In paper money printing, issues like double denominations, misalignment’s, inverted backs, and obstructions can arise. Overprints of seals, ink smears, insufficient inking, and mismatched serial numbers add to potential errors. Cutting problems, from dull blades to paper jams and folds like gutter folds, may also occur. If you are interested in learning about how Human Errors Create One of a Kind Banknotes read along. Here are some banknotes with errors, each telling a unique tale of the challenges faced in the art of currency production.

Dollar On Printing Press | Source: AS

Upside Down Printing 

Venezuela 100 Bolivar Digital (Digitales) | 2021 | Example of Errors Banknotes | Source: Banknote World

The Venezuelan 100 Bolivar Digital banknote was issued by the Central Bank of Venezuela after the revaluation of the Bolivar. The violet banknote has a vertically oriented obverse, featuring El Libertador Simon Bolivar, while the national arms and a depiction of the Battle of Carabobo make up the note’s reverse design. The serial number is positioned both on the upper right and the lower left of the note’s front. It begins with the prefix at the top progressing downward. Notably, on this particular Venezuelan 100 Bolivar Digital banknote, the serial number is printed upside down. 

Miscut Error 

The Venezuela 20 Bolivar Soberano banknote from 2018 features Simon Rodrigues on its vertical-oriented obverse. Displayed on the note’s reverse are the national emblem and a jaguar with the Waraira Repano National Park in the background. This particular multicolored Venezuelan note has a miscut error on the top and bottom of the obverse (left and right sides of the reverse).  

Venezuela 20 Bolivar Soberano | 2018 | Source: Banknote World

No Serial Number 

The Congo Democratic Republic 5,000 Francs issued in 2005 depicts zebras and a Hemba statue on its front design while its reverse is adorned with peafowl birds and food bundles. A regular Congo Democratic Republic 5,000 Franc banknote has its serial number printed at the left of the bank monogram on the note’s obverse but on this specific note, the serial number is missing. 

Congo Democratic Republic 5,000 Francs | 2005 | Source: Banknote World

Printing Error 

The 2015 issue of the Oman 1 Rial Banknote that won the Special Achievement Award at the 2017 Security Currency Printing Conference showcases the Al Alam Palace in Muscat and the Omani coat of arms represented with crossed swords and a khanjar. Its reverse depicts the Sultan Qaboos University in Al Khoudh. This commemorative banknote also displays the 45th National Day logo. On this particular banknote, the Hijri year in Arabic on the obverse was printed as 1427 instead of 1437.  

Oman 1 Rial Banknote | 2015 | Source: Banknote World

Spelling Error 

Kazakhstan 5,000 Tenge Banknote | 2006 | Source: Banknote World

On the obverse of the 2006 Kazakhstan 5000 Tenge banknote are the Astana-Baiterek monument, the national emblem, the national flag, sheet music, and a palm. On its reverse the Independence Monument and Kazakhstan hotel, mountains, and an outline of the country. The Kazakh text “bank” on the front is misspelled on this banknote. 

Mismatched Serial Number 

The red 10 Nigerian naira banknote from 2011 features Alvan Ikoku on its obverse while the reverse of the polymer note depicts two Fulani milk maids with bowls on their heads. The serial number on the left differs from the serial number on the right side.  

Nigeria 10 Naira Banknote | 2011 | Source: Banknote World

Obstructed Printing Error 

The red Zimbabwe 20 dollar banknote is part of the last series issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 2008. Featured on its obverse is the Chiremba Balancing Rocks and its reverse shows  a miner with a jackhammer and a multi-silo grain elevator. Notice the blank portion at the bottom left of this note’s front, as a result of an obstructed printing error.  

Zimbabwe 20 Trillion Dollars | 2008 | Source: Banknote World

Fortunately, these errors are rare, and quality control promptly identifies and rectifies any issues to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the printed currency. And interestingly, like flawed gems, banknotes with irregularities retain a hidden worth. 

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