2$ Bill Pin
Limited Run of 75 pieces
1.00" Soft Enamel Lapel Pin
* Free sticker with every order*
Since its introduction in 1862, the $2 bill has gone up and down in popularity, but even though there are over a billion dollars in “deuces” circulating, it has been rare to see them used during the past 60 or 80 years.
Anything that is unusual or rare is likely to be associated with some strange phenomenon or power, often good luck or bad luck. An example is the rather rate 4-leaf clover, which has been given the attribution of good luck. Another is the all-black cat, which has been associated with bad luck.
$2 bills have ben tied to brothels, where early in the 20th century a sporting gent could buy a “quickie” for $2. Also, $2 used to be a standard horse racing bet. And $2 was the reputed price paid for a phony vote, in corrupt elections. Hence it was felt that anyone carrying a $2 bill was intending to do, or had just done, something illicit or frowned upon. Of course, in those days $2 would also buy a fine men’s shirt, or have a horse shod, or pay a worker a day’s wages. None of those was considered bad luck.
Nevertheless, the $2 amount came to be associated with cheapness and shoddiness, as well as with immoral or improper behavior. For example, the phrase “hotter than a two-dollar pistol” is still in use, however anachronistic. Before Prohibition, a quart of rather poor quality whiskey cost $2, and during prohibition a large Mason jar of White Lightning typical cost $2.
Also, a synonym for the Devil is “deuce” — as in “What the deuce?” instead of saying the more-taboo “What the Devil” or “What the hell?” This more or less indirect association with perdition may be the strongest link to considering the $2 bill bad luck.
It is not clear whether the superstition indicate that one will have bad luck by owning a $2 bill, or carrying one, or spending one, or receiving one. Maybe it is all of these, or any of them. Nevertheless, the US Treasury continues to print and circulate $2 bills. Due to inflation, one might actually expect to see them in wider use than the $1 bill (which is still the most widely used currency); but that has not occurred.
Interestingly, it appears that most people who receive a $2 bill do not spend it or deposit it, but instead throw it into a drawer or keep it somewhere else in their homes. This may be due to some vague notion that they are scarce or have been taken out of circulation, and will therefore someday be valuable. You can see that misapprehension in practice on eBay, where people offer $2 bills at premiums up to several times their face value.
There are plenty of $2 bills around. They are not going away, they are not going to become collector’s items, and they certainly are not going to bring you good luck nor cause you bad luck, by your spending them or receiving them. It’s just money.