Counterfeit Detection: Singapore $2 with Doubled Print Error

Posted on 11/16/2021

This note will make you do a double take, but don’t be deceived: That error isn’t genuine.

Doubled Print Errors are an exciting subset of error notes — and they can carry a nice premium. For example, here is a PMG-certified Federal Reserve Note with a Doubled Print Error that realized over $4,500 in a Heritage Auctions sale this year.

1977A $10 Federal Reserve Note (Boston) with a Doubled Print Error graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ
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The substantial numismatic premium that Doubled Print Errors can carry creates an incentive for counterfeiters to step in. PMG recently received a Singapore ND (1992) 2 Dollars (Pick# 28) that appears at first glance to be a Doubled Print Error. But hold on a second — let’s take a closer look.

The Singapore ND (1992) 2 Dollars (Pick# 28) submitted to PMG
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The note's main intaglio design seems to have been imprinted on the note twice, producing an identical pattern just to the side of the main one. However, when the note is placed under special lighting, the deception starts to unravel: The ink of each print reacts differently to the light. This inconsistency means that one of these prints was added after the note left the printing facility.

The Singapore note under special lighting
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The ink that is reacting brightly is the genuine print. Evidently, a special substance was added to this ink as an anti-counterfeiting measure. Generally, darker inks remain dark under this kind of light, and that is the case with the print that was added here. The difference in reaction is easy to see in a close-up of the birds.

Close-ups of the Singapore note
Click images to enlarge.

If you don’t have access to special lighting, you may still be able to tell that something isn’t right by using a good loupe. The PMG grading team noticed that the ink of the two prints is actually different colors, with the phony one appearing a dark blue. The verdict is clear: This supposed error note isn’t worth two bits.

Close-up of the Singapore note
Click images to enlarge

PMG has certified more than 1,500 examples of Singapore Pick# 28 and more than 100 examples of Doubled Print Errors from banknotes around the word. Each note that PMG certifies is backed by the PMG Guarantee of authenticity and grade.

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