Monday, March 15, 2010
"$2 bill" poll
Should the $2 bill be dropped from circulation?
Never seen one...0
Personally, I like them and when at the bank I will obtain $20 or $30 worth. They are fun to flash around, points of conversation, good for tipping, and great for irritating young people at the cash register.
Here is what Wikipedia provided...
The United States two-dollar bill ($2) is a current denomination of U.S. currency. Former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson is featured on the obverse of the note. The design on the obverse (excluding the elements of a Federal Reserve Note) is the oldest design of current U.S. currency, having been adopted in 1929.
The reverse is the second oldest design, having been adopted in 1976. An engraved modified reproduction of the painting The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull is featured on the reverse. Featuring John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, it is one of only two U.S. Currency notes that features two Presidents (the $5000 bill featured George Washington and James Madison). Two state quarters also feature multiple presidents: the Illinois State Quarter (George Washington and Abraham Lincoln) and the South Dakota State Quarter (Mount Rushmore, four total presidents).
In spite of its relatively low value among the denominations of U.S. currency, the two-dollar bill is one of the most rarely seen in circulation and actual use. It is almost never given as change for commercial transactions, and thus consumers rarely have one on hand. Production of the note is quite low; under 1% of all notes currently produced are $2 bills. This comparative scarcity in circulation has led to an overall lack of public awareness of the $2 bill and has also inspired urban legends and folk beliefs concerning it.
Throughout the $2 bill's pre-1928 life as a large-sized note, it was issued as a United States Note, Silver Certificate, and Treasury or "Coin" Note. When U.S. currency was changed to its current size, the $2 bill was issued only as a United States Note. After United States Notes were discontinued, the $2 bill later began to be issued as a Federal Reserve Note. Two-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in green straps.
The denomination of two dollars was first used by the United States federal government in July 1862. The denomination was continuously used until 1966 when the only class of U.S. currency it was then assigned to, United States Notes, began to be discontinued. The $2 bill initially was not reassigned to the Federal Reserve Note class of United States currency and was thus discontinued; the Treasury Department cited the $2 bill's low use and unpopularity as the reason for not resuming use of the denomination. In 1976 use of the two-dollar denomination was resumed as part of the United States bicentennial ($2.00 is equal to two hundred cents) and the two-dollar bill was finally assigned as a Federal Reserve Note, with a new design on the back featuring John Trumbull's depiction of the drafting of the United States Declaration of Independence replacing the previous design of Monticello. It has remained a current denomination since then, although the vast majority of $2 bills in circulation today are from the 1976 series, with newer bills being inserted into the money supply as needed.
Today, two-dollar bills are not frequently reissued in a new series like other denominations which are printed according to demand. When the Federal Reserve Banking System runs low on its current supply of $2 bills, it will submit an order to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which will then print more. Demand for $2 bills is low enough that one printing can last for many years.
Though some cash registers accommodate it, its slot is often used for things like checks and rolls of coins. Some vending machines accommodate it, and self-checkout lanes have been known to do so, even if the fact is not stated on the label. Although they usually are not handed out arbitrarily, two-dollar bills can often be found at banks by request. Two-dollar bills are also appropriately given as change at the gift shop of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Virginia estate.
Two-dollar bills are delivered by Federal Reserve Banks in green straps of 100 bills ($200). They are often packaged in bundles (10 straps/1000 bills equaling $2000) for large shipments, like all other denominations of U.S. currency.
The rarity of a $2 bill can be attributed to its low printing numbers that sharply dropped beginning in the late 1950s when the $2 bill was a United States Note and recently the sporadic printings of still relatively low numbers as a Federal Reserve Note. Lack of public knowledge of the $2 bill further contributes to its rarity. This rarity can lead to a greater tendency to hoard any $2 bills encountered and thus decrease their circulation.
After United States currency was changed to its current size, the two-dollar bill, unlike other denominations, was only assigned to one class of currency, the United States Note. United States Notes had a legal statutory limit of $346,861,016. The bulk of this amount was assigned to the $5 United States Note. From 1929-1957 (from Series of 1928 to Series 1953), the $2 bill on average was printed in quantities of 50 million notes per series with only a few variances to this number. From 1957 onwards, $2 bill production figures steadily decreased from 18 million notes in Series 1953A to just 3.2 million notes in its final printing, Series 1963A, which ended in 1966. By contrast, an average of 125 million per series of $5 United States Notes were printed from 1929-1957; the final Series 1963 printing of the $5 United States Note included 67.2 million notes.
When the current note was first issued in 1976, it was met with general curiosity, and was seen as a collectible, not as a piece of regularly circulating currency, which the Treasury intended it to be. The main reason it failed to circulate was that businesses never really requested them as part of their normal operations to give back out in change. This failure is linked to the gradual disappearance of the former $2 United States Notes.
Supplies of the Series 1976 $2 bill were allowed to dwindle until August 1996 when another series finally began to be printed; this series, however, was only printed for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Once again, in October 2003, the $2 bill was printed for only the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis after supplies dwindled . A Series 2003A was also issued starting in 2006, in larger quantity and for multiple Federal Reserve Banks, because of an increase in demand for supplies of the note.
Until the end of the 1980s, $2 bills were quite common in Europe with military personnel. The money circulating outside the USA could not easily be taken out of circulation so bills stayed in use much longer than intended, sometimes in very bad shape, even with pieces taped together.
Today, there is a common misconception that the $2 bill is no longer in circulation. According to the Treasury, they "receive many letters asking why the $2 bill is no longer in circulation". In response, the Treasury states: "The $2 bill remains one of our circulating currency denominations. According to B.E.P. statistics, 590,720,000 Series 1976 $2 bills were printed and as of February 28, 1999, $1,166,091,458 worth of $2 bills were in circulation worldwide." However, "in circulation" does not necessarily mean that the notes are actively circulated, only that this is the amount that has not been redeemed for shredding. The Treasury states that the best way for the $2 bill to circulate is if businesses use them as they would any other denomination.
The most significant evidence of the $2 bill's reawakening would be that, in 2005 alone, 61 million $2 bills were printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This is more than twice the number of $2 bills that were printed annually between 1990 and 2001.
Many banks stocking $2 bills will not use them except upon specific request by the customer, and even then, may cause a delay with a trip to the vault.