The $2 bill, informally known as “Tom,” has a most peculiar history. If you’re wondering how a simple bill became such a curiosity, this video can fill you in quickly and clearly.
The United States two-dollar bill ($2) is a current denomination of U.S. currency. Throughout the $2 bill’s pre-1929 life as a large-sized note, it was issued as a United States Note, National Bank Note, silver certificate, and Treasury or “Coin” Note.
When U.S. currency was changed to its current size, the $2 bill was issued only as a United States Note. Production went on until 1966, when the series was discontinued.
Since people only made $15 a month, the “Tom” was a denomination that was used by the rich. These individuals used it for under the table transactions as well as to pay prostitutes. The bill was eventually deemed unneccasry.
Would you believe that owning a Tom around the time of its introduction could make you look like a criminal or a gambler?
Ten years went by before the $2 bill was reissued as a Federal Reserve Note.
$2 bills are seldom seen in circulation as a result of banking policies with businesses which has resulted in low production numbers due to lack of demand. This comparative scarcity in circulation, coupled with a lack of public knowledge that the bill is still in production and circulation, has also inspired urban legends and occasionally has created problems for people trying to use the bill to make purchases.
What do you think of $2 bills being rare and previously associated with criminal activity? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!
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