Error notes are examples of paper money that somehow managed to make it into circulation, despite the obvious printing mistakes displayed on their faces (fronts) and backs. It shouldn’t be too surprising that a certain number of error notes exist. After all, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces more than 10 billion notes a year, so a statistically tiny number of errors is hardly an indication of lax quality standards. But that very scarcity is precisely what makes error notes so interesting to collectors.

Errors are often organized by when the error occurred during its printing and handling. U.S. paper money produced during the 20th century is printed in three waves. The first printing creates the image on the back of the note, the second printing is for the face, and the third printing adds serial numbers and seals to the face. Other errors are due to the way the paper is handled (folding and cutting errors) during any of these printings. In all cases, the more dramatic and glaring the error, the more valuable it is to collectors.

The so-called “king” of paper-money errors is a note with mismatched denominations on its face and back, which means the mistake occurred during the second printing (sometimes a mismatch error is perpetuated through the third printing, too). A less-valuable but related error is a note whose face is inverted. Double printings at any stage are also sought, evidence that a sheet has gone through the press more than once. The result is usually a note whose face, back, or overprints appear blurry, since the images are not perfectly aligned.

Lack of ink, or too much, is a relatively common error. In general, the bigger the blank spot or smear, the more valuable the error. Offset printing errors refer to those goofs that result in some of the face appearing on the back of a note, or vice versa. Notes printed out of register are also fairly common. In these situations, the image intended for the back or face of a note might appear to be cut off at the top or bottom. In fact, the error is due to the printing of the note, not its cutting.

That said, sometimes an error in cutting is exactly the problem, although such notes are only considered valuable if you can see approximately 50 percent of bottom and top halves of the face or back, stacked on top of each other like a movie projector that’s gone haywire.

Finally, errors committed on the various types of large-size notes issued from 1861 to 1928 are even more rare than the ones that have been produced since. In general, that means that an error on a large note such as a Silver Certificate will be worth more than the same error on a modern Federal Reserve Note. Still, as always, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, the value of an error found on most National Bank Notes, which were issued from 1863 to 1935, generally has more to do with the inherent rarity of that particular National note rather than the type of error on it.


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1981 Pcgs 67ppq “lb” Block $10 Frn Insufficient Ink Error (cu3),1990 $20 Misprint Error Fed. Res. Note-serial Number And Seal On Reverse CrispHgr ((error)) 1981a $1 Rare ((seal + Serial#'s On Back)) Pmg Gem 65epqHgr ((error)) 1985 $1 X-rare ((seal + Serial#'s Missing)) Pcgs Gem 66ppq$1.00 1935-d Scarce Silver Certificate Back Printing MisalignedScarce! Overprint On Back = Missing On Face = $50 1981 Series Error Pcgs 63ppq Dramatic 1988a $1 Frn Insufficient Inking Of Back Printing Error Pcgs Gem 65ppqUnc 1995 $1 Dollar Bill Misaligned Misalignment Error Note Currency Paper MoneyTreat Yourself! Insufficient Inking Error = $5 1988a Series Error = Pmg 65epq Overprint On Back = Missing On Face = $20 1995 Series Error Pmg 66epq = Wow!Series 1969 C Us $10 Federal Reserve Note Misaligned Overprint Error$5 "super Shift Error" (1981-a) "super Shift Error"!!! (2nd Note Shows) Rare!!!!1977 One Dollar Federal Reserve Error Note, Misaligned Back Printing Pcgs 63ppq 1950a-10-federal-reserve-note-error-printed Partial Face To Back - Pcgs Vf35 2003 $1 One Dollar Frn Federal Reserve Note "print Error"...99 Cent Start..nr$1.00 1963-a Philadelphia District Error Butterfly Fold Right Corner$star Error Series Of 1977 Federal Reserve Note One Dollar Bill United Tear1995 Misprint Quarter In Good CondtionU.s. 2006 Series $1 One Dollar Error Note On Reverse1988a Atlanta Fed $1 Error NotePartial Ghost Print On Front Of $10 1969c District 21935d $1 Silver Certificate Error With Butterfly Fold #i01863355f (ju.7)1977a $1 Frn W/back To Front Ink Error #l85828041i (ju.9)1935 D $1 Silver Certificate Note With Dramatic Butterfly Fold Error (jk.4)$1 Double Error! Under Inked Star Note And Misaligned!1981a $1.00 Frn *back Plate #129* Wrong Side!!!$1 Us Defective Dollar Bill Very Rare 2013 Series Mega Offer Hurry !!!1928 B $1 Dollar Bill Silver Certificate Funny Back Note Currency Paper Money$1 "underinking Error" "super Underinking Error"!! (reverse Normal)crispy Note!1981 A $1 Dollar Bill Misaligned Third Printing Error Note Currency Paper MoneyPartial Ghost Print On Front Of $1 1988a$1 "obstruction Error" "(green Seal Missing) (obstruction) "error"error" Rare!!$1 "super Shift Error"!!!! 1999 "super Shift Error"!!! Wow Super Rare!!! 1999$2 Under Inked Serial Number Note Error!!! 10 $1.00 2013 San Francisco District Consecutive Gem Star Frn Notes1969 Series $5 Federal Reserve Note Error Gutter FoldUs Paper Money Error Notes$1 Under Inked Star Note Error!!!$1 Under Inked Star Note Error!!!1985 $10 Back To Front Wet Ink Transfer Error Note2006 $100 Rare Repeater Note ! One Hundred Dollar Bill Uncirculated, Wow !!1974 Frn Missing Serial Numbers And Seal Error With Free Shipping!Ghost Print On Back Of 1995 $1 District 9 Look1988 Ten Dollar Bill Misalignment Error - Nice! 10 $1.00 2013 San Francisco District Consecutive Gem Star Frn Notes 10 $1.00 2013 San Francisco District Consecutive Gem Star Frn Notes 10 $1.00 2013 San Francisco District Consecutive Gem Star Frn Notes 10 $1.00 2013 San Francisco District Consecutive Gem Star Frn Notes$1 Under Inked Star Note Error!!!$1 Error Federal Reserve Note One Dollar Bill United States Series 1977a1934a 10 Dollar Federal Reserve Note Twenty Dollar Bill Boston Ma$1 & $5 Printed Shift Error-2 For 1 Price W/free Shipping!$1 Silver Certificate 1935 Slight Margin Error One Dollar Bill$1 Under Inked Star Note Error!!!$2 Under Inked Star Note Error!!! 1995 One Dollar Ink Error Federal Reserve Note$1 "super Shift"(error) 1977-a "super Shift Error"!!! Wow Super Rare!!! 1977-aTwo Dollar Bill Bleed Through 2009 $2 $5 1995 Under Inked Small Face Note Error!!!1969b $1 Frn Atlanta Star Note - Error ( Misaligned - Au )