|Front of bill: The third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson|
|Back of bill: an engraving of John Trumbull’s painting “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence.|
The first two dollar bill was issued in 1862, and featured a portrait of Alexander Hamilton. The current design was adopted in 1976.
The design on the front of the $2 bill is the oldest of all current U.S. currency, having been adopted in 1929.
During Fiscal Year 2006, it cost approximately 5.7 cents per note to produce 8.2 billion U.S. paper currency notes.
$2 bills are often perceived as a rare form of American currency. This perceived rarity creates a tendency for people to hoard any $2 bills encountered. This hoarding takes them out of circulation, which strengthens the perceived rarity. Since they don’t get used much, they have a longer life span, and so the Bureau of Engraving and Printing prints fewer bills to replace the worn and damaged ones. They are almost never given as change for commercial transactions, and thus consumers rarely have them on hand to spend.
The reality is that there are a LOT of these bills in circulation! According to BEP statistics, 590,720,000 Series 1976 $2 bills were printed and as of February 28, 1999, there was $1,166,091,458 worth of $2 bills in circulation worldwide.
In 1989, Geneva Steel used $2 bills to send a message to the surrounding Utah community - it paid its employee bonuses in $2 bills. When the bills began showing up everywhere, people recognized the importance of the company to the local economy.