The Mystery Of The Two Dollar Bill
Two US dollars - US banknote. The front side depicts Thomas Jefferson, on the back side is a reproduction of John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence.
Bill production was discontinued in 1966, but 10 years later, to celebrate the bicentennial of US independence, it was restored. Nowadays, new copies are practically not created (about 1% of all issued banknotes), respectively, it is rarely seen in use. This gave rise to the myth that two-dollar bills were taken out of circulation, which causes problems for people who want to pay them off.
The rarity can be explained by the fact that the 1976 edition was unusually perceived by the population (and even became a collector's item) and was not in demand in monetary transactions. By August 1996, when the new series was released, these banknotes had almost disappeared.
Try asking a friend who is going to the US to bring you a $ 2 bill. Most likely, on their return, they will tell you that they have not seen them at all, or that they do not exist. Despite the fact that a $ 2 note is included in the standard set of notes throughout US history, it is very difficult to meet it in free circulation.
For purely psychological reasons, this banknote, appearing in circulation, is immediately withdrawn from it and moved into the wallets of citizens, exported abroad, sold at auctions, and resold to coin collectors.
What is the reason? Why is a $ 2 bill rare? The reason, probably - in a number of myths associated with this bill, "bringing happiness and success."
Two-dollar bill, released in 1976 in honor of the bicentenary of the United States, is considered rare by many collectors. Yes, and how not to consider it so, if even in a serious reference book “From the dollar to the yen. Guide to the currencies of the world ", released in 1995 by order of leading commercial banks, states that" two-dollar bills ... were issued in small quantities, and not all Americans held them in their hands. The dignity of a two-dollar banknote is customary for America - it has been used in US currency circulation since time immemorial. Such a bill was already included in the set of banknotes of the first issue made in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. Two-dollar bills were issued then by individual states: in Maryland - from 1770, in New York and North Carolina - from 1775, in Georgia and New Hampshire - from 1776, etc. During the 1st Civil War of 1861-1865. many states also issued their money, among which were two-dollar bills.
The first two-dollar notes were issued by the US Federal Government in 1862. They depicted a portrait of the first secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. However, in 1869, this portrait was replaced by the image of the third US president and author of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson. However, the initially two-dollar bills were not popular with banks and the public. There are several explanations for this, the most common of which is that most cash registers did not provide for a separate place for banknotes in denominations of $ 2. Apparently, this explanation makes some sense. For the same reason, for example, in Germany, banknotes of 5 marks were not popular.
It is believed that the two-dollar bills were easily confused with banknotes of $ 1, and this also entailed some inconveniences. In addition, the people have spread the opinion that banknotes in denominations of $ 2 bring bad luck. All this led to a low prevalence of banknotes. The situation reached the point of absurdity when sellers refused to accept $ 2 bills in stores.
In the CIS countries, there are still cases of refusal in accepting two-dollar bills by exchange offices with reference to the fact that there is no properly decorated sample of these bills, especially the jubilee series.
The last time the dollar was subjected to a serious alteration in 1928, the sizes of all bills were reduced, and their appearance was standardized and with minor changes has been preserved to our days. Among the banknotes of this type also produced two-dollar bill.
On its face is Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), a prominent statesman and public figure, the “father” of the Declaration of Independence and the 3rd President of the United States.
On the reverse side of the bill of 1928 sample depicts the estate of Jefferson Monticello (from the Italian "Little Mountain"). It was built on his own project. The house was full of various technical improvements, including those developed by the owner himself. Here the “sage from Monticello” lived his last 17 years, here he received numerous guests, conducted extensive correspondence — over a thousand letters a month — with many American and European politicians, scholars and public figures. His library in Monticello had about six and a half thousand volumes and was one of the best in America. She marked the beginning of the Library of Congress. Since 1926, Monticello is a memorial museum, the national shrine of the United States. It is interesting to note that the portrait of Jefferson and his estate are also depicted on the front and back sides of the American “nickel” - a coin worth 5 cents.
Jefferson is also depicted on the “rare” two-dollar bill of 1976. On the flip side of it is the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This drawing is a reproduction of a picture by the famous American artist J. Trumbull “Signing the Declaration of Independence” - one of eight huge canvases hanging in the Rotunda of the Capitol. It depicts a meeting of the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, proclaiming the separation of 13 North American colonies from Great Britain. The painting depicts a specific moment when Jefferson, along with four other members of the committee for the preparation of the Declaration of Independence, sends the draft Declaration to the President of the Continental Congress, Hancock, for signing (sitting in the right-hand seat). The painting depicted 48 people, on the banknote fit only 44 of them. In this 36 characters were written by the artist during his lifetime.
Thomas Jefferson at the time of the adoption of the Declaration was only 33 years old, so he is depicted in the picture. After this event, he lived (day after day) for another fifty years, was the governor of Virginia, the secretary of state, i.e. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice-President, President (by his way, by the way, in 1808–1809 diplomatic relations were established with Russia). On the front side of the two-dollar banknotes, he is depicted as a mature statesman, obviously, during his presidency (portraits on 10 of 12 American banknotes of various denominations are portraits of presidents).
The 1976 two-dollar bill was printed in millions of copies. But, obviously, the notes of such dignity do not suit the people of the United States with something. The most tradable is the one-dollar bill, which is 47% of the total number of all banknotes in circulation. Her average “life expectancy” is only a year and a half, during which time it turns from a crisp bill into a wrinkled and torn piece of paper that needs to be replaced. And every day only the New York Federal Bank destroys worn-out one-dollar bills worth more than $ 35 million! And the huge stock of unclaimed “rare” two-dollar bills of 1976 is useless in the Treasury. It is obvious that these bills are not involved in the circulation, do not wear out, and, accordingly, do not need to be replaced.
There are a number of legends about the bill "that dollars". In accordance with one of them, if you have this bill in your wallet, the money will not be transferred to it. Another legend has some sexual context. But numismatists have a professional interest in this bill. After all, that which is difficult to find in circulation always attracts the attention of coin collectors.
2 dollars in 1862
2 dollars of 1862 (reverse)
2 dollars in 1869
2 dollars of 1869 (reverse)
2 dollars in 1886
2 dollars of 1886 (reverse)
2 dollars in 1896
2 dollars of 1896 (reverse)
$ 2 1899
2 dollars of 1899 (reverse)
2 dollars 1918
2 dollars 1918 (reverse)
2 dollars 1928
2 dollars 1928 (reverse)
2 dollars 1953
2 dollars 1953 (reverse)
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