Paper Money

Series 1976 $2 note has mismatched serial numbers

One form of paper money error is not always noticeable at first glance. In fact, you have to look at two of a note’s individual elements to detect that something is wrong — that the note has mismatched serial numbers.

A Series 1976 Federal Reserve note is among the error notes to be offered in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ U.S. paper money auction to be held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver the first week of August. While a casual look at the note might lead the observer to conclude that the note is perfectly normal, a closer study reveals that it is an error note with different serial numbers.

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The serial number at the lower left of the face reads B 59208497 A; the serial number at the upper right reads B 59208597 A.

The prefix letter “B” identified the note as overprinted for the New York Federal Reserve Bank, while the suffix letter “A” identifies it as being from the first “block” of sequence of notes printed (the suffix letter is advanced each time the serial numbers reach their limit).

The green and black overprinting of the serial numbers and Treasury seal and the Federal Reseve District numbers and seal is applied at the final stage of a note’s production, after the faces and backs are printed. A stuck serial number wheel probably accounted for the one-digit difference between the two serial numbers.

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Here is the Stack’s Bowers lot description for the error note:

“A desirable Two Dollar error note that shows with a single digit mismatch of the serial numbers. Still pleasing embossing is seen through the holder leaving us curious as to why an ‘EPQ,’ designation was not applied.”

The note is graded Choice Uncirculated 64 by Paper Money Guaranty, but does not bear an “Exceptional Paper Quality” designation as the cataloger notes.

The note has an estimate of $500 to $700.

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