layer of hundred dollar bills


Imagine that you’re finally cleaning out your garage, and you find a jar of coins and crumpled bills on the back of a dusty shelf. If you’re anything like me, your first thought is, “I need to cash this in as soon as possible.” But wait, before you take that jar to be deposited at the bank, you might want to sort through everything. One of those pennies or twenties might be worth thousands of dollars! Luckily, you don’t have to be a pro coin collector to spot valuable currency. 

Here are four minting mistakes to watch out for when sorting through loose change. 

Binary Notes 

Binary notes are U.S. Treasury issued bills that have two unique digits in the serial number. A bill with the serial number 101101110 is a binary note since it only has two digits, 0 and 1. This isn’t really a mistake by the mint, it’s just how numbers work; eventually a coincidence will occur. Nonetheless, binary notes are rare and could result in a hefty profit. 

Keep a look out for serial numbers with a consecutive or repeating pattern. A bill with the “ladder” serial number 12345678 could earn you over $5,000! 

Star Notes 

Sometimes the mint catches misprints before they are circulated. In this case, they produce a duplicate of the bill to correct the mistake. A star is added to the end of the serial number to denote that it is a duplicate bill. If you find an older type of paper money like a gold or silver certificate with a star at the beginning of the serial number, you have an ultra-rare find. 

Double Die 

Double die coins are one of the most common minting errors. It happens when the die imprints a misaligned image on the coin, giving the lettering and numbers a blurred finish.  

Take a closer look at those pennies – double die 1955-P wheat pennies could rake in up to $2,000 each. 

Double Strike 

Not to be confused with a double die, a double strike coins have been struck more than once by the coining press. This creates a second off centered impression of the design on the coin. It is possible for a coin to have up to 3 duplicate strikes.  

It can really pay to check your change. Remember, the weirder the misprint, the more valuable the coin or bill.  

We don’t claim or guarantee that any of the coins in our auctions are worth that much. We do, however, have a selection of Morgan Dollars, Gold Bullion, and Eisenhower dollars to get your collection started. The Coins, Jewelry, & Collections auction kicks off on July 14 @ 6pm ET. Pre-bidding is open now. Keep reading to learn how to register and bid for the auction. 

Registering & Bidding 

It’s bidding time!  

  1. Make sure you are registered to bid with Compass Auctions & Real Estate, so you are ready to go on auction day. Not sure how to register? Check out our Auction Crash Course.    
  2. Take a look at the auction calendar to find out when pre-bidding starts. Learn how to bid in our Auction Crash Course.     
  3. Happy bidding!    

Have A Collection That You’re Looking to Sell?  

When you consign with Compass Auctions, we take care of everything for you. We list, market, and accept payment for your item so all you have to do is wait for a check. If you have a coin or collection that you’d like to sell at auction, give us a call at 800-729-6466 to get started.    

About Compass Auctions & Real Estate 

Compass Auctions and Real Estate hosts monthly auctions featuring heavy equipment, firearms and ammo, industrial equipment, vehicles, jewelry and collectibles, and restaurant equipment.     

We’re here for you! If you have any questions about any of the items available for auction, feel free to give us a call at 800-729-6466 or email for more information.  

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