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How Much is a 1963 $2 Bill Worth? (Rare Series & Value Guides)

How Much is a 1963 $2 Bill Worth? (Rare Series & Value Guides)

Many Americans have never seen a bill of two dollars, although it is not as rare as it seems at first glance. The US Federal Reserve Bank started printing large-size legal tender $2 bills in 1862, and pieces from the 19th century can be pricey.

On the other hand, the 1963 $2 bill value is pretty modest unless you have a rare note with a low-serial number. While both types produced this year have similar prices, their value can slightly vary when it comes to those with a star. Let’s take a look.

1963 two dollar bill value

Series Bills in uncirculated condition Bills in circulated condition Bills with a star ()
*by the Spruce crafts
1963 with a red seal $20 $8 to $9 $12 to $40
1963 A with a red seal $20 $9 $9 to $90
*by Old money prices
1963 with a red seal $20 $5 /
*by Artifact Collectors
1963 with a red seal $27 to 28 $2 to $5 /

 

History of the 1963 $2 Bill

It has been a long time since the first $2 bill with Alexander Hamilton on the front page appeared in circulation in 1862. The first Legal Tender notes were large-sized, and they even had silver certificates from 1886 to 1899.

However, they were not the very first two-dollar bills ever printed since you can find pieces produced during the Colonial Period. The oldest banknote was released into circulation on 29th November 1775.

As for modern banknotes, the first small-size $2 bills with the red seal were printed in 1928. You can find two other series from 1953 and 1963 before these banknotes redesigning in 1976.

1963 small size $2 bill series

Series Production period
1963 11th March 1964 to 3rd June 1964
1963 A 29th July 1965 to 29th July 1965

The 1963 $2 bills with red seals came with Thomas Jefferson’s portrait on the front page and his home, Monticello, on the back page. They were quickly discontinued in 1966 because of low use.

It was the last banknote with the red seal before introducing Federal Reserve notes with a green seal in 1976.

These bills have never been popular among Americans, so it can be challenging to find them in circulation today. However, printing in small amounts has continued until today.

The two-dollar notes are officially the rarest American bills produced, with less than 0.001% of all banknotes in circulation nowadays. Interestingly, these $2 bills have a life span of six years, unlike $1 notes that can spend only ten months in circulation before wearing out. 

 

Features of the 1963 $2 Bill

The Bureau of engraving and printing produced far more $2 bills in 1928 than later, in 1953 and 1963 series. Compared to 430,760,000 first small-size notes, only 98,480,000 printed in the following two series is pretty modest.

The reason for these disproportionate amounts is low demand resulting from the unpopularity of both banknotes produced in 1953 and 1963.

The front page of the 1963 $2 bill

The 1963 $2 bill has a centrally positioned Thomas Jefferson’s portrait on the front page. It is above the inscription THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TWO DOLLARS written in three lines.

You can see the number TWO in all four angles and on the portrait’s left side, representing the denomination. The red treasury seal with a distinctive toothed trim is placed on the right front page half.

Besides, you can see two serial numbers on both sides that should be identical and two signatures on the bottom.

The back page of the 1963 $2 bill

The back page of the 1963 $2 bill

The 1963 $2 bill back page differentiates from previous banknotes with the same denomination in one detail. It has the motto IN GOD WE TRUS written below the country name, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and above the vignette positioned in the center.

You can see Jefferson’s famous Virginia home, Monticello, inside the beautifully ornamented vignette, with the house name below the depicted building. The banknote is completed with the added denomination in digits and words in a few places.

1963 Small size two-dollar bill

Face value $2
Type Legal Tender note
Producer The US Bureau of engraving and printing
The front page The 3rd American President, Thomas Jefferson
The back page Jefferson’s home, Monticello
Material 75% cotton and 25% linen
Series Two (1963 and 1963 A)
Bill height 2.60937 inches (66.28 mm)
Bill width 6.14062 inches (156 mm)
Bill weight 0.03527 ounces (1 g)
Seal variety Red
Shape Rectangular
Security features Standard raised printing and security fibers

Other features of the 1963 $2 bill

Both 1963 $2 and 1963 A $2 bills are rectangular banknotes with a red seal weighing 0.03527 ounces (1 g). Their dimensions are standard for small-size American bills, including a height of 2.60937 inches (66.28 mm) and a width of 6.14062 inches (156 mm).

Seals

All US federally-issued paper currency printed since 1862 contains the treasury seal. You can recognize a few types:

  • A green seal for Federal Reserve notes
  • A blue seal for silver certificates
  • An orange seal for gold certificates
  • A red seal for US notes
  • A brown seal for Federal Reserve and National Bank notes

The 1963 $2 bill has a sizable red treasury seal with a specifically toothed outer edge on the front page’s right side.

Serial number

Even though every 1963 $2 bill has a serial number, this feature can sometimes significantly affect its price. It is actually two letters with a row of eight digits in between, making a unique combination for each banknote.

The first letter shows which Federal reserve bank printed this particular banknote, and it is always one of 12 letters from A to L. As for the last letter, it can be any from the alphabet except O and Z.

The letter O was excluded to prevent possible confusion with the number zero. The letter Z is reserved for test printing, so it never becomes a part of a regular serial number.

You can see the same serial number printed twice on the face page, which is always identical. In rare cases, you can see a star instead of a letter when the bank needs to replace a defective banknote.

Since it is forbidden by law to print two banknotes with the same serial number, the correction always has a star instead of a letter. Since these bills are rare, they are always more valuable than regular ones.

You should also know that collectors particularly appreciate unique and specific serial numbers. The most expensive is the Number 1 serial, but banknotes with low and high serials are also valuable.

You can also get some premium prices for pieces with up or down ladders, those with binary, solid serial, or birth year numbers, and uniqueness like super palindromes and flippers.

Signature

You can find two 1963 $2 bill types with signatures on the front page. As is the case with all US bills, two persons sign this banknote:

1963

  • Treasury Secretary Clarence Douglas Dillon
  • Treasurer Kathryn Elizabeth Granahan

1963 A

  • Treasury Secretary Henry Hammill Fowler
  • Treasurer Kathryn Elizabeth Granahan

Printing

As you can notice, American banknotes are not smooth, but their surface is textured. That raised texture, which you can feel under your fingers, is an additional security measure and makes counterfeiting challenging or practically impossible.

Paper

Even though you can often hear the term Paper Money, American banknotes are actually not made of this material.

In fact, the 1963 $2 bills are made of plant fibers and contain cotton and linen in a 75: 25 ratio like all other Legal Tender notes. They also include security fibers in precisely determined colors to prevent possible counterfeiting.

 

1963 $2 Bill Value Guides

1963 $2 Bill Value Guides

Despite 1.4 billion $2 bills in circulation, these banknotes account for just 0.001% of the currency in circulation value. That means they are less common, but that doesn’t make them rare or particularly valuable.

1963 $2 Bill

The 1963 and 1963 A $2 are equally common and cost more or less the same in all grades. Their value depends on the condition, serial number, star presence, and possible misprints. While those in circulation condition are worth less than $10, you can count on about $20 for unused banknotes.

Pieces with a star come at the price of $10 to $90, depending on the type and preservation level. You can also purchase 100 note packs with these banknotes for about $800. Since packs with the 1963 $2 bills with a star are less available, their price goes to $1,500.

Negative reputation

Many Americans have negative assumptions about $2 bills and consider them bad luck because of the unpopular deuce in cards. Some even ripped off the banknote corners’ pieces to reverse the curse, making them inappropriate for use.

Throughout history, this banknote was associated with prostitutes, gambling, and election rigging. The Treasury Department tried to popularize its use during the 1900s, but every attempt was unsuccessful. The result was giving up and stopping printing them in 1966.

The new $2 bills with the Declaration of Independence on the back page appeared in 1976 to honor the bicentennial. However, Americans refused to pay goods and bills with them and started collecting these banknotes instead using them in everyday life.

The fact is that no one ever alternates cash registers for these bills. Moreover, some electronic cash registers, vending machines, and money-changing machines still can’t accept them.

On the other hand, some collectors have developed real subcultures and organized communities of $2 bill admirers. For instance, US Air Force pilots always bring a $2 bill when flying U-2 spy planes. You can also watch John Bennardo’s THE TWO-DOLLAR BILL DOCUMENTARY about these neglected and despised banknotes.

 

1963 $2 Bill Errors

Errors are rare among 1963 $2 bills, thanks to low production and rigorous control during printing. There is virtually no chance of finding a misprinted banknote produced that year, but possibly doubled or poorly set up seals can be valuable.

Since the situation with errors is unfavorable, collectors found their chance to look for bills with unique and specific serial numbers.

 

FAQ about the 1963 $2 Bill

What makes a 1963 $2 bill rare?

The 1963 $2 bill is not particularly rare, but its presence in circulation is low since many people avoid this banknote because of superstition. Actually, you can go to the bank and ask for it whenever you want.

However, be prepared that many Americans are unaware of its existence and can be suspicious when seeing it. Anyway, you can get additional cash for pieces with a star or palindromes (radar notes) with a unique digit row in a serial number.

Which 1963 $2 bill is worth a lot of money?

In most cases, there is no such thing as an expensive 1963 $2 bill. These banknotes are abundant and worth about $20. Only pieces with a star in the serial number can be more valuable, and you can count on about $40 to $90 for them, depending on the note type. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

  • 1963 $2 bill with a red seal in a very choice crisp uncirculated condition (an original pack of 100 pieces) is worth $4,600
  • 1963 star $2 bill with a red seal in a superb gem new condition is worth $4,025
  • 1963 $2 bill with a red seal in an about uncirculated condition is worth $3,450
  • 1963 $2 bill with a red seal in a gem uncirculated condition is worth $3,407

How much is the 1963 $2 bill worth?

You need to set aside about $20 or a bit more for a standard 1963 $2 bill. Only those with the star or atypical serial numbers can be more pricey. In rare cases, you can get about $100+ for banknotes with low serial, solid, and binary serial numbers.

What is the rarest $2 Bill?

Old large-size $2 bills issued from 1862 to 1918 are the rarest and most valuable on the market. You can count on at least $10,000 if you are lucky enough to find a collectible one in uncirculated condition.

Virginia

Sunday 13th of November 2022

I have $2 bill 1963