Why do some bill's have tick mark's on face

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by ja59, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    Why do some bill's have tick mark's on their face, and some don't? Do they affect value? Do they ever appear on the backs of the bill? The pic below is not mine, just used for reference. It shows mark's at top center and top right corner. To me, bill's without these mark's look much cleaner.

    s-l1600 (2).jpg
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  3. Endeavor

    Endeavor Well-Known Member

    It has something to do with alignment. I asked about this once and that is what I was told. Makes sense to me when you consider their position and that they are frequently found on older notes.
  4. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    I worked in the printing field for years, and we always used "register" mark's. These would show where pages would be trimmed, and/or folded. They were also used for "registering" one color to the next. But these marks were always well outside the final trim area. The Mark's on the bill above certainly are not outside the trim area. They seem to be on the trim or inside the trim. While some seem to be showing trims, others, such as the horizontal mark in the upper right corner of the pic, seem to be aligned to the image. We are all glad the BEP doesn't fold bill's in half (like most users), so the mark at the top center is a bit more if a mystery to me.
  5. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    Just saw a reference on Heratige referring to these mark's as "paper guideline markers".
    Still looking for thoughts as to if these affect value for some folks. Seems like maybe just a personal choice?
  6. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Most collectors do not want these however there are a few that do since they are not supposed to be there. They should be trimmed off. Not sure how it affects the value.
  7. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    The marks I see mostly seem too close to the image to be trimmed off, as in the image above. Maybe that's an error?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  8. Numbers

    Numbers Senior Member

    On older series like this, many of the alignment marks were in locations that didn't get trimmed off. The exact positions vary between series, but up into the 18-subject series in the 1950s, there are marks like this on some notes. They shouldn't affect value as they're a normal part of the printing process.

    I don't think any of the 32- or 50-subject notes have alignment marks between the notes on the sheet, though some of the early 32-subject notes did have marks in the outer sheet margins that could easily end up showing on a note with just a small misalignment.

    In the other direction, going back to the large-size notes, some series actually had plate numbers etched between two of the notes on the sheet, so some notes will have much more going on in the margins than just a tick mark here or there. Likewise for fractionals. In those cases, a clearly readable full plate number in the margin of a note can sometimes add value, since there's only one per sheet and it often gets split between two notes when they're cut.
    Endeavor likes this.
  9. ja59

    ja59 Missing the Beach, Almost as Much as .....

    So cool ...
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