Error 2017A $5 Note Tops $8,600 in GreatCollections Auction


Bidding reached $8,625 for a strange $5 Federal Reserve banknote that was discovered by alert collector Alex Allis who submitted the bizarre error to Professional Coin Grading Service (

Error 2017A $5 Federal Reserve Note San Francisco - obverse
This rare $5 bill error contains mismatched serial numbers and was graded Extremely Fine 40 PPQ by Professional Coin Grading Service before crossing the GreatCollections auction block for several thousand dollars. Courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Bidding on the note with both mismatched and several missing serial numbers closed on Sunday, June 26, at GreatCollections (

"Errors like this simply don’t turn up every day," remarked PCGS President Stephanie Sabin.

"Our graders were stunned when they found this remarkable error come through. It speaks volumes about the trust collectors place in our grading and error diagnostics team that PCGS was top of mind for Ms. Allis upon her discovery of this incredible piece."

"I was a coin collector for many years," explains Allis, who said she began poring through banknotes during the pandemic when coin shortages stemmed the flow of coinage for her to search through. "Banks would give a thousand $1 bills but not a single roll of coins. I kept my dollar bills I received from change in a separate box, but when I was putting the $5 into the box it demanded my immediate attention."

She recalls this error specimen feeling to the touch just like a brand-new bill might.

"I looked at it about a thousand times. I checked all the usual signs of authenticity for bills." She adds, "Of course, I didn’t sleep that night!" Recounting a flurry of errands that led her to landing this unusual $5 bill, Allis notes, "That day I went to the bank, grocery store, and a convenience store. I can’t be certain what establishment I received the bill from, but my guess is the convenience store."

She submitted the error note to PCGS because of her positive impressions of the third-party grading company from having attended coin shows.

"I chose PCGS because they are the premier grading service. I have attended shows in the past, and all the people were happy to help and garner excitement for collections."

Allis says that throughout the pandemic she tried sparking an interest in her kids that might lead to them studying and collecting coins and banknotes.

"Although I have had coins and currency put away, the pandemic reminded all of us how fragile life is — and how would my children know what to do with my collection?" She goes on to say, "They are totally engaged now!"

Nearly a decade ago, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) introduced new, state-of-the-art banknote production equipment meant to increase output and tighten quality control. large examining and printing equipment (LEPE systems, as they are known, were installed at both BEP facilities to augment decades-old currency overprinting and processing equipment (COPE) system capacity. This subject $5 error banknote is a product of the relatively novel LEPE system, which had just recently been approved for production of the $5 denomination in 2019.

The reverse side of the error note
The reverse side of the error note

With new technology comes new potential for the generation of exotic and mysterious mistakes, as evidenced right here. Research into the complicated technical specifics that caused the error continues, although it has been established that an LEPE system setup issue was fundamentally to blame. While it is not yet certain whether that configuration problem was digital or mechanical, accidental or intentional, or something else entirely, what remains wholly clear is that this $5 error type is guaranteed to induce jaw-dropping, breathtaking, and head-scratching reactions everywhere it goes.

About Professional Coin Grading Service

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a third-party coin and banknote grading company that was launched in 1986. Over 35 years, PCGS has examined and certified more than 50 million U.S. and world coins, medals, and tokens with a combined value of over $49 billion. For more information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, please visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

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yeah that’s a weird one alright.

Jeff Legan

A few weeks ago, my bartender asked me what coins she should be looking for in her change since she noticed I always look at the coins she gives me in change. I told her about the “w” quarters to keep it simple. I thought this would be a nice article to print for her since it is a fairly new bill and it is very valuable. The printer would not print it because of the picture of the bill in its PCGS holder (and told me Isnt that hilarious. The picture would have instantly shown her what to… Read more »


You’re right! And it has the additional error of the PCGS holder. Two errors for the price of one! This makes it a double plus rarity!

Bob Silver

In your web browser, you should have the ability to select Print, and then select Save as PDF for the destination, not your printer. Once saved, you can open and print the PDF with pictures.


the only change is there are now limits on the maximum number of coins. 7020 rolls available for 25 coins and 2790 of 100 coins from each mint – and basically if you don’t have an enrollment you won’t get them from the mint.
And look at the sales for the last 2 years. slightly under those figures, but not a big difference.
Unfortunately, like the ‘s’ quarters you can’t get them w/o enrollment. Anyone new to the hobby is shut out from the mint on items like that.


I was made aware that a series of coins were sold out to enrollments, then low and behold, the day of issue, there were plenty for sale to people without enrollments. Was there a logic behind that? Were coins returned and resold? I don’t know, but I got mine without an enrollment in place. Maybe that’s why I didn’t receive an email that my order was sent to me, I received it in my mail a week or so after I ordered it.


I think I’ll opt for a bottle of Kentucky whiskey instead.

Johnny Smith

Wanting to know what my 1981 double printed uncirculated $5 bill worth


i have an embossed number that you can see on both sides of bill


I got a 5 dollar bill 2017 and I don’t know how to sell it


Got one

Joseph Claydon

Hi I just recently came across this 2017A 5$ bank note
So I ran the serial number and it came up rare error
Could this be worth alot of money