Thursday, August 13, 2020 -
Print Edition

Not exactly Monopoly money, but fun

Here is a very little, fun and simple thing that puts a smile on people’s faces.

Golden dollar coins and the two dollar bill.

It is my father’s shtick, and I have tried to follow in his footsteps. Every once in a while he would return from the bank with white paper wrapped cylinders of gold coins in fixed amounts, or a few wads of perfectly crisp, beautiful two dollar bills, wrapped with a green and white label in the center.

Whenever it came time to tipping, with a big grin on his face, my father would shell out the two dollar bills with a flourish. This little gesture always put a smile on the face of the waiter, waitress, cab driver, barber, grocer or toll booth attendant. The uncommonness of the bill gives the encounter an unexpected twist to the day that adds an element of surprise and a feeling of specialness. Plus, I think, for some reason there

is this notion out there that the two dollar bill is worth more than its actual face value, so while interacting in regular commerce exchanges, people accept the two dollar bill almost like you have given them a gift.

Over the years , the two dollar bill has gone through various changes. At one point it was so large it had to be folded to fit into your wallet. At another juncture, an educational series of two dollar bills was printed with the imagery of different presidents and advances made during their terms.

Most of the time, the bill has been and still is Thomas Jefferson on the front of the bill. But the back! The back has always been almost like a miniature piece of silvery olive green art held in your hand. Now it is a scene depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence and it is beautiful!

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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