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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1995 $1.00 Frn- Missing First Print Error- Pmg Au55- No Reserve1981 Fr. 1911-? $1 Federal Reserve Note Missing Third Printing Error Pcgs 621988a $10 Frn==missing 1st Print--blank Back==pcgs 64ppq (super Note)1977-a $5 Mismatched Serial Numbers L44/l45 Error Pcgs Gem New 65ppqMissing Print Error Pcgs 64 Ppq Choice Unc. $1 Frn1988a $20 Frn 3rd Print Omitted Major Error Pcgs 65 Ppq1985 $10 Frn==missing 1st Print--blank Back==pcgs 58ppq (super Note)$10 1995 San Francisco Full Face To Back Offset Error Pcgs 35ppq Vf Spectacular1935-g $1.00 Silver Certificate- Large Gutter Fold Error- Cga Vf351977a $20 Dollar Frn New York Fr 2024b Offset Printing Error! Pmg Vf30 Must See!1977-a $5.00 Federal Reserve Note- Overprint Error- No Reserve1969 D $1 Dollar Frn Chicago Fr 1907-g Offset Printing Error! Pmg Vf35 Must See!1969 $1 Frn Obstruction Error Note Very Rare!U.s. $20 Error Note-- Uncirculated With Corner Gutterfold1977-a $10.00 Federal Reserve Note- Overprint Error- No Reserve1974 $1 Dollar Bill Pre-overprint Foldover Error Note Currency Paper Money Pcgs1988-a* $1 Mismatched Serial Number G11/00 Star Note Error Fine1950 A $5 Federal Reserve Error Note (( Gutter Fold ))1999 Frn Atlanta Notes 2 With The Same Very Low Serial Fancy Number - RareAmazing, One Dollar Frn 1988-a Series Foldover And Cutting Error Almost Unc"unc Cu~gem" Printed Foldover Error 1988a $5 (5 Dollars), Scan-023$10 Dollar Error Note $20.00 1974 Chicago Type With Multi-errors~crisp~crisp(xf)&epqU.s. $1 Error Note With Ink Smears On Reverse1935 E $1 Dollar Bill Offset Printing Error Silver Certificate Note Paper Money1950a Five Dollar,federal Reserve Error Note,off Center,circulated,no Rips,marksAu 1963 A $1 Dollar Bill Neat S/n & Minor Ink Smear Federal Res Note Currency$100 Dollar Federal Reserve Star Note (2009a)$1 Printed Foldover - Major Error!1988a $1 Misaligned/shifted Overprint Error With Severe MiscutError 1935d $1 Dollar Blue Seal Silver Certificate (item#8158)10 Rupees 2008 Nepal Central Bank Error Missing Signature Pcgs 55ppq$2.00 1976 Philadelphia District First Day Issue Wildwood N J Fancy NoUnc 1988 A $1 Dollar Minor Shift Error Federal Res Note Paper Money Currency$1 2009 Gem Cu Faux Mismatched And Miscut Fake Error, From Uncut Sheet Error 1988 A Large Double Gutter Fold $1 NoteTwenty Dollar Bill Printing Error 555Misaligned 1985 $10 Dollar Bill Circulated Error Misprint1995 Error $1 Dollar Bill Federal Reserve Note Paper Money U.s. Currency1977a 5 Dollar Error Bill Faulty Alignment (miscut) Uncirculated1976 2 Dollar Star Note (e) District, Richmond, Rare And Xf Cond. Nice Star.1999 $1 Error Bill1976 $2 Frn Postmarked First Day Of Issue Fdi Note Newark Nj 1976 $2 Frn Postmarked First Day Of Issue Fdi Note - East Chicago - Nice 1976 $2 Frn Boston Postmarked First Day Of Issue Fdi Note Rockland Maine1976 $2 Frn Postmarked First Day Of Issue Fdi Note Kenvil Nj - Error TooD) 2009 Rare $1 Star Note/ Kansas City/gem Unc./ 640k/ Stuck Digit / Fr.1934-j*C) 2009 Rare $1 Star Note/ Kansas City/gem Unc./ 640k/ Stuck Digit / Fr.1934-j*Vintage Uncirculated 1963 $1 One Dollar Bill Washington Federal Reserve Note