The Quick 8: Eight Monetary Misprints

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You may have heard that a batch of new $100 bills was recently misprinted (and if you haven’t, check out #1). It may be the latest monetary mishap, but it’s certainly not the only one - here are a pocketful of other misprints that may be lurking in your wallet, including a couple of stamps.

1. More than a billion of the new $100 bill are being recalled because the new security features tripped up the printing presses a bit, causing some of the bills to be creased and print incorrectly.

2. The Del Monte Note. Imagine the surprise of an Ohio college student when he made a routine stop at an ATM and received a $20 bill with a Del Monte banana sticker affixed to it… except it wasn’t actually just affixed, it was printed in the bill, as evidenced by the bill’s serial number partially stamped across the sticker. The student knew what he had his hands on, because he sold it on eBay for $10,100 in 2003. It was purchased by a collector named Daniel Wishnatsky, who in turn sold it for $25,300.

3. The Inverted Jenny stamp. The 1918 Inverted Jenny is probably the most famous stamp error ever made – and one of the most valuable. The plane on the stamp represented the Curtiss Jenny plane which was being used for the first-ever airmail services. A few sheets of the stamps were printed with the center image of the plane upside down, but only one that we know of made it past the Post Office. The sheet was later split up into blocks and singles. If you spot one, you’re definitely not going to want to put it on your water bill – a single easily goes for a half mil while a block of four took nearly $3 million at an auction in 2007.

4. Rush Hour 2 money. OK, it wasn’t real money, but that was kind of the problem. When the Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker movie was filming in Las Vegas, they shot a scene that involved an explosion of money. The bucks were bogus, of course, but that didn’t stop onlookers from grabbing up a souvenir when the money exploded in their direction. The fakes were so good that some people were able to go into nearby shops and spend them. The Secret Service ordered the studio that made the money to cease production of such authentic-looking currency.

5. Chilean 50-peso piece. It’s not just the U.S. that misprints money – in 2008, the mint in Chile produced thousands of 50-peso coins that deemed the country “Chiie.” It cost the mint director his job.
6. The Gronchi Rosa stamp. This Italian stamp was issued in 1961 to commemorate then-president Giovanni Gronchi’s trip to South America. It wasn’t until after the stamp had been issued that it was discovered that the artist had made a mistake on the boundaries between Peru and Ecuador. A new version was issued, but the error stamp is the one that’s in high demand, of course – it’s worth about $1,200 today.

7. Wisconsin quarter. If you’re one of those people who collect all 50 of the state quarters, check out your Wisconsin coin. There’s an ear of corn on the quarter that contains an extra leaf. That extra leaf is worth about $1,100 in mint condition.

8. Arrovo bill. A few years ago, the Central Bank of Philippines made a pretty embarrassing typo – it doesn’t get much worse than misspelling the name of your president. The 100-piso banknote should have spelled the name of the president as Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, but instead named her as “Arrovo.” Although the bill was recalled as soon as possible, there are a few thousand still estimated to be in circulation.

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December 7, 2010 - 12:34pm
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