Paper Money

BEP confirms that Series 1995 $1 star notes are rejects

Reconstruction shows how part of the uncut sheet would have appeared after the application of the defacing roller imprints and prior to being cut.

Original images courtesy of Executive Currency.

Early in the fall of 2019, Frederick J. Bart of Executive Currency, Roseville, Michigan, acquired five Series 1995 $1 star notes issued for the Philadelphia district.

Despite having studied misprints for over 40 years and authoring four editions of United States Paper Money Errors (fourth edition, 2015, Coin and Currency Institute), something about these struck him as peculiar. They had red ink markings he had never seen before, somewhat serpentine in appearance, that were applied on the face but bled through to the back. 

Roller defacement imprints are covered briefly in Bart’s book, but this pattern was unlike anything previously documented. In fact, until now only four examples were known, all in an advanced collection in the western United States. Bart contacted officials at the Treasury Department to confirm the authenticity. Since all press operators from that era had retired, they were contacted by current Bureau of Engraving and Printing personnel. 

The former employees confirmed that the pattern was consistent with hand-applied “mut” (defacement) markings. Further research showed that all five notes are from the same sheet, printed to replace a defective sheet. But then, when that sheet was deemed defective itself, it was cut with proprietary equipment used by the BEP, provided further verification of its origin. 

One example of the five will be retained by Executive Currency in the firm’s reference collection. Four will be available to collectors. Paper Money Guaranty of Sarasota, Florida, has re-affirmed the findings of the Treasury Department and authenticated, certified, and slabbed the examples. Additional information can be obtained from  

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