Have any $2 bills? They could be worth thousands

$2 bill
Photo credit Getty Images

Some people might refer to them as funny money, but if you have any $2 bills lying around, now could be the time to cash in.

An analysis by Go Banking Rates shows some $2 bills are worth a lot more than two dollars — as in thousands of dollars more.

The analysis delves into an estimated price list published by U.S. Currency Auctions, which tracks the current values for collectible U.S. paper money.

According to the price list, some $2 bills can fetch anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to more than $4,500. While the most valuable bills were printed in the 19th century, certain bills printed within the last 30 years are worth quite a bit more than face value.

The $2 bill was first issued in 1862 and is still being printed today, with an estimated 1.2 billion notes in circulation.

According to the Department of Treasury, $2 notes issued prior to 1928 featured many different designs, which would often change with the introduction of a new series, while $2 notes issued since 1928 are more standardized and feature a portrait of Thomas Jefferson -- who remains the face of the bill today.

From 1928 until 1976, the back of the $2 bill featured a vignette of Jefferson's home, Monticello. Starting in 1976, the back was changed to feature a portrayal of the presentation of the Declaration of Independence, the famous document that Jefferson authored.

For most of history, $2 bills have been unpopular, being viewed as unlucky or simply awkward to use in cash exchanges. The Treasury Department says $2 bills were often returned with corners torn off, making them mutilated currency and unfit for reissue.

The fortunes of the $2 bill were reversed with the entry of the US into World War II, when the Treasury forbade the carrying of US currency across the Mexican-US border. The only exceptions to this blockade were $2 bills and silver dollars as it was believed that there were not many of these items outside the US. As a result, demand for $2 bills skyrocketed along the border.

Even though the $2 bill has since waned in popularity, the value of certain bills have increased -- depending on the release year and other factors, such as seal color.

According to U.S. Currency Auctions, $2 bills that have been in circulation have an average value between $2 and $2,500, while uncirculated bills can be worth even more.

Two bills on the list are considered the most valuable, worth upwards of $4,500. Both are uncirculated notes from 1890, one with a brown seal and the other with a red seal.

Another uncirculated bill from 1869 is valued at $3,800, while one from 1880 with a brown seal and blue serial number is worth $3,500. If that same bill from 1880 was in circulation, it could fetch $2,200.

Other bills printed before 1976 might be worth only $2.25, but most range in value from $550 to $2,500.

Bills printed since 1976 don't carry as much value. While most are only worth $2, certain uncirculated versions are estimated between $30 and $700. To get that top figure, you'll need a $2 bill from the limited edition 2003 Premium Federal Reserve 12 Note Set, only 2,000 of which were printed.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images