A paper money collector and researcher named Doug Murray recently discovered an 1882 gold certificate with a big spelling mistake that reads “One Thonsand Dollars”. Strangely, this big error note was never noticed in 130 years until now.
Murray was looking at some notes online when he noticed this error. All the 1882 $1,000 plates and all eight of the signature combinations had the same error. He checked the sales records of Barney Bluestone’s Grinnell sales from 1944 to 1946, but could not find any mention of this error note.
BEP Chief Engraver George Casilear had developed a lettering technology system in which the printing plate was made of metal rolls of characters. Experts claim that the line with Denomination on the obverse was engraved by hand as the letters are not identical. They also noticed that the crossbars at the tops are different in detail for the letter “n” in “One Thonsand Dollars”. Researchers claim that this would not happen if it was printed from one of Casilear’s character rolls.
Murray found out that at least one person noticed the error but no action was taken. This person looked at the final proof which was approved for the Lyons-Treat issue in 1906. However, a corrected plate was not found.
Out of the 28 existing notes of this type in all signature combinations, 11 are with the government. One of them is a part of Joel R. Anderson collection and would be offered by Stacks and Bowers Auctions on 16th August.
Image Courtesy: The Smithsonian Institution