JOPLIN, Mo. — If you have a single $2 bill or perhaps a whole collection of them, you may want to do some research before you spend them, because one of those bills could be worth thousands more than the face value, according to an analysis by Go Banking Rates.

The analysis examines 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 prior to 2000, certain bills printed within the last three decades are worth quite a bit more.

The $2 bill was first issued in 1862 and is still being printed today, with an estimated 1.2 billion notes in circulation. Eric Gerner, a numismatist and owner of “Gold and Silver of Joplin, LLC.,” said his business continues to use this particular note.

“We hand those out and exchange them here every day. We have a standing order with our bank that gives us two straps every other month,” stated Gerner.

A History Fact Sheet from the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, says $2 notes issued prior to 1928 featured many different designs, which would often change with the introduction of a new series. $2 notes issued since 1928 are more standardized and feature a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, who remains the face of the bill today.

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From 1928 until 1976, the back of the $2 bill featured a sketch 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 helped to write.

For most of history, $2 bills have been unpopular. The Treasury Department says $2 bills are often returned with corners torn off, making them unfit for reissue. 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. If your $2 bill is only worth its face value, there are ways to help increase its future worth.

“One thing that’s going to make your $2 bill more valuable down the road, is it’s condition. If it’s brand new, crisp, and uncirculated — like you just got it from the bank —certainly put it in your bible, or a book, or something important to you. You can also come here (Gold and Silver of Joplin, LLC.) and we’ll get it put into a holder for you to keep it in pristine condition,” said Gerner.

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.

There are two bills on the list that are considered to be 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. Even 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.

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Bills printed since 1976 don’t carry as much value. 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.

To determine the specific value of a particular $2 note (or any type of circulated or non-circulated currency) Gerner recommends going to an experienced dealer or collector of coins and paper currency.

“We do that for folks every day, that one of the main reasons we’re here — to educate people on their collection of coins, paper money and other similar items of value. We also specialize in appraisals, which is a service we provide at no cost,” Gerner stated. “I really enjoy being able to share our knowledge with people. It’s our way of giving back to the community.”