Rare $2 bill may NOT be worth $20,000
Well, this is awkward.
Last night we told you about a rare $2 bill that was expected to sell for $20,000 at an auction. But we now offer a mea culpa. We were mistaken.
The first problem? The story was from 2012 – a speculative piece about a bill potentially worth $20,000 because the wrong officials signed it. The second issue? A noteworthy serial number. The 1986 bills with the serial numbers prefixes AUG, AUH and AUJ should have contained the signatures of Bank of Canada governor Gerald Bouey and deputy governor John Crow, but a few of them are signed by deputy governor Gordon Thiessen instead. We only told you about AUH.
Finally, we speculated the bill could be worth $20,000. As it happens, the bill did actually sell at auction – but for only $10,000.
Owner of the Toronto Coin Expo Jared Stapleton told Kevin Newman Live the reason for the mistake on the bills was likely old sheets of paper made it into the new printing. We wish we could attribute ours to the same thing.
Stapleton said the current catalogue for money calculation lists bills $2 notes with these incorrect signatures at $20,000, but that doesn’t mean it will sell for that at auction.
Anyway, if you think you are sitting on a goldmine because you may have a $2 bill lying around your house, you may want to think again. There were only five of these bills remaining, now presumably down to four thanks to the sale. And Stapleton said by no means are $2 bills rare. A quick eBay search for $2 bills for sale shows most of them sell for between $1-3, plus $1.25 for shipping and handling.
Do you have the magical $2 bill?
Remember the days when you’d use your $2 bill to buy a can of pop and a bag of chips? Or a pack of gum and a scratch ticket and you didn’t feel like you had to carry a ton of bricks to do so? Well those days are gone but if you were like many who held on to those $2 bills when the new toonies came into effect, you may be $20,000 richer!
It’s been 19 years already, (can you believe it?), since we said good-bye to the $2 bill and hello to the ‘toonie’ coin. Once the two-dollar coin came about, printing of the two-dollar bill halted on February 18, 1996.
Yes, I know. It’s time to start flippin’ those cushions, rummaging through old drawers, unearthing those god-awful clothes from the 80s to check pockets, cleaning out garages and attics… and isn’t it time for a spring car cleaning? Good luck!
Did you know…
One of the five still remaining $2 bill was sold in Toronto a few months back, with $20,000 as the starting price?
Hence, this story isn’t something new as it was first mentioned back in 2012 on the Toronto Sun‘s website about the first rare, year-and-letter-combination $2 bill that went up for bidding in a Toronto auction put on by Geoffrey Bell Auctions.
1986 $2 Queen Elizabeth note
Estimated value: $15,000-$20,000
More Info: This $2 bill of the last series the Bank of Canada issued before $2 coins replaced currency of that denomination looks like thousands of others that survived, but its AUH6303352 serial number ranks it as one of only five known with that combination of letters. Considered the finest-known, although not uncirculated, it will be hotly bid on at this weekend’s Geoffrey Bell Auctions that coincides with the Toronto Coin Expo. Those with Thiessen-Crow signatures were supposed to be issued starting with AUK letters, but some have been found in series AUG to AUN.
(photo supplied by Geoffrey Bell Auctions)
"Some people are content with low-grade older bills, but condition is often rough because “you’re dealing with a paper product and they can get damaged and soiled easily,” Stapleton said Wednesday. Anyone seeking currency and coins for investment should “collect the best.” Such guidelines can pay off. - Canadian Paper Money Society vice-president Jared Stapleton (Toronto Sun)
Also, Did You Know…
- A 1911 $500 bill featuring Queen Mary, wife of King George V, was saved from being shredded with old documents when the late owner’s relative spotted what turned out to be one of only three survivors. It sold for $322,000 four years ago.
- Brian Bell, of Geoffrey Bell Auctions sold a 1925 King George V $500 note in 2010 for $235,750.
- The Bank of Canada took over release of all Canadian currency by the mid-1940s, compensating institutions for their bills as customers exchanged them for federal equivalents. A rare set of its 1935 first issue $1-to-$1,000 specimen notes in both English and French, with “00000” serial numbers, is estimated to be auctioned for up to $150,000.