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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Hgr ((error)) 1974 $20 ((crazy Bold Complete Offset)) Pcgs Vf-351981 $1.00 "b2f Partial Offset From Torn Sheet And Bep Reject"~gemcu & Epq-wow1981a $1 Error Note (big Oops Look) Bostondistrict$5 "super Shift Error" Crisp!"supershift Error" 1950 (minneapolis) Crisp! Rare!!Us 1 Dollar Bill Error Note1957-b $1 Silver Certificate Mismatched Serial Number Pcgs 67 Ppq, Fr 1621 ErrorError Note Lot / $20 Super Overinked District Seal & $1 Major Dark Front To BackSeries 1995 One Dollar Overprint ErrorUs Dollar Bill Error Note1985 Series Five (5) Dollar Bill Misprint Error$1 "super Shift Error""supershift Error" 1995(boston) "rare Error" Wow!!$1 "rear Ghosting Error"(nice) 2009 "nice Ghosting Error"(cleveland)2009 Series!Offset Printing Error $1 2003 Frn, Full Offset (ghost Print)minneapolis District2001 $1 Error Note Missing Green Seal1977 Offset Printing Error Federal Reserve Note New York $1 Pmg 30 Very Fine1974 $1 Federal Reserve Note - Inverted Overprint Error Fr.1908-e$1 1995 One Dollar Gutter Thru Portrait Error NoteError Note Denomination Lot Of $5 / $10 / $20 Bep Ink Smears1995 $20 Partial Back To Face Offset Error (1st Impression) 1963-a $10 Frn Federal Reserve Note "gutter Fold Error" VgMiss Cut, Error Note, $1 2001 Frn, Excellent Condition1981 A $1 Dollar Error Federal Reserve Note Currency 2013 $5 With Over Inked Serial Numbers Us Currency2003 A One Dollar Bill Error. Face Over Reverse. F1995 $1 Federal Reserve Offset Printing Error Full Reverse To Face1981a $1 Federal Reserve New York Gutter Fold Error Pmg 451995 $1 Dollar Bill Misalignment Shift Error Fed Note Currency Paper Money4-1976 $2 Dallas "4 Consecutive *star* Serials" Bi-centenial + Gem Uncirculated4-1976 $2 Atlanta "4 Consecutive *star* Serials" Bi-centenial + Gem Uncirculated1977 Federal Reserve Note One Dollar Error Bill. 1974 $1 Dollar Bill Misalignment Shift Error Fed Note Currency Paper Money Frn1976 $2 Two Dollar Bill Number Misalignment Shift Print Error Unc SequentialNear Solid Binary $1 Dollar Bill, Cut / Print Error Fancy 2 Digit Serial Note CuBinary Bookend Repeater $1 Dollar Bill, Serial Number Ink Smear Error, 2013 Note2013 $1 Bill - Cut Way Off Center - 2 Different Serial #'s - False Cutting ErrorUsa 1957* Star* Notes Lot Of ( 4 ) Silver Certificate $1 One Dollar Blue Seal2013 $1 "scarface Washington" Ink Penetration1977-e Gutter Fold $1 One Dollar Federal Reserve Note- Richmond VaCutting Error Lot / $20 1950 A Series & $1 2006 Series / Nice Examples!1988 A Star $5 Dollar Bill Federal Reserve Note Currency Paper Money Fr 1980-e*2013 $1 "over-ink" U.s. Fed Rsv Note Error2013 $1 U.s. Note Over-ink Error[bl] Us $ 100 Cutting Error, 1996 Federal Reserve Note St. Louis Fr2175b2013 $1 Over Inked 7 In Serial NumberError Note Us 1988 Paper Money New $1 Wet Ink2013 $1 3rd Print Shift Error 10 Consecutives2013 $1 Dollar Bill Unc Ink Error!line On G.w.`s Face & Neck ~s/n : J 14614646 B