:
- 2003 to 2003-A
The $2 bill, featuring a blue and red seal, has never been widely collected due to its lack of popularity among the US public. Despite its shorter
printing time than the 1-dollar or 5-dollar bills, print volumes range from approximately 2 million to 146 million sheets per year, meaning they do not become scarce, with the exception of those produced with star notes.
Collectors of two-dollar bills can acquire bills from each production series by obtaining one bill from each sub-series. For instance, in 1953, four sub-series were issued: 1953, 1953-A, 1953-B, and 1953-C. Professional numismatists anticipate that each bill will feature a star in the serial number. Whenever the design or signature on an invoice is altered, a new batch of bills is released. Due to the limited nature of this production, the premium on these coins is significantly higher than that of standard coins.
3. Star Notes
The US Treasury Department has issued $2 bills with a fixed serial number since 1910, under the authorization of Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director JT Ralph. These bills are carefully accounted for and, if found to be faulty or misprinted, are replaced. As a special note, stars are printed at the end of the serial number.
Red seal two-dollar notes are rarer than other standard notes, and star notes from certain production batches have a more modest insurance cost than non-special notes. Owning a Series 1928-B red-signed two-dollar bill signed by Woods-Mills is an extremely rare occurrence, with the exception of some production batches. Such a bill is worth $20,000.
4. Value of a Red Seal Two Dollar Bill
Many are unaware of the existence of red-signed $2 bills, yet most are not particularly rare and typically do not possess a high value. However, certain sets of notes may be of greater worth due to their premium. This is contingent upon the year of issue, stars, signatures, and usage status; further information can be found in the accompanying table.
Series of 1928 to 1928-G, Red Seal Right Side:
|1928-B ★||$20,000||Very Rare|
Series of 1953 to 1953-C, Red Seal Left Side:
The Red Seal Two-Dollar Bill is a rare find in circulation today, making it a potentially valuable addition to any coin collection. With the right
knowledge, collectors can use this information to acquire a variety of valuable coins to fulfill their hobby.
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