PMG Registry News

Posted on 12/21/2015

Despite the efforts of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), note errors find their way into the hands of collectors.

The BEP does its best to prevent note errors from reaching collectors. However, with billions of notes printed annually, this can be a monumental task. Some of these interesting notes do inevitably slip out the door and into our hands. There are various ways that errors can occur during the printing of paper notes. What are some examples of back plate errors?

Faulty Alignment (Miscut)

Faulty alignment errors have one side of a note properly centered, while the other is off-center. This is a fairly common error.

Image credit: Paper Money Guide.

Insufficient Inking

This error occurs due to a lack of ink in the printing plates. These errors may be major or minor.

Image credit: Paper Money Guide.

Blank Back or Blank Reverse

This is evident on a note that has printing on one side and no printing on the other side. This occurs when two sheets are simultaneously fed into a printing press.

Image credit: Paper Money Guide.

Obstructed Printings

These errors occur when a foreign object, such as a sticker, a string, or a piece of paper, etc., comes between the printing plate and the uncut sheet. The result is a portion of the note with a blank area. Obstructed printings are quite popular and can be quite valuable if the offending object is still attached to the note.

Image credit: Paper Money Guide.

Inverted Overprint (3rd Print)

When a sheet is fed upside down in relation to the face print, then the District Number and serial numbers, Treasury Seal, and District Seal, print upside down. Inverted 3rd print errors are fairly common.

Image credit: Paper Money Guide.

Offset Printing or Offset Transfer

This can occur when there is no sheet fed to a press. An inked plate then makes contact with the bed. Therefore, when the next sheet is fed through the press, the area impressed onto the impression cylinder is then pressed onto the opposite side of the note. Like other errors, this type of error can range from minor to a complete offset.

Image credit: Paper Money Guide.

Some of these unusual notes now have available slots in variety sets in the PMG Registry. Specifically, we have recently added back plate error slots here:

Small Size Federal Reserve Notes: $1 Federal Reserve Note - District Set with Stars and Varieties

Do you have newly encapsulated US or world notes that need a home in the PMG Registry? Shoot us an email, and let us know exactly what your needs are. We look forward to seeing your notes in the PMG Registry. Reach us easily via email at

The PMG Registry is part of our continued commitment to expert, impartial grading, state-of-the-art encapsulation, collecting resources and the highest standards of integrity. Our PMG grading team has been working diligently on the influx of notes submitted from a variety of countries. We are excited and honored to receive so many submissions at our shows around the world and also here at our home offices.

If you're not familiar with the PMG Registry, take some time to explore it, and see the many collecting options that are available. It is completely complimentary. Currency collectors can arrange Signature Sets based upon individual, personal collecting criteria, or complete existing competitive sets. Tracking inventory is easier than ever, and with expansive slideshow and gallery views, your treasured collection can be fully viewable and well organized. Do you need help? Click below for our help links:


Visit the PMG Registry today.


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