How to Determine What is a Crossover Note
By Ed Zegers
Bank Note Reporter
me, a "crossover note" is any $1 Federal Reserve
Note that exhibits an incorrect Face Plate
Position Identification letter, number, or both.
The FPP# is an essential security display point
that is found in the upper left corner on the
face of any $1 FRN. The FPP# contains a position
letter plus a single-digit number.
The FPP#s are predictable and are determined by
the number of sheets the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing utilizes for a process run. Every note
in any new pack should have the exact same FPP#
on the entire 100 notes, i.e., if the first
starts with "A1," then "each" should have an
"A1." The anomalies were originally observed
while searching through BEP 100-note packs of
Series 1999 A-A block packs and in some
circulated star $1 notes data on our list.
Historically, the BEP usually produces star
replacements "as required," because the stars
are used as replacements for defective or
damaged business block notes. Rather than
reprinting an exact replacement of FRN serial
numbers, a star note is used instead.
In order to know how many individual star notes
to make, the BEP will first produce a
substantial quantity of the regular $1 notes and
then determine how many were defective. They may
immediately print star notes for a large inking
failure, mutilation, or wait until the end of a
block at 96 million notes. Only the BEP knows
Far fewer star-note runs are produced than the
15 full runs of a 96 million-note block of
business FRNs. A full run for $1 FRN star
replacement notes utilizes 100,000 sheets,
making 3.2 million notes, which is exactly one
half the amount of sheets used in a full
business run of 6,400,000 notes.
Additionally, shorter star runs, containing
fewer sheets, are also produced: 80,000 sheets
(2.56 million notes), 60,000 (1.92 million),
40,000 (1.28 million), 20,000 (640,000), 10,000
(320,000), or 5,000 (160,000) are made. This
action seems to be uncommon for the business
blocks, except for special printings made for
Rule of Thumb
Flip through any brand new BEP pack of $1 FRNs,
while observing the upper left corner where the
FFP# resides. If you notice a change in the FPP
letter (A - H) or number (1 - 4), then you have
discovered a crossover note. (See scan of 1999
A-A notes.) If the letter and number of the FPP#
both change, it probably is a star-replacement
Some star-note sheets are produced and sold to
collectors and are specially numbered starting
at/above 99,840,001 through 99,999,998. The
notes for 99,999,999 and 100,000,000 are
replaced. The highest $1 FRN star note serial
number reported (1963 to date) is from the 1963B
series and is reported by Robert Azpiazu to have
ended with serial number G55040000*.
Recently, I entered some new data to my
historical records of 1995 $1 star notes. While
doing so, a rediscovery was made that will
illustrate why I find crossover notes to be very
interesting. I will use these specific notes as
Two of my Series 1995 $1 star notes, FRN serial
Nos. E09921812* and F09992012, have incorrect
FPP numbers. The actual numbers on the notes are
"D3" and "D2." The first falls within a 100,000
sheet full-star-run serial number range. To be
correct the serial number should display a "D1."
The second is from a 48,000 sheet shorter run
and serial number range, and so the serial
number should display "A2." Also, the serial
numbers are only 70,200 apart, so we also can
see that they should have the same FPP#, but
they do not.
And, the above star-replacement notes are from
production runs made in DC ("E" from run printed
in January 2000 and the "F" from a run printed
in August 1996) in different years. To add to
the mystery, I have added a third crossover
specimen, serial No. F10121669* from August 1996
with FPP# "G3" and, according to the chart, that
serial number should have "C2." I classify such
a deviation from the textbook expectations as
"outrageous." Eleven are from DC and two from
Fort Worth, and so far, all of the crossover
items found on this list fit into just two
categories: "simple" and "outrageous."
The only thing I can fathom about how they were
made is that outrageous crossover notes are
produced from random sheets rescued and then
The reason that so few of the outrageous notes
identified on the list are available for
scanning is because we no longer have them. They
were discovered after I and others gave them up
in trades to other collectors or sold them. At
first we thought they were just typos on the
list, but other collector reports have confirmed
their existence. To date, there are 13
outrageous crossover notes on the 6,500-item
list, and these notes defy reasonable
explanation as to how they were made. As I
mentioned, 11 are from DC and two from Fort
Worth, and so far all of the crossover items
found and listed fit into two categories (see
list). By the way, these crossover anomalies
were partially responsible for my study of $1
FRN star notes.
What is their significance? I do not know for
certain. I am hoping that collectors will
provide some answers to this question.
How and why are crossover notes created? This is
a manufacturing process mystery that is yet to
be solved. It may be because of human
intervention during a quality control inspection
of the preprinted sheets.
For this diagnostic report, I am going to use
records of the $1 FRN star replacement notes
from 1995-2003A. The collected data is from
actual star notes that are: 1.) in personal
collections; 2.) reside in the collections of
colleagues and friends; or 3) have passed
through our hands. Each of these items has been
logged and processed and then was exposed to a
computer program created by my colleague. So,
let's first review some known $1 BEP production
and accounting standards.
As I understand it, just prior to adding the
third printing of the green and black Federal
Reserve features, the 32-subject sheets are
divided into two halves, A and B. This is done
prior to Currency Overprinting Processing
Equipment processing by splitting the sheet down
the middle. The actual cut made is directly
between the "E-1" and "A-3" position margins as
the sheet is halved from top to bottom. Stack
"A" contains the "A1 - H2" positions and stack
"B" contains the "A3 - H4" positions.
Next, the automated C.O.P.E. device feeds those
mixed-up sheets into the numbering section. Here
the green and black ink is applied, completing
the FRN numbering printing process. As the
completed sheets continue along their designated
path, they are further sliced, this time into a
two-note pair (A1 and E1, B1 and F1, etc.).
Finally, they are cut into single notes and
stacked into 100-note completed piles, to which
the BEP wrapper is applied. They are then made
into 10-high stacks and wrapped in plastic. All
shrink-wrapped packages contain 10 individual
packs of 100 notes. Lastly, they are
automatically labeled and placed on pallets for
Right here I must deviate slightly from the
printing process and review some BEP quality
control and cost accounting efforts. We all know
that after the second printing of 32-subject
sheets, some/many are found to contain ink
smears, overprintings, damage, or other defects.
So, let's suppose that the defective sheets are
pulled from the good sheets, set aside, and
assessed for adaptability.
Now let's assume that only half of any bad sheet
is defective. So, for efficiency, imagine BEP
personnel cutting those damaged sheets with the
bad half being removed for destruction and the
other half set aside for reuse. Now imagine
where the BEP could use half sheets. Well, the
C.O.P.E. process uses half sheets. This is one
thought about where both the "simple" shuffle
and "outrageous" change in positions could
occur. Does the BEP cutoff end columns of notes
and use only the center columns? If so, the
outrageous notes are possible.
I also believe at some point during normal
processing, the C.O.P.E. printing technician
selects a hand full of sheets for quality
control visual inspection (looking for defects,
mutilations, etc.), then simply replaces them,
but accidentally puts them into the opposite
pile from where he had originally made his
selection. One hundred sheets from column "B"
substituted into column "A," creating a "simple"
C.O.P.E. crossover "A3 to A1." To date, there
are 86 simple crossover items listed (76 from DC
and 10 from Fort Worth).
Also, there seem to be a large amount of current
Series 2003A F star crossover notes.
This may only be an illusion, as 2003A are more
common (right now) since they are still in
circulation, and because we are actively
searching for them. The F star notes are from a
full 3.2-million note DC star-run/Process (4).
This was a full 100,000-sheet run.
These crossover notes show us a definite
pattern. Both simple and outrageous crossover
notes are found between sheet No. 94,500 and No.
99,999. I now list 25 different positions, and
am just seven positions short for a 32-position
sheet re-creation set. And, if you have any of
the missing positions (G1, D2, E3, H3, B4, C4,
E4) and want to assist, I can always use your
I definitely lean toward the idea that crossover
notes first began to show up when the C.O.P.E.
was installed midway during the 1988A series. I
don't believe they have been produced in the
earlier series FRNs, because I do not list any
specimens, but I am only guessing. If you are
able to view and study the data list, you should
observe some other very interesting items. (The
data is in Microsoft Excel spread sheets and
available only by e-mail until I find some way
to place it on a Web site.)
I should mention that I do not know of any other
studies about crossover notes, past or present.
However, I do know these notes exist in other
later series of the higher denominations, such
as $5, $10 and $20 FRN star blocks.
It is my biggest hope that disclosure of this
mystery, its origins, significance, and cause
will bring about additional star note anomaly
reports and information about them to surface. I
am certain that there are many more crossover
notes and detailed information that could help
to explain this situation. However, I am also
concerned that only those collecdddtors who
maintain detailed lists will choose to observe
and report this discreet change. Your reports,
thoughts, and comments are always welcome and
For current and historical information, I use
hard copies of the monthly BEP production
reports from 1974-1995 and now the monthly BEP
update report found at the Money Factory Web
site starting in October 2002. Visit: http://www.bep.treas.gov/section.cfm/2/431.
Now, I must thank some collaborators, like Karol
Winograd. I really appreciate his computer
expertise and the software program he developed
that we use on the complete list of star notes.
It allows us to find and identify these
anomalies much faster than before.
There are other collectors to thank for sharing
their personal historical data contributions:
Robert Grenier, Gregg Simms, Charlie Weko, Greg
McNeal, Rick Grunninger, Rich McAllister, and
the Krolikowski brothers, Hank and Stas. And, I
am especially grateful for the accurate
compilation of all FRN data by Derek Moffit and
his Web site, which I also use for reference:
Thanks also to Robert Azpiazu for writing The
Collectors Guide to $1 FRN's Series 1963 -
2003A, which I continually use as a resource
about early FRN star replacement note run
ranges. Visit www.fstctycurr.com.
You can contact me at: Ed Zegers, P.O. Box 952,
Olney MD 20830-0952 or by e-mail at: email@example.com.
As a final note, for those who may remember my
efforts to find and log the series 2003 "E-J"
Block notes, I have ended the project. I never
did find another "oversized" note, but thanks
for your interest, help, and reports.