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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**error**1935e $1 3rd Print Omitted Major Error~~uncirculated ~~high Grade$10 1981 Obstructed Back Print Major Error Pcgs Vf30 Spectacular1950 B $5 Frn Gutter Fold Error3 Consec. 1985 $1.00 Frn With Dramatic Foldunder & Miscut Graded Au581977 1.00 Frn With A Huge Gutter Fold & Mild Foldover On The Back$1 1995 New York Full Face To Back Dark Offset Error Pcgs Xf40 Spectacular $5 1969a New York Full Dark Wet Ink Transfer Error Bep Rejection Mark Pcgs Au55$5 1950d Philadelphia Pre-face Print Foldover Error Pcgs 25**error**1928g $1 3rd Print Omitted Major Error~~about Uncirculated ~~high Grade$1 1981 Overprint On Back Major Error Pcgs Vf30 Pair Of Uncut Giori Test Notes, Front & Reverse Designs Blank Back, Error Ink$20 1993 Pre-back Print Foldover Error Pcgs Au58 Sensational$10 1969 Chicago Underinked Back Bep Rejection Sticker Pcgs 63ppq Rare1993 $ 20.00 Frn Uncirculated Type Ii Inverted 3rd Print On The Back$10 Error Note With Overprint On Back Error Certified & Graded-by Pmg-63-epq Unc**error**1957 $1 3rd Print Missing Error ~~uncirculated ~~high Grade1995 $ 10.00 Frn With Severe Underking Reverse$1 1985 Kansas City Massive Misaligned 2nd Printing Error Cga 68* Opq Flawless1928 A & 1928 B 6 Consecutive S.c. With Changeover, All Cga Graded Au 501981a $ 5 Frn W/ A Dramatic 2 Way Shift Of Only The Black Portion Of 3rd Print1985 $ 1.00 Frn With A Dramatic Gutter Fold & Miscut$20 1985 Richmond Ink Smear On Back Error Pcgs 30$1 1995 San Francisco Partial Back To Face Offset Error Pcgs 58ppq Very Cool**error**1935a $1 3rd Print Missing Error ~~uncirculated ~~high Grade$5 1981 Minneapolis Partial Face To Back Offset Error Pcgs Vf351995 $ 5.00 Frn With Severe Underinking Of The Green Portion Of The 3rd PrintError Series 1957 Silver Certificate With 2 Different Serial Numbers Dollar Rare$1 Repeating Unusual Serial Number # L 33333300 F Rare Collector One Dollar BillTcs 1934 D $5 Silver Cert.***choice Uncirculated*** Mint ((fancy Serial #))$1 1995 Philadelphia Partial Face To Back Offset Pcgs 40ppq Awesome**error**1957 $1 3rd Print Missing Error ~~uncirculated ~~high GradeTcs 1957 "b" $1 "silver Cert" ***star*** ((gem Uncirculated)) Low Serial***1974 $20 Note Error - Shifting ~xf~~$1 1995 San Francisco Partial Back To Face Offset Error Pcgs 63ppq1974 $5 Frn (dallas) Inverted Seals & Serial Numbers... No Reserve!$1 1977 Atlanta Gutter Folds Face And Back Error Pcgs Vf25$1 1969 San Francisco Error Gutter Folds On Face Pcgs Vf25 $1 1999 Philadelphia Partial Face To Back Offset Error Pcgs 25ppq 1963a One Dollar Bill Insufficient Ink Error Faded Seal, Serial Numbers & Back1935 C $1.00 Silver Cert. With Solvent Smear On Face Graded 64 Ch. Cu$1 1995 San Francisco Partial Back To Face Offset Error Pcgs 63ppq**error**insufficient Ink **$1 1977 A F R N Gem Uncirculated High Grade$1 1974 New York Partial Face To Back Offset Error Pcgs 25ppq $1 1974 Gutter Folds On Both Sides Pcgs Vf35Error Major Shifting 1928 Gold Certificate $10 Beautiful High Grade $20 1977 Gutter Folds Face And Back Error Pcgs 55ppqError - 1988 A Richmond - 3rd Print Shift - Rare Error~`high Grade$5 1981 Richmond Huge Gutter Folds Both Sides Pcgs Vf25Tcs 1957 "a" $1 "silver Cert" ***star*** ((choice Uncirculated)) Epq$10 1950a New York Error Partial Face To Back Offset Pcgs Vf251981 $10 Note Error - Shifting ~about Uncirculated ~~high Grade$1 2009 Gem Cu Faux Mismatched And Miscut Fake Error, From Uncut Sheet$1 1985 Philadelphia Gutter Folds Face Back Error Pcgs 20Error Misprint $2 Notes. Two Consecutive Serial No. Error Notes. Uncirculated.$5 1977 San Francisco Partial Face To Back Offset Error Pcgs 35ppq Spectacular**error**insufficient Ink **uncut $1 2003a Frn Gem Uncirculated~~ High Grade1969c $5 Note Error - Shifting Uncirculated ~~high Grade$1 1935e Silver Certificate Gutter Fold Face Error Pcgs 40ppq Looks Far Better$20 1974 New York Shifted Face Printing Pcgs 53ppqTcs 1934 $5 Silver Cert.***crisp Uncirculated*** 1934 No Letter