“I got a $2 bill and figured it was fake. No?” — TOM J., NORFOLK, VA
Nope, they’re real—and they’re worth…$2!
But sightings are scarce: “When people see one, they think it’s rare, and keep it,” says filmmaker John (The 2 Dollar Bill Documentary) Bennardo. “That keeps them from circulating, and furthers the idea they’re rare.”
Not rare, but fascinating. Some fun trivia:
• Around since 1862, $2’s are called deuces, or Toms, after Thomas Jefferson, whose face adorns them—an honor first held by Alexander Hamilton, who’s also about to be dumped from the $10 bill. Guy can’t catch a break.
• They got a bad rap in the 1900s for supposed links to $2 racing bets and quickies with hookers. (Yeah, two bucks went a lot further then.)
• At times they’re rejected as fake, as one Baltimorean learned the hard way in ’05, when he used them at a Best Buy—and got arrested. The $2 is real, but merchnat’s don’t have to accept them (or any currency, for that matter).