Error Note Chronicles: Stuck Digit Error

Posted on 7/19/2022

Trouble with the numbering machine can turn out this interesting serial number error on paper money.

Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) is the world’s leading authority on banknote errors, a popular segment of numismatics. In Error Note Chronicles, we take an in-depth look at different errors. This month’s topic is the Stuck Digit Error.

This error happens when the numbering wheel for a banknote's serial number fails to advance correctly. If one of the digits gets stuck but all the digits in the serial number still appear to be aligned correctly, then a Mismatched Serial Number Error occurs. A check of the other serial number on the note (assuming there is one) will show the discrepancy.

However, if one of the digits advances only partially (or a little too far) and is not aligned with the others, then the Stuck Digit Error occurs. Part of the digit may be truncated, and part of the adjacent number on the wheel might be seen.

Such is the case with this 1914 $10 Federal Reserve Note (Cleveland). A Stuck Digit Error affected the second-to-last digit of its left serial number. The wheel is stuck between the 1 and 2. (This note is part of an August 2022 sale by Heritage Auctions, whose lot listing mentions that it's rare to find this error on Large Size notes.)

1914 $10 Federal Reserve Note (Cleveland) with Stuck Digit Error graded PMG 15 Choice Fine.
Click images to enlarge.

Here is another example of this error, which shows that more than one digit on the numbering wheel can get stuck. This 1928G $2 Legal Tender Note realized $576 at a June 2021 Heritage sale. With a Stuck Digit Error, a check of the other serial number (assuming the note has more than one) will reveal what the number would have been without the error.

1928G $2 Legal Tender Note with Stuck Digits Error graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ.
Click images to enlarge.

This error can be found on world notes, and it generally affects more than one note. These Singapore ND (1976) 10 Dollar notes with consecutive serial numbers are being offered as a lot in a Monetarium sale in August 2022. (They have an estimate of SGD2,000 to SGD3,000, or about $1,400 to $2,100.)

Two Singapore, Board of Commissioners of Currency ND (1976) 10 Dollars, each with a Stuck Digit Error and each graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ.
Click images to enlarge.

PMG, an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), has certified many exciting error notes, including the famous “Del Monte” error note that realized $396,000 in a January 2021 sale.

Collectors and dealers who have error notes can submit them to PMG for certification under an applicable grading tier with “error” or the specific error noted under the Variety/Pedigree column on the submission form. There is no additional fee for this service.

For more information about submitting to PMG, visit

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