Video: The Peculiar History of the Two-Dollar Bill

The $2 bill has a sketchy past. Shortly after Independence, the Federal Reserve started printing money, but because American at the time only receive an average monthly salary of $15, they only issued coins at first.

Soon after, the “Tom,” nicknamed for Thomas Jefferson’s image, was the currency predominantly used for gambling, bribes and prostitutes. The bill got a bad rap.

During the United States Bicentennial in 1976, the reserve started to reproduce “Toms,” but made such beautiful bills that people didn’t want to spend them, thinking that they’d increase in value somewhere down the line.

Today, the bills still exist, but comprise a fraction of all bills printed by the Federal Reserve. There are even $2 ambassadors, who visit banks to ensure that the “Toms” remain in circulation.

Credit: Great Big Story

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