Coming across a $2 bill can make you pause and wonder if it has any more value than just a couple bucks. According to experts, it might — but there are a few things to consider before jumping to any jackpot conclusions.
You’ll probably be surprised to learn that although they are indeed rare, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing still produces these bucks on a regular basis — just nowhere near as many as other denominations. According to Business Insider, $2 bills make up about .001 percent of money circulated today.
However, just because they are less commonly used doesn’t automatically make them worth a whole lot. For example, you might have held onto one of the beautiful $2 bills issued in 1976 for the US Bicentennial celebrations. The experts at Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) explain those are almost always just worth their face value – with one exception.
PCGS claims that newer $2 bills with Star Replacement Notes — which are stars near their serial number — can earn you anywhere between $5 and $50. It’s not exactly lottery-winning levels of cash, but it’s more than a couple bucks! Two-dollar bills from the 1958 and 1963 printings have a similar value regardless of any stars appearing on them.
Now, if you happen to get your hands on a $2 bill that’s even older and looks a little bigger than most cash we’re used to carrying around today, it will get you even more moolah.
James Bucki, a professional numismatic writer (AKA someone who’s spent a lot of time studying valuable money), claims that “most large size two-dollar bills issued from 1862 through 1918 are highly collectible and are worth at least $100 in well-circulated condition.” Those lucky enough to stumble upon uncirculated $2 bills (meaning there are no folds or bends from getting passed around as regular currency) from that far back could rake in “at least $500 and can go up to $10,000 or more.”
Of course, those are a lot harder to find, but they could be hiding in an estate sale haul or passed down to you by a family member.
Bottom line, most $2 bills circulated between 1976 and now without any special stars by the serial number are probably only worth face value — but older printings could make you a little (or a lot) richer!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.