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It's all about the Jeffersons

tyler@linux.com published on 19 May 2011

I recently discovered that the branch manager at the Wells Fargo bank I frequent can order a bound stack of two dollar bills on request. This is rather handy since banks don't normally have any just "lying around."

Front-face of a $2 bill

Upon discovering this fact, I promptly requested a stack of 100 bills, or $200. As I left the bank that fateful afternoon, giddy with excitement over my fresh stack of uncirculated two dollar bills (I was rather lucky), I decided to embark on a little project: I want to see if I can reintroduce two dollar bills into the local economy.

The ground rules I've been following:

  • Only spend bills at local businesses, tips are a great way to get back into circulation as soon as possible
  • Record all serial numbers of bills whenever a withdrawal is made
  • Don't spend more than 4-5 bills at a time, don't want to run the risk of irritating whoever I'm paying too much

Thus far I've spent about $80 in twos between morning coffee and breakfast and a couple of other beer-related expenses and the reactions have been surprisingly boring. I had hypothesized that folks would have been a little bit more surprised or taken-aback by the sight of 3-4 crisp, sequential, two dollar bills.

I suppose outside of an election year, there's nothing that really surprises most San Franciscans.

The bills

Since I've been recording the serial numbers on the bills, here's a quick break down of the districts this money was printed for:

Legend A: Boston, C: Philadelphia, E: Richmond, F: Atlanta, G: Chicago, H: St. Louis, I: Minneapolis and L: San Francisco.

  • A: 1
  • C: 2
  • E: 1
  • F: 10
  • G: 1
  • H: 2
  • I: 14
  • L: 169

I've not yet seen bills from New York (B), Cleveland (D), Kansas City (J) or Dallas (K).

I personally find both two dollar bills and the movement of money interesting, EC (my wife) on the otherhand refuses to spend them.

Can't win them all.