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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$10 1985 Minneapolis Huge Fold Over Error Pmg 40 Epq$5 1995 Kansas City Spectacular Giant Fold Over Error Pmg 55 Epq1969 A $5 Federal Reserve Note Bank Chicago! Misalignment Error Pmg 25! #lvc85851988 $10 Bill ErrorRare Mismatched Serial No. $2 1976 Pmg 64 Epq 456/556Finest Known $1 1998 A Misaligned Suffix Error Pmg Superb Gem 68 Epq 1935-a $1 Silver Certificate Error Huge Gutterfold # Must See #$5 1981 New York Back To Face Offset Error Pcgs 351999 $100 Federal Reserve Note! Error Missing Seal! #lvc1138aFaulty Alignment On Early Series $10 .... Pcgs Very Fine 30 Ppq ..... No Reserve1934 B $10 Federal Reserve Error Note Fr.# 2007-b ""fold Over""$1 Silver Certificate Mismatched Serial Number 1957 Pmg 35 Epq 55/54Fr.2039-f* 2004a $10 Fw Atlanta *star* 00007815* Pcgs Superb Gem New Unc 68ppq$10 1981 Double Error Gutter Fold Pmg 251950 A $10 Federal Reserve Error Note Fr.#2011-c ""major Missalighnment""1963 $1 *error Mismatched Serial Number* Fr. 1900-b 89/88a Pcgs Vf25 Apparent1977 $1 Federal Reserve Note Missing Print Error Pmg 20! #lvc89993 $5 Error Notes Unc$10.00 1985 Bd-block With Nice 2nd.print Error(2 Adj. Notes Shown)~vf+/xf & Epq$1 Misaligned Digit Error 1998 A Pmg 66 Epq Gem 1985 $5 Federal Reseve Note, Grades Xf/btr, Reverse Overprint On Left Front.see!1950 A $5 Federal Reserve Error Note. Fr.#1961-i ""major Butterflie Error""1963 $1 Fr. 1900j Au+ * Error Offset Ink Full Front To Back * Serial#j72516056a1969 $1 Third Print Shifting ErrorRare Mismatched Prefix Frn $2 1976 Pmg 63 Epq H/b Exceptional Embossing NotedNice 1935 E $1 Silver Certificate Gutter Fold Error Note$20 1985 Gutter Fold Error Pmg 25$1 1974 100% Offset Printing Error Pmg 35 Epq 1935 E $1 Silver Certificate Error Note. Fr.#1614 Di Blk. "misalignment Error"1985 $1 Dollar Bill Twin Double Gutter Fold Error Note Real Paper Money Currency2009 $1 Frn Fancy And Low Serial Number 1935 D $1 Silver Certificate Error Note. Extremely Rare. Missing Seal & NumbersFr. $100 1996 Federal Reserve Error Note. Pmg Choice About Unc 58 Epq2009 $1 Overinking On Serial # Error Pcgs Superb Gem/new 67 Ppq #e080299974g $1 Misalignment Error 1985 Pmg 35 Choice Very Fine Federal Reserve Note Bill1995 Series Gutter Fold One Dollar BillMissing Treasury Seal Error $20 1999 Pmg 53 Epq OverprintFr. $5 1993 Federal Reserve Error Note. Pmg Choice Very Fine 35 Net1963a $1 Fr. 1901g Au+ * Error Major Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#g10223887a2006 $1 Frn Low Serial Number 1969 $50.00 Federal Reserve Error Note Gem 2nd & 3rd Printing Shifted Way Right1957 $1 G55/g54 Silver Cert W/ Mismatched Serial Number.Rare Classic Us $100 1974 Note Bill Currencey (error Long Cut)$10 1969 B Ink Smear Error Pmg 30 Frn Kansas City1963a $5 Fr. 1968b Au+ * Error Major Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#b42870153a1963a $1 Fr. 1901b Vf+ * Error Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#b14707129c1963a $1 Fr. 1901b Vf+ * Error Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#b66468643f1963a $1 Fr. 1901d Xf+ * Error Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#d10626524a1963a $1 Fr. 1901b Au+ * Error Major Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#b39599306e1963a $1 Fr. 1901e Vf+ * Error Gutter Fold Through Serial# * Serial#e93631203a1963a $20 Fr. 2066g Au+ * Error Offset Ink Front To Back * Serial#g46711232a1963 $1 Fr. 1900c Vf+ * Error Interior / Gutter Fold * Serial#c94615616a2009 $1 Overinking On Serial # Error Pcgs Gem/new 66 Ppq #e080299975g Real 1995 Crisp Uncirculated $1 - Cut Way Off Center - False Cutting Error1953 B - $2 Gem Cu Red Seal * Major Miscut * NoteUncirculated 2003 $1.00 *star* Note