Paper Money

Differences found on 2017A $50 notes from Fort Worth

The accompanying illustration shows the comparison between the face plate sizes on the Series 2017A $50 notes.

Images courtesy of Nicholas Cheung.

An observant collector has discovered that Series 2017A $50 Federal Reserve notes have probably been printed on two different types of equipment on different size sheets, though no official confirmation has been forthcoming.

Reader and collector Nicholas Cheung provided Coin World with scans of three notes in his collection, all printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

One, with serial number PA11962689 A, is for the Boston Federal Reserve district and has its face plate number in normal size, with the plate number, 15, in the same tiny font size as the FW representing the facility. Historically, this would indicate that the note was printed on one of the old 32-subject sheet COPE presses in October 2020.

The two other notes differ, in that the plate numbers are larger than the FW. One is an Atlanta note from May 2021, with serial number PF53570246A and plate number, 3, that is closer in size to the size of the plate position letter (in this case, an H) than it is to the FW. The other note, printed in June 2021 for the Chicago bank, has serial number PG22732088A and, again, the larger face plate digits, in the 32.

The larger font size of the plate numbers should indicate these two notes were printed on 50-subject sheets by SOI presses.

SOI stands for the Super Orloff Intaglio presses, made by the German firm Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions SA.

An the accompanying illustration at left here shows in close-up a comparison of the face plate number font sizes on the Series 2017A $50 notes.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing was asked for comment on the differences found on the notes, but had provided no answers as of June 7.

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