Misprinted Money Can Be Worth More Than Face Value

The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing is charged with creating and printing the nation’s paper currency. The bureau produces over 10 billion notes a year, and with all these notes being produced, errors are bound to happen. When notes with errors are put out into circulation, they become instant collector’s items and can be worth a lot more than their face value.

How is United States paper money printed?

Printing money is a multi-step process that involves highly skilled craftspeople who use the available technology and specialized equipment. Some of the steps include designing, engraving, plate making, printing, and inspecting. The most up-to-date computer technology is used to inspect the sheets of notes, but errors in the notes can still be overlooked during the inspection process.

What types of errors are on U.S. paper money you can find on eBay?

Dollar bill errors can only be mistakenly made by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to be considered a legitimate collector’s item. Otherwise, people would flood the collectibles market and try to make a profit by selling counterfeit dollar bills with errors. Here are a few common errors you will see on misprinted money:

  • Faulty alignment – This is an error where the printing on one side of the bill is not properly centered. This will leave a small portion of the edge of the bill blank.
  • Overprints – This occurs when various prints on a bill are printed over each other, are printed upside down, are visible through the bill, or are printed in the wrong place. Overprints are known as reverse, inverted, misaligned, or missing.
  • Insufficient ink – This occurs when the printing plates run out of ink in the middle of the printing process.
  • Ink smear – This occurs when there is an error in the printing process and ink is smeared onto the note.
  • Mismatched serial numbers – This is when both serial numbers on the front of the note do not match.
Can misprinted money be used to make purchases?

Dollar bill errors that occur in the printing process do not happen often. When this happens, it can go unnoticed for several weeks, months, or years before the public notices the error. Which means people do make purchases with these misprinted bills. Do not make the mistake of buying something with misprinted money. Instead, add it to your collection, because it can be worth a lot more than what you plan on purchasing.