Error Note Chronicles: The PCBLIC Error

Posted on 10/19/2021

Certain US Legal Tender notes have a misspelled word on the back.

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 PCBLIC Error.

Close-up of a PCBLIC Error

The PCBLIC Error involves an engraving mistake that can be found only on examples of the 1907 Series $5 Legal Tender, more commonly known as “Woodchopper” notes. The error can be found on the back right of the note in the sixth line of the obligation clause, where it reads: "THIS NOTE IS A LEGAL TENDER AT ITS FACE VALUE FOR ALL DEBTS PCBLIC AND PRIVATE..." A good way to appreciate this error is to compare the first "C" in "PCBLIC" in the sixth line with the "U" in "PUBLIC" on the eighth line using a magnifying glass.

A 1907 $5 Legal Tender (“Woodchopper”) note graded PMG 30 Very Fine EPQ

Woodchopper notes feature on their front a vignette of a pioneer family. The pioneer gentleman at the center is shown leaning on an ax — hence the term “woodchopper.” His wife, child, dog and cabin complete the scene. Issued with virtually the same design from the early 1860s through the 1920s, the 1907 Series Woodchopper note is the last $5 note that features a portrait of Andrew Jackson. His image later appeared on $10 Legal Tender notes and others, including the $20 Small Size Federal Reserve Notes, where it remains today.

Currently in auction

Several PMG-certified PCBLIC errors are being offered in upcoming auctions, including:

About PMG

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 the Economy Special grading tier or higher 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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