The "Del Monte" NoteFr. 2084-H $20 1996 Federal Reserve Note. PCGS Choice New 63PPQ. This colorful error is commonly referred by collectors in the numismatic fraternity as "The Del Monte Note," simply because of the banana sticker that is a retained printed obstruction. Most obstructions fall off shortly after printing leaving a blank area of paper missing the design, but errors with objects that "stick" to the note are very rare. Objects seen on other obstruction errors include a Band-Aid, paper fragments, scotch tape, and wood shavings. United States Currency is essentially printed in three stages: the first printing is the back of the note, the second printing provides the face devices, and the third, final printing includes the Treasury Seal and the serial numbers. When this note was printed at the Fort Worth facility of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, it went through first and second printings before the sticker found its way onto the surface. The sticker's placement is ideal, as it covers part of the second printing details and is overlaid by part of the Treasury Seal and serial number from the third printing.
Most would conjecture that this note was no accident and probably the result of some very bored or creative BEP employee. Its presence in the market place however is not dubious as it passed through the regular channels of the Federal Reserve before it was released in circulation. In the summer of 2004 a college student in Ohio received it as part of an ATM withdrawal and shortly there after posted it on eBay where it sold to the highest of 12 bids. The note was a bargain at around $10,000 on eBay as news of the note had barely hit the collecting community. In subsequent weeks it was the cover story in Bank Note Reporter and Numismatic News. This fabled error is now looking for its third home, but we suspect it will take serious consideration and a very strong bid to be the successful bidder.
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