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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$100 1996 Chicago Big Head Pcgs 58ppq Partial Blank BackHgr ((error)) 1995 $1 ((missing Seals/serial#'s)) Cga Superb Gem 68opqMissing Serial Numbers On Back Fold Over Error $20 Bank Note Lot 6069Food Stamp Coupon Error $10.00 1989 B B 61400254k Department Of Agriculture UsdaHgr X-rare ((triple Error)) (extreme Rarity) Choice Unc 63epq1974 $20.00 Federal Reserve Note Error Offset Printing Pmg Au-58 No Reserve$5 1988 Pmg Xf Error *** Blank Bank *** Atlanta Missing First PrintingError Note Silver Certificate $1 1957-b Nice Reverse Error AuHgr ((error)) 1993 $20 ((board Break Error)) Pmg Gem 66epq1935-d $1 One Dollar Silver Certificate Note *fold-over & Miscut Errors*Giori Press Test Note Single Lincoln Washington Grant1995 Federal Reserve Note, Off Center Printing .error.F.r.n. $5 Error Note. Printing Issues. Circulated-mid Grade. Free Shipping!!1988-a $1.00 Missing Printing Error Note (3rd. Print) Uncirculated Pmg It1981 A $1 New York Ny Error Seal Stamped Wrong 1564gLot Of (4) $1 2009 Gem Cu Faux Miscut Fake Error, From Uncut SheetFantastic 1977 $1 Federal Reserve Note Offset Printing Error Chicago - Pmg 65epqHgr ((error)) 1969b $10 **star** (error On Star!!) Pmg Vf-301985 U.s. $10 Ten Dollar Federal Reserve Bank Note Huge Gutter Fold Error Unc*nice 1977 Series $10.00 Fold Print Error Note - Estate Fresh*Off Center Cut $ 20 Dollar Bill1977 $20.00 Offset Printing Error Note (front To Back) Uncirculated Pmg It$1 2003 Error Frn Fold Over Before 1st Printing Later Torn Off Now 97 Cent NoteSeries 1995 $1 Federal Reserve Star Error Note Out Of Register Rare $5 Us Currency Bill With Large Ink Smear Series 19851999 Frn Atlanta Notes 2 With The Same Very Low Serial Number - Rare1953 - $2.00 Red Seal * Major Miscut + Misalignment Over Printing * Note$1.00 1977 Printed Fold Error Major Print DistortionShifted 2nd & 3rd Prints $1.00 Frn, 1985, Dallas. * Starting At 99 Cents *1935 E ( 2 ) $1.00 Unc * Heavy Miscut + Shift Error * Consecutive Notes1957 1$ Silver Certificate Off Center Error!! Xf From Estate!! Starts@.99cUnited States Federal Reserve Note Mis-print Yellow Obverse$100 Bill One Of A Kind$10 1963a Frn Richmond Solvent Smear Error Top To Bottom On Left2003a $1.00 Frn *overprint Shifted* Xf/au 1974 $10 Ten Dollar San Fransico Gutterfold Federal Reserve Note Fr2022l Misprint One Dollar Bill Ink Error Off Print Over Print 2009 Rare 1988a $20 Frn - Misaligned Overprint Error - Pcgs 55ppq -ch. About New Beautiful1989 A $10.00 Federal Reserve Note Error Miscut Gem Cu No ReserveSeries 1995 Cleveland Ohio $10 Bill Front Margin Error Serial Number Shift RightE) 1999 Three Consecutive $1 Star Notes (richmond,va.) Gem Unc. Fr.1924-e* 2013 - $1 Dollar Ink Run Through From Rear - Circulated CurrencyOne Dollar Star Note. 2013 Federal Reserve. $1 Good Condition. Best Deal$20 Frn Chicago Board Break Error Pmg Vf-30, 3 Board Breaks Total On LeftBb) 1999 Seven Consecutive $1 Star Notes/st.louis,missouri/ Fr.1925-h*/gem Unc. 2006 $1 Dollar - Offset And Low Serial # Placement - Circulated CurrencyJ1) 1999 Four Consecutive $1 Star Notes (richmond,va.) Gem Unc. Fr.1924-e* 2009 $2 Star & Stuck Digit$1 2013 Frn Error Three Unc District E Richmond Raised #2003 A - $1 Dollar - Off Center Print - Circulated Currency2009 $2 - Overinking Error - Pcgs 64ppq - Very Choice New - Beautiful