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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Extremely Rare Solid 4.s On A 1995 Web Note A44444444c Ultra Rare Inverted 3rd On A 1988 A Web Note Major ErrorHgr ((error)) 1985 $10 X-rare (seal+serial#'s Missing) Appears Gem Uncirculated1957 B $1 Error Silver Certificate Mismatched Serial Numbers U37/u47 Crisp UncSpectacular Error Series 1985 $5 F.r.n.- Seals & S.n.'s On Reverse Fr. 1984-e 1995 $5 Five Dollar "error Note" Pcgs 64!!1969 $20.00 Au Misaligned Overprint Error NoteUnited States Federal Reserve Note Series 1999 Dollar Offset Mint Error Rare!1977 $10.00 Federal Reserve Note Error Missing Overprint Pcgs 35 Very Fine Rare1950 A $5 Frn Minnesota - Major Misaligned Overprint Error Pcgs 25 Very Fine1977 $5.00 Federal Reserve Note Error Missing Overprint Pcgs 53 Ppq Rare1974 $1 Federal Reserve Note Error - Inverted Overprint B 26860019 F Circulated2004 A $20 Federal Reserve Note Error Missing Green Seal United States BillSeries 1995 $5 Federal Reserve Note- Error-shifted Seals & S.n.'s1996 $100 Full Off-set Front Pmg 661988 A $20 Federal Reserve Note New York Cutting And Alignment Errors 1977 A $5- Error Insufficient Inking On Face Plus Ink Stains Pcgs 35 Very Fine$1 Major Error Multi Gutter Folds Silver Certificate 1935 E$10 "major Miscut" (2nd Note Shows Backside) "great Error!! 1950-a "st. Louis" Series 1995 $5 Federal Reserve Note- Error - Partial Overprint3 Consecutive Sn#'s Pcgs 1957 "star Notes" Error Replacement Silver Certificates$1.00 Federal Reserve Note Missing 3rd Printing**error** (( Gutter Fold )) $10 1969a Federal Reserve Note No Reserve1976 $2 Shifted Third Overprinted$10 (dark Rear Ghosting) Error"(dallas) (1950-b) $1(dark Ghosting Error) Rare!!2 (two) Error Notes Pcgs & Pmg Graded 1 Bid Gets Both No Reserve ! 2003 A $5 Federal Reserve Note Fancy Repeater Binary Fk 22255222 B Crisp Cu $1 "blank Front Error" !!!!(crispy Note) "great Error!! Blank Error! Crispy! Wow2003 $2 Stuck Turned Digit Pcgs 65 PpqPmg 1976 $2.00 Fr 1935-j Gem Uncirculated 65 Epq *substance Obstruction Error* 2009 $1 Overinking On Serial # Error Pcgs Gem/new 65 Ppq #e08029933g - Odd Error1974 Error $1.00 Federal Reserve Note "print Shift " Fr 1908 -c PhiladelphlaPmg Fr-2073-l 1981 $20 Federal Reserve Note San Francisco About Uncirculated 551993 $1 Federal Reserve Note Fancy Repeater Binary H 44424442 A Crisp Cu 10 Cent 4th Issue And 25 Cent 5th Issue Fractional Currency2004 $10.00 Error Note. Turn Digit And Radar Serial Number Us Paper Money Error Gutter Notes. 4 Notes-2 $1.00, 1-$5.00 And 1 $10.002009 One Dollar Error -insufficient Inking$10 1934 A New York Federal Reserve Note - Offset Error- VfOff Center Front And Back $20 Bill Series 2006 With Possible Cut Error(2) 2001 $1 Frn - Cleveland District - 3rd Print Shift Error - Consec Sn's - Unc1963 A $1 Us Federal Reserve Note Error Obverse On Reverse1976 $2 Two Dollar Bill Faulty Alignment Miscut Error Note 3rd Print Shift2006 New York $1 One Dollar Bill Insufficient Inking Error Note Invisible Digit1974 $1 Faulty Alignment Error Note Miscut One Dollar Frn Bill Shifted Print1950a $5 Multiple Gutters Error Gem Crisp***$1 (shift Error) "philadelphia" (1999) Shift Error" Shift Error" (1999) Rare!!1953b Error Red Seal $2 Us Bank Note 3rd Print Shift Currency Lot #3 No Reserve$1 "foldover Miscut Error" (1988 Chicago) "great Error!! Foldover Error! Crispy!Unc 1999 $5 Dollar Bill Currency Paper Money Crisp & Unblemished Green SealSeries 1953c Red Label $2 Bill With Misaligned Overprint, Circulated $1 " Dark Ghosting" (rear Misprint) 1995 "dark Ghosting Error"(rear Misprint) Cool 1976 $2 Bill Error Print Note H 27370181 AUncirculated 2003a $1.00 *star* Note 5 Dollar Bill Extremely Rare Abe Lincon On Front2 Error Pennies Blank And Mis-stampNoblespirit No Reserve {jr} Superb Us $1 1988 A Series Fold Over Printing Error$1 (miscut & Fade Error) "atlanta" (1988-a) (miscut & Fade Error) Rare Item !!$1 "miscut Error" !!!!"great Note" (2nd Note Shows On Reverse) Rare Error!!!$1 "miscut Error" !!!!"crispy Note" (2nd Note Shows Across Bottom) Great !!