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The following article appeared in the June 2011 issue of the Canadian Paper Money Society Newsletter. It is an original work of the author, Brent W.J. Mackie. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011 Brent W.J. Mackie.

APF/APE Mismatched Prefix $5 Error Notes

By: Brent W.J. Mackie

Some time ago, a number of error notes started to be reported. These notes were all mismatched prefix notes with the left being APF and the right being APE. The serial numbers on both sides of the notes matched. The peculiar thing was that many of these notes were being reported, and their serial numbers ranged by up to 800,000.

Speculation quickly followed with collectors wondering how many of these notes were out there. After a short while, sufficient notes were discovered such that a pattern could be discerned. First of all, as one would expect with mismatched serial number notes, the error notes all came from one position of the sheet (as only one numbering head was affected). So if you could visualize a ream of 1,000 sheets of 45 notes each, the affected notes would all reside in the same column of 1,000 notes.

Now the question is how many sheets had these error notes? The full register of known APF/APE error notes follows this article, but I will summarize it here. Given the range of serial numbers observed (low: 0074335; high: 0834228), this error clearly spanned multiple reams of notes. All of the affected notes have position numbers 80/59. I have used recent research by Mark Marschner to determine the serial numbers of notes in the affected position for sequential reams of notes.

Ream NumberSerial Numbers# of Notes Recorded
#10074000 - 00749991
#20114000 - 01149991
#30154000 - 01549990
#40194000 - 01949990
#50234000 - 02349990
#60274000 - 02749990
#70314000 - 03149990
#80354000 - 03549992
#90394000 - 03949991
#100434000 - 04349990
#110474000 - 04749992
#120514000 - 05149997
#130554000 - 05549993
#140594000 - 05949991
#150634000 - 06349990
#160794000 - 07949990
#170834000 - 08349991

To be conservative, let's assume that the lowest recorded note is the very first error note produced, and let's further assume that the highest recorded note is the very last error note produced before the problem was rectified. In the first ream, that would give us 665 affected notes. The 17th ream would have 229 affected notes. Add in all of the other reams from #2 to #16, and there would be a total of 15,894 affected APF/APE mismatched prefix $5 error notes. Of course, this is as I said a very conservative estimate. I expect that as long as their owners report them, we will eventually record serial numbers in at least one or two adjacent reams.

Initially, these notes were selling for over $400 in choice uncirculated. Many of them however are not really nice notes as they have some significant creases and/or heavy rippling. Given the actual and theoretical numbers of these notes, one should not expect to have to be terribly wealthy to afford one. Lightly circulated examples should be available for $100 or less, with notes in the low uncirculated grades fetching only a couple times that much.


Canadian Paper Money Wiki, Canadian Journey Series Mismatched Serial Number Notes
Marschner, M. CPMS Newsletter, Vol 16, Num 1 (March 2008), "Additional Thoughts on the Layout of BABN Upgraded Journey Series Notes", pp. 11-15.
Marschner, M. CPMS Newsletter, Vol 17, Num 3 (September 2009), "Why Is BAI Printing Two Sets of Serial Numbers on Every Sheet? Journey Series 'Mini Reams' Explained", pp. 75-78.
Marschner, M. Unpublished manuscript (2011), "Eureka! Journey Series Layouts Revealed"