Value of Old $2 Treasury Bills
we’ve paid as low as
for some really beat up $2 treasury notes
most are worth
for decent quality two dollar treasury bills
we’ve paid as much as
for beautiful condition treasury two dollar bills
Some of the most valuable paper money printed in the United States are from the treasury note series. The “watermelon” notes, the $100 and $1,000 bills, have brought in excess of over one million dollars in value. While the $2 treasury notes don’t bring near that much, they’re still relatively collectible today.
In this guide, you will: Know how much an old $2 1891 treasury bill is worth, see pictures of what a real $2 treasury note looks like, know what different condition $2 treasury notes look like, where you can sell vintage $2 treasury bills, and any other questions you may have about your old treasury bill.
It’s clear that antique two dollar treasury bills are worth at least $50 but sometimes much more. Condition matters when determining any collectible currencies’ value. The goal of this page is to help you figure out what you have in your collection, and how much its really worth.
We’ve been dealing and collecting with collectible paper money for over 25 years and consider ourselves to be the strongest buyers across the entire United States.
While we are particularly specialized in high denomination bank notes, ($500, $1,000, $5,000, & $10,000 … yes they exist!) we have a strong understanding of market values for all types of paper money. Whether your bill has a red seal (Legal Tender), blue seal (Silver Certificate), gold seal (Gold Certificate), or green seal (Federal Reserve Note) we are here to help make sure you become educated about high denomination paper money.
With all this being said, you may still be unsure of how to get started. We know from a fresh perspective these concepts and “currency lingo” can be a little intimidating at first, and that’s why we’ve created this guide.
Disclaimer: Do not fall victim to selling your valuable collection to a local pawn or coin shop that will rob for what your paper money is really worth. Contact a paper money expert before selling any currency you own.
Old treasury notes were only printed in 1890 and 1891, this is true for all denominations in the series. Keep in mind there are some older notes that say “Treasury Note” on them, but they aren’t true treasury notes. This guide is specific to the series 1891 treasury note two dollar bills.
Two dollar treasury notes from 1891 have a red seal and red serial number. The paper size is much larger than paper money today. Knowing the 1890 and 1891 series look very similar is important. The main distinction will be the seal size, type, and color. Outside of this, they are very similar in overall appearance on the face. The back of the bills, however, are vastly different.
Every old treasury two dollar bill from 1891 will have a small red scalloped seal with red serial numbers. This is the easiest way to determine what you have, as well as looking at the issue date on the bill. If you aren’t sure what you have don’t hesitate to contact us today as we’d love to talk.
The nickname of these old large size bills makes it easy for currency collectors to communicate about specific types of banknotes. The 1891 $2 treasury notes surprisingly don’t have a very accepted nickname, unlike some other large size type.
The easiest way collectors refer to this bill is the portrait on the two dollar treasury notes and the date; 1891 McPherson note. McPherson is pictured on both 1890 and 1891 series two dollar treasury notes so when talking about this bill, the date is important.
James B. McPherson was a career United States Army officer who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
James B. McPherson was the only person to die in the Civil War who was later featured on United States paper money. He was also the second-highest-ranking Union officer to die in the Civil War.
Many people who are unfamiliar with large size type currency have the understanding that if your bill has a “star” on it then its always worth more and it’s considered a star note. Oddly enough, the star you will see on 1891 $2 treasury notes is simply a placeholder. It has no added value and every two dollar treasury note from 1891 will have a star at the end of the serial number.
In many cases, if you see a large size bill with a star at the end of the serial number it will significantly increase its value. The star will also be hollow, not solid like you see on these notes. It’s good to know that true replacement star notes were not issued until 1910. The star at the end of these large size bills is simply a design placeholder in case the Federal Reserve ever wanted to increase the serial number ranges.
The price for series 1891 $2 treasury notes ranges from as little as $50 to $2,500. These old treasury notes are actually relatively common in the paper money market.
There are three signature combinations your two dollar bill can come in:
- Tillman and Morgan
- Rosecrans and Nebeker
- Bruce and Roberts
The signature variations don’t matter as they’re all equally as common. For the 1891 $2 treasury notes, value equates to how good the condition of the banknote is.
With most currency, a banknote with a low serial number, like serial number 1 or 2, will be worth more money. Generally speaking, anything under 100 is considered to be a low serial number.
The guide below shows you estimate grades of treasury notes and about how much they are worth today.
Choice Uncirculated or Better
A beautiful Uncirculated example of an 1891 McPherson note like this is always fun to see. They are plentiful in the market and thousands of them in this condition exist. Many of them come from runs of consecutive notes, meaning the serial numbers increase sequentially, and these little bundles usually bring a premium.
Uncirculated means absolutely no folds, essentially the bill was put into safe keeping before it ever went into circulation. It has never seen a wallet and has never been exchanged in and cash registers.
Value: $1,900 and higher
Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated
While an old treasury note like this may appear uncirculated with no folds, it most definitely has folds. This is a nice example of an Extremely Fine old paper money bill. There will be more circulated, extremely fine, bills in the market than there are uncirculated examples.
This is part of the reason most collectors who want a quality note with good eye appeal, and something that won’t break the bank, they’ll purchase a note which has amazing eye appeal. To the everyday person who’s new to collecting, it’s difficult to tell the difference between extremely fine, about uncirculated, and uncirculated notes simply because they all look very similar. But the price of the bill will tell them otherwise.
Value: $750 or more
Fine to Very Fine
As you may be able to tell from the picture above, the condition of the bill has dropped significantly since our last example treasury bill. This will also reflect the value of these two dollar bills. For the collector wanting an overall decent quality banknote without spending too much, Very Fine notes is where we typically tell them to go.
I personally enjoy collecting the higher grade 1891 treasury notes, but I’ve definitely owned my fair share of lower grade notes. Also, if you have a lower condition note as you see on this page, we are still interested in buying if you are interested in selling.
Value: $250 and up
Very Good and Lower
This Very Good two dollar bill is missing the bottom left corner of the note. But really, it’s pretty common to see bills that look beat up like the one pictured above. Keep in mind these did circulate heavily in the early 1900s, and that’s why most of them will look like this.
The collector market when treasury notes were first issued, as you can imagine, wasn’t as large. On top of that, not many people could afford to hold on to a piece of paper just for the fun of it. They had bills to pay!
This is the look of most bills we will buy from collections of paper money. They have a lot of character and still bring a little money to the market.
Value: Typically $75 and higher
As you can tell from the condition of each note, the value is heavily dictated upon its overall condition. If your note looks nice, it will likely be worth more money.
We are always buying 1891 $2 Treasury McPherson Bills, even in the very poor condition example shown above. Contact us today if you’re interested in selling your old bills.
Good news, I’ll start by saying your $2 treasury note is likely real. If it’s fake, it’s worth $0. We’ve handled literally thousands of $2 treasury notes.
It is uncommon to see a counterfeit $2 treasury note. The times we have, they were easy to point out, even from images over a computer screen.
We have worked for and with some of the best counterfeit paper money detecting experts in the industry for decades.
While it may be second nature for us to spot them out, we wanted to take some time and put together this guide to help you spot fake treasury notes and better educate yourself.
If your 1891 $2 treasury bill is any/all of the following, your bill is fake:
- It’s laminated
- It’s black/white
- It feels like printer paper
- It’s smaller than paper money today
- It’s much bigger than paper money today
High denomination currency is typically the most highly counterfeited money in the world. The idea is the bigger you make the money, the easier it is to transport large quantities without detection. This means, not many people were advantageously going out of their way to fake a small denomination bill like the 1891 $2 treasury notes.
High denomination bills from 1900 and earlier have a higher chance of being a forgery. If you need help please send us a picture and we’d gladly determine the authenticity of your two dollar treasury note.
Selling your Treasury Bill
An old $2 treasury bill has been given to you from a friend or passed down from a family member and you don’t really care to keep it. You’d much rather have money in your bank account.
You want to avoid going to a pawn shop as these guys will typically gauge your eyes out, unfortunately. We love paper money, and we pride ourselves on being the most competitive buyers in the United States.
Find a Paper Money Expert
Paper money experts are different.
Most experts are collectors themselves and truly love the hobby as a whole. All local shops are almost required to rip-off the people they’re buying from. They do it in order to pay for renting a big building and having multiple employees.
I’ve been collecting coins and paper money almost my entire life. I have a secured, private office where I deal only with certain customers after setting up an appointment. I don’t have a walk-in, public shop. We have low overhead costs which allow us to pay top dollar for high denomination paper money. If you ever want to meet for a local deal, we are located in Boca Raton, FL.
Safely Shipping your 1891 $2 Treasury Bill
We insure all packages that come in and go out of our office. If you follow our easy shipping and packing instructions and the package somehow gets lost in the mail, no worries, our insurance will cover it.
Payment is sent via PayPal or checks when you sell your high denomination $2 bills to us. Once we receive the package we verify the banknotes and send your payment the same or next day. We have satisfied thousands of customers who have shipped us their $2 bills.
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Very pleasant experience. Been selling old money to Marc for 10 years would recommend.
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We get hundreds of frequently asked questions each week via calls, emails, and text messages. Before contacting us, we wanted to answer any basic questions you have about your 1891 $2 Treasury Note. If you don’t see your question below or are interested in selling your $2 note to us, feel free to contact us today.
Commonly Asked Questions About Old $2 Treasury Notes:
Who Is Pictured On The 1891 $2 Treasury Note?: James B. McPherson is the man pictured on every $2 1891 treasury note. He was a career United States Army officer who served as general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Why Don’t I See My $2 Treasury Note In Your Price Guide?: We spent hours trying to accomplish having the most comprehensive treasury note price guide on the internet. If you don’t see your treasury note consider clicking the link in the previous sentence and it will bring you to another page on our website. Contact us if you are having any problems.
What Is An Error 1891 $2 Treasury Bill Worth?: Misprinted, or error, $2 treasury bills are extremely scarce and when they do appear, the errors are super minor. Error bills on large size typically don’t occur. The ones typically seen are inverted back errors, gutter fold errors, serial number or seal errors, and a few others. If you have an 1891 $2 treasury note with an error, contact us and we will help determine its value as these are typically on a case by case basis.
What Is An 1891 $2 Treasury Bill Star Note?: They do not exist. Every 1891 $2 treasury note has a solid “star” at the end of the serial number. This was simply a placeholder for the printing in case they wanted to expand the serial number range. Large size paper money star notes will have a hollow, open star, unlike the solid one seen on these treasury bills. There are no replacement star notes for this type.
What Is The Most Common Large Size 1891 $2, Treasury Bill?: There are three different signature combinations available for the 1891 $2 treasury note. They are all equally as common and worth the same. Value is based strictly upon condition.
How Much Does A $2 Treasury Bill Cost?: The quick answer is anywhere from $50 to over $2,000. See the area about values above for more specific information.
Can I Get A $2 Treasury Bill From The Bank?: No. Not unless someone was to bring one to the bank. Unfortunately, these bills are not considered legal tender so even if you did bring it to a bank they wouldn’t be able to accept it.
How Do I Know My $2 Treasury Note Is Real?: We touched on forgery $2 bills earlier in the guide. Essentially there are multiple factors that help determine the authenticity of your treasury bill. To learn more, find the section above that talks more in-depth about counterfeit treasury notes.
What Do Counterfeit Treasury Bills Look Like?: Treasury bills that are black/white, laminated, smaller than typical paper money today, much larger than typical paper money today, are all going to be fake. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Please send us a picture if you want your treasury bill to be authenticated.
What Is The Most Expensive 1891 $2 Treasury Note?: Most high-grade examples will bring over $2,000. When the market was high in paper money back in about 2007, high-grade notes would typically always bring over $2,750. Unfortunately, today’s market isn’t as strong as it once was before the economic crash.
We Are Buyers
Raremoneyvalues.com is the most competitive treasury note two dollar bill purchasing website in the United States. We’ve purchased tens of thousands of treasury note bills during our time collecting and dealing with paper currency. Please contact us today if you’re interested in selling your old collection or need help authenticating your rare paper money.