Before spending $1 in your wallet, do a little research. You may have more money than you think.
US coin and currency collectors are willing to pay up to $150,000 in search of rare one dollar bills with a specific misprint from the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Two batches of one dollar bills were printed, one in 2014 and the other in 2016, with this particular error, and the notes entered circulation before the error was discovered.
Over 6 million misspelled dollar bills in circulation
In November 2014, the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing sent a request to its Washington plant to print a batch of dollar bills. In July 2016, the exact same request was sent to a facility in Fort Worth.
This misunderstanding led to dollars being printed with duplicate serial numbers, technically counterfeiting their currency. As a rule, each banknote in circulation has a unique serial number to identify it.
None of the typographical errors were found by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and currency collectors are now demanding to find matching pairs of dollar bills with these duplicate serial numbers.
In total, there are 6.4 million pairs of one-dollar bills with the same serial numbers. While that may seem like a lot, there are billions of dollars in circulation and only nine pairs have been matched to date.
How was the bug discovered?
According to the Silverpicker video, the error went undetected until a banknote collector discovered an anomaly in publicly available documents from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Although the Bureau did not respond to its error, the assembler filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain more information. The government acknowledged the error and the presence of 6.4 million pairs of banknotes with matching serial numbers.
How to identify bills up to $150,000
There are three things you need to know to identify misspelled bills that can be worth a fortune:
- The series date next to George Washington’s photo should read “TV series 2013”.
- The note must bear the Federal Reserve Seal “B” above the serial number.
- The serial number must end with an asterisk
and fall between B00000001* – B00250000* or B03200001* -B09600000*
What to do if you become the proud owner of one of the banknotes with a typo
If you happen to stumble upon one of those $1 bills in your wallet, you are one step closer to cashing them out. But the value of this particular typo is that it matches another bill with the same serial number.
So far, only nine complete pairs have been identified. However, the Zegers/Winograd project was created to catalog all banknotes found and make it easier to buy or sell to create a matching pair. Currently, the project has identified more than 10,000 banknotes with the current owner and serial number.
To date, no collector with a matching pair has been willing to sell, but experts estimate pairs that have been matched and classified will sell for between $20,000 and $150,000, depending on condition and serial number. RELATED:
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Check your wallet for these $1 bills – they can be worth up to $150,000
Andrew Herrig is the founder of Wealthy Nickel, where he writes about personal finance, jobs and entrepreneurship. As an avid real estate investor and owner of several businesses, he has a passion for helping others create wealth and shares his family’s experiences on his blog. Andrew’s advisory board has been featured on CNBC, Entrepreneur, Fox News, MSN and more.