Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers to be wary of offers for “Arizona $2 bills.”
Advertisements for the $2 bills have appeared around Tucson with wording like “Arizonans scramble to get exclusive state $2 bills” and “just 48 hours left for local residents to get the only existing Arizona state $2 bills.”
“They’re subtly implying that there’s value there, and there isn’t any value” said Brett Sadovnick, owner of Tucson Coin and Autograph.
The United States Department of the Treasury’s Web site confirms that collector’s edition $2 bills were printed in celebration of the United States bicentennial in 1976, but no collector’s edition bills have been printed since then. The Web site says that the last batch of $2 bills printed was in 2003, and they were standard issue currency.
Sadovnick told BBB that the Arizona bills in question were made using a technique called “overprinting” to print the word “Arizona” on the bill. While the bills retain their original value of $2, Sadovnick said they aren’t worth anything more than face value on the collectors market.
“The only time a $2 bill has been worth more than $2 dollars was in 1976 when the government started issuing them again. People who received the first shipment of $2 bills could take them to the post office and have them stamped to confirm that they received their bill the first day it was out.” Sadovnick said. “We sell those bills for $5 dollars each, and they’re government issued.”
BBB offers these tips for consumers shopping for collectible coins and bills:
- When you see an offer advertising rare coins or bills, call a local coin shop to verify that the offer is legitimate. You can also visit the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing Web site, http://moneyfactory.gov.
- Collecting is not investing; not all collectables will gain in value over time.
- Make sure the entity issuing the collectable coin or bill is a government entity. Often times you can find this information in the fine print at the bottom of the advertisement. Be wary of any private company claiming to be selling rare, recently issued currencies.
Contact Your BBB at (520) 888-5353, or visit www.tucson.bbb.org if you come across any suspicious offers for collectables, or if you want to check up on a company before buying from them.