Paper Money

Why $2 note production was temporarily stopped

The BEP placed a temporary “quality hold” on $2 Federal Reserve notes because they exhibited what the bureau calls increased “soiling.”

Coin World file image.

Between May and July 2016, $2 notes were printed for every Federal Reserve district except Richmond and Dallas. It was a relatively small part of Bureau of Engraving and Printing activities, with most districts requiring just 6.4 million notes each. The BEP said at that time that the demand for $2 notes was satisfied for the foreseeable future, but on July 1, the Federal Reserve Board and BEP’s Quality Directorate agreed that “$2 note processes (20 in total) would be placed on quality hold.”

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The news was revealed by BEP Director Leonard R. Olijar in his “Director’s Corner” newsletter in the BEP Communicator journal. Measurements on some new, Uncirculated $2 notes showed increased “soiling.” This meant that they had a level of dirtiness that could have an effect on their longevity, and came close to what Olijar referred to as “the shred threshold.” Notes that are too dark and notes with ink in areas that should not be printed would be among those considered soiled.

An interagency system exists to address such problems, and after an analysis of factors that included changes in sensor software and reading variances, it was finally determined that the level of concern was minimal and the work put on hold could be released.

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