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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Major Error Note Genuine $10 Dollar Bill Fold Over Butterfly & Counterfeit Form2013 $1 Frn Insufficient Inking , Rare Note Error , Uncirculated NoteUltimate Printed Foldover = Fr.1921e $1 1995 Frn Pcgs Very Choice New 64ppq Wow!2013 $1 Frn Insufficient Inking , Rare Note Error , Uncirculated NoteSuper! Blank Back Error $1 1995 Frn Fr. 1921-e Pcgs Choice About New 58ppqJc&c - Error Note Fr.1905-g 1969 B $1 Federal Reserve Note - About New 58 Ppq2013 $1 Frn Insufficient Inking , Rare Note Error , Uncirculated Note1988 Pmg 50 Epq $1 Federal Reserve Note Missing Print ErrorRare $10 Denomination Blank Back1977 Frn Fr.2023g Pcgs Choice About New 58ppq.$1 1985 Error Frn Major Gutter Fold On Face And Back Pcgs 40 1985 Us $20.00 Bill With Dramatic Gutter Fold Incredible Spear Butterfly On An Old Five! = Fr.1962b $5 1950a Frn = Bid To Win!Much Scarcer! = Third Print Both Sides! Fr.1930d $1 2003a Frn Pcgs Gem New 65ppqHgr ((error)) 1988a $1 X-rare (seal+serial#'s Missing On Front, Printed On Back)1993 Pmg 40 Epq $50 New York Federal Reserve Note Printed Fold Error1988 Federal Reserve Note Offset Printing ErrorBookend Error - 1988a $5 F.r.n. Inverted 3rd Print Type 2 + Second Bookend Note1995 $1 Dollar Bill Misalignment Error Shift Print Fed Note Currency Paper Money1977 $20 Federal Reserve Note Butterfly Fold ErrorJc&c - Error "misalignment" Note Fr.1962-h 1950a $5 Frn St.louis -vf 35 By Pmg1957b $1 Silver Certificate U37/u47 Mismatched Serial Numbers Error Pcgs 65ppq1950-d $100 Federal Reserve Note, Error Fold, Fr.2161-f Granahan|dillon1969 C $20 Federal Reserve Note 3rd Print Shift Error*nice $5.00 Error Note With Inverted Print On Reverse - 1977 Series*1966 - $100, United States Note, Red Seal, (crisp, Choice, Uncirculated) ~ Pmg/ngc $1 Fed Reserve Note Missing S/n & Green Seal Print Error Paper Money ~[bl] Us $ 100 Offset Printing Error 1996 Federal Reserve Note St. Louis Fr2175h1977 Pmg 35 $1 Kansas City Federal Reserve Note Cutting Error (stained)2009 $1 Offset Printing Error Federal Reserve Note Pmg 58Jc&c - Ex-rare Error With Star Fr.1972 1969c $5 Frn - Very Fine 25 By Pcgs Cur.1974 $10 Frn Misaligned Overprint Error Pcgs Very Fine 30ppq1957 $1 Silver Certificates Offset Printing Error Consecutive Serial NumbersJc&c - Error "misaligned " Note Fr.1906-j 1969c $1 Frn - Very New 64 Ppq By PcgsSeries 1995 $1 Federal Reserve Note Error Missing Treasury Department Seal2009 $1 Overinking On Serial # Error Pcgs Gem/new 66 #e08029929g Lot Of Six 2013 Boston Printing Error. Ink Line Down Front Of Note UncDramatic 1988a $1 Frn Insufficient Inking Of Back Printing Error Pcgs Gem 66ppqCu Giori Press Test Note - Edgar L. Pigman Hoard Reverse Designs Blank Back1996 $20 Frn Insufficient Inking Of Back Error Pmg Gem Uncirculated 66 Epq2006 Crisp Uncirculated $1 Bill -- Cut Way Off Center -- False Cutting Error2003 $2 Frn Minor Misalignment Of Digit In Ur Serial Number Error Pcgs 64ppq1977 $1 Frn Insufficient Inking On District Overprint Error Pmg Gem 66 EpqSeries 1977a $1 Federal Reserve Note Error Offset PrintingSeries 2013 One ($1) Dollar Bill Federal Reserve Note Error Miscut & MisalignedCu Giori Press Test Note - Edgar L. Pigman Hoard Lincoln Washington Grant 1950 A $10.00 Federal Reserve Note (reverse Off Center)$2 Bill - 2013 Crisp Unc - Cut Way Off Center - False Cutting ErrorOne Dollar 1977 With Large Green Smear On Back Error Bill1928- D $2 Red Seal Legal Tender Currency Fr# 1505 Error Flap Over Fold Error1993 $1 Federal Reserve Note Error1976 Us $2 Super Error/low Number Star Note/gem W/ Massive Miscut/uncirculatedLot Of 2 1999 1 Dollar Bills $ Error Note One Seal Is Off Center Double 77 99 1988 $5 Bill With Blank Back$20 Frn. 1950-b. Crisp Unc.!! Wide Margin On Side.!!$20.00 1996 Bc-block Type With 2-errors~crisp(vf+/xf)epq(corner Missing?)