America has some of the most storied currencies on earth. Every dollar bill comes with its own backstory that will have you glued to the end of the page. Have you ever wondered, what Is A Red Seal 1953 Two Dollar Bill Worth?
The Red Seal 1953 $2 bill is one such currency. If you have this dollar bill in your possession, it is time to take a second look at it. And if you don’t, well, you can be forgiven as the $2 bill is one of the least loved and least known paper money in America.
In this article, you will learn of the worth, the series in which this dollar bill belongs, how it’s graded and whether you can make a fortune from the one you have.
The Value Of The 1953 Red Seal 2$ Bill
A 1953 $2 bill is worth $8 and it doesn’t matter what series it belongs to. Star notes (the ones with a star before the serial number) are worth about $10 and any bill with a unique serial number is also worth the same amount. The Red Seal $2 bill of 1953 was produced in eight series. Each two dollar bill in this series is valued differently.
Most $2 notes are not very rare, consequently, they carry little worth. Those with stars preceding the serial numbers command more worth than the regular $2 bill. In other words, look for the star, the series which refers to the year and signature to determine the price of the two dollar bill.
Below is a summary of the worth of the 1953 red seal two dollar bill. The table shows the value of the $2 bill in the two conditions—Very Fine and Uncirculated.
You will notice in the picture below that the serial number begins with an A in that series. That is one of the things you look for when valuing your two dollar note. For more clarification, see the key below summarizing the basic elements that differentiates the series of red seal 2 dollars.
A Short History Of The 1953 Red Seal Two Dollar Bill
2 Dollar bills date back to the year 1862. It has the image of Alexander Hamilton, the founder father of the United States of America. By 1928 when the next two dollar bill would be released they had the face of Thomas Jefferson and they were small sized. Thus began the Red Seal two dollar paper money which constituted legal tender notes till 1966.
|1953 Two Dollar Bill|
|Width||6 9/64 inches Or 156mm|
|Height||2 39/64 inches Or 66.3 mm|
|Weight||Approximately 1 gram|
|Security features||Fibers and raised printing|
|Materials used||75% cotton – 25% linen|
|Years of printing||1953|
|Design||Thomas Jefferson on the obverse
The monticello on the reverse
The notes featured the seal in bright red color. The 1928 two dollar featured the seal on the left. The seal was moved to the right in the 1953 series.
By 1975 the seal changed color to green because now the two dollar bills were issued as Federal Reserve Notes. The 1953 red seal dollars started with the plain notes. It was followed by the 1953A, 1953B and 1953C. The series didn’t change the dates on it but continued to carry the first date the series began.
You can find the letters below the lettering that says SERIES 1953 on the right next to the secretary’s signature on the right.
The picture below from eBay shows a portion of a 1953-C red seal two dollar bill. Spot the alphabet C under the words SERIES 1953.
The 1953 red seal bills are not very commonly used by Americans in daily transactions. And when they do turn up once a while as they do, they get people wondering if they are fake or new.
An incident in Utah County 1989 exemplifies this when Geneva Steel paid their employees in 2 dollar bills. People thought it was strange when they started turning up around the county.
In 2005, a man was jailed in Baltimore, Maryland for attempting to tender the $2 bills. The local police thought they were fake on account of the ink stains on some of the bills.
Also in 2013, Texas a 13 year old girl was detained by the police for attempting to make payment for her lunch at the school cafeteria with a two dollar bill. The girl had tried to pay with the 1953 red seals which were still legal tender at the time but the counterfeit pen would not work on it prompting the intervention of police.
1953 Red Seal Two Dollar Bill – Design
The red seal 2 dollar bill features the design that has been consistent since the first 2 dollar bills came out in 1928.
The image of Thomas Jefferson is on the center along with other elements which include the serial number which is duplicated on both sides of the image of Jefferson, the treasury seal and secretary’s signature on the right and the treasurer’s signature on the left.
The letterings are:
“THE UNITED STATES NOTE”
“THIS NOTE IS A LEGAL TENDER AT ITS FACE VALUE FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE”
“THE UNITED STATES WILL PAY TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND TWO DOLLARS”
As seen in the picture above, it features Thomas Jefferson’s home, the Monticello in the middle, the numbers 2 and a TWO printed over it on both sides. The following letterings are also seen on it:
The letterings are;
“THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”
“TWO DOLLARS, TWO DOLLARS”
The Red Seal
The note will feature the red seal which is what identifies the 1953 2 dollar note. Previous and following 2 dollar notes feature a green color for the seal. The seal here is the United States seal. Another reason why the 1953 two dollar notes seal is read is because it is a US note rather than a federal reserve note.
The date 1953 is on the obverse of the note where Thomas Jefferson’s face is located. It will be written as SERIES 1953 and under the block letters the alphabet A, B or C. The series alphabet changes when something about the dollar bill changes. It could be a change of the person who is the treasurer of the United States, the secretary of Treasury or if the design changes. What this means is you might find a 1953 red seal two dollar bill that was produced in 1955, 56, or 57 and it’s featuring a SERIES G, E or F.
The red seals that have a star after the serial number are called replacement notes. These are notes that were used to correct a mistake in a former note. Instead of making new notes and then giving them a new serial number, the United States government makes new notes with the same serial number, corrects the mistake and then adds a star in front of the serial number to indicate the category of the note.
The replacement notes usually have lower mintages than the regular notes. And as indicated by the table above, replacement notes or notes with a star are usually more valuable. Low mintage means the notes aren’t proliferated in circulation. Collectors love them.
Even paper money has errors too. There are few of them out there but if you find any with a seal that’s not in the proper place, or the serial numbers flipped upside down, then you are looking at a really valuable red seal dollar bill.
Another example is if you have a dollar bill with inconsistent serial numbers. Serial numbers usually appear twice on the obverse of the two dollar note. If one number is missing in the repeat pair, then that bill is considered very valuable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a 1953 $2 bill with a red seal worth?
In very fine condition the worth ranges between $22 and $18 and in uncirculated condition they are worth between $30 and $90.
What is the rarest $2 bill?
The 1928B star series is the rarest 2 dollar bill. It is so rare there are only less than a dozen in existence.
What does a red seal mean on a 2 dollar bill?
The red seal means the bill was United States Notes. The control of the money was directly by Congress.
The 1953 red seal two dollar bill may not be well liked but this may well be the reason why it would become even rarer years to come and the price will increase. Even now many Americans are not familiar with the two dollar bill. If you are starting out as a collector this may be one bill you can begin with.