What two-dollar bill secrets do you know about?


Quick Answer

Alexander Hamilton's portrait appeared on the face of the original $2 bill issued in 1862. Thomas Jefferson's portrait replaced Hamilton's in 1869 and appears on the face of $2 bills as of 2014. A vignette of Monticello, Jefferson's Virginia estate, appeared on the reverse of the $2 beginning in 1928.

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Full Answer

Due to public apathy with regard to the use of $2 bills, they were discontinued in 1966. They were reintroduced in 1976 as part of the U.S. bicentennial celebration, but the Monticello vignette on the reverse was replaced with an image of John Trumbull's painting "The Signing of the Declaration of Independence." While 47 men appeared in Trumbull's original painting, due to space limitations, only 42 men are depicted in the vignette on the back of the $2 bill.

At the start of the 21st century, more than $1.1 billion worth of $2 bills were in circulation. The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints $2 bills as necessary and released approximately 45 million $2 bills in 2013 and 2014. Only about 3 percent of U.S. bills in circulation as of May 2014 are $2 bills.

Some consider $2 bills to be unlucky and believe that ripping off one corner of the bill counteracts the bad luck. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find $2 bills in circulation with one or more corners missing.

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