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Engraving mistake remained uncorrected

By Peter Huntoon and Doug Murray

While perusing the scans of the proofs on the Smithsonian website, Doug Murray spotted an extraordinary situation. Every Series of 1882 $1,000 gold certificate proof, including the countersigned Fr.1218a variety, utilized a misspelled Thousand in the central banner; specifically, “One Thonsand Dollars.”

This heretofore unrecognized mistake by the numismatic community is an out-and-out engraving error that was created when a letter engraver engraved the banner on a component die, the banner was lifted onto a component roll, and the image transferred onto the master generic full-face dies for both the countersigned and non-countersigned varieties.

Full-face rolls lifted from those masters were used to lay-in the generic faces onto the six 4-subject plates that ultimately were used to print the notes, which remained current for the next 25 years. We find it extraordinary that the mistake never was corrected.

Shown here a subject from the Fr.1218c proof (above) and a detail from the Fr.1218a countersigned proof (below).


This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.


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