Error Note Chronicles: National Bank Note Errors

Posted on 12/20/2022

Errors involving the overprint for National Bank Notes are very rare and valuable.

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 National Bank Note Errors.

National Bank Notes were introduced in 1863 during the Civil War, and they were phased out in the Great Depression of the 1930s. They included the charter number and name of the bank that issued them, and they were susceptible to the same kinds of errors as other currency, including the Printed Fold Error on this New York, New York - The Chase NB of the City of New York 1882 $5 Date Back. The bank's charter number 2370 is missing; it is supposed to appear above and to the right of the word CHASE at the center of the front of the note. (This error note realized $7,800 at a Heritage Auctions sale in January 2022.)

New York, New York - The Chase National Bank of the City of New York 1882 $5 graded PMG 30 Very Fine with a Printed Fold Error
Click images to enlarge.

National Bank Notes were issued through thousands of local banks throughout the country, but they were printed by the federal government. The city of Bartlett, Texas (just north of Austin) received a shipment of 1929 $10 and $20 notes with the city's name misspelled "Barlett." Many were cancelled at the time, but two are known today to the paper money collecting community, including one being offered from the Tulsa Collection of National Bank Note Errors being offered by Heritage Auctions in January 2023.

Bartlett, Texas - The First NB 1929 $20 graded PMG Fine 12 with Misspelled Town Error
Click images to enlarge.

On certain notes, the charter number is printed in multiple places, leading to the possibility of a mismatch. Such is the case with this Ashland, Virginia - The First NB 1929 $5. The 11878 numbers in red are incorrect; that particular number was actually assigned to a bank in Ohio. This note is part of the same collection being offered by Heritage in January 2023.

Ashland, Virginia - The First National Bank 1929 $5 with a Mismatched Charter Error graded PMG 25 Very Fine
Click images to enlarge.

An incredibly rare error can be seen on this Malta, Ohio - The Malta NB 1902 $10. The charter number running vertically next to President McKinley has an inverted '5' in it. This note realized $7,475 at a 2009 auction and is being offered in January 2023 as part of the Tulsa Collection of National Bank Note Errors.

Malta, Ohio - The Malta National Bank 1902 $10 graded PMG 15 Choice Fine with an Inverted Charter Number Digit Error
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 with 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

Other Error Note Chronicles columns:

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