A Star Note
is a bank note with an asterisk (*) or star placed before or after the
serial number. The Bureau
of Engraving and Printing (BEP) uses replacement Star Notes when a
bill is found defective during printing. These error notes
are replaced with Star
Notes . A Star
Note is used because no two bills can be printed with the
same serial number in a series. The bureau can keep an
accurate count of bills printed in each serial number run by using Star Notes.
On Federal Reserve Notes, the star is where the block letter
or last letter of the serial number is. On Legal Tender
Notes and Silver Certificates, the star is where the pre-fix or first
letter of the serial number is.
were also used for the 100,000,000th note in a series. This
was the last note in the block of serial numbers. The numbering
machines could not print over 8 digits. Star Notes are no
longer used for this. Now the highest range of serial numbers
are reserved for uncut sheets sold to collector's. Regular
notes printed for circulation do not reach this number in the
The rarity of Star
depends on the "run" size. This determines the number of
notes that are printed and released into circulation. The BEP currently
prints Star Notes
maximum runs of 3.2 million. This is 100,000 32 note sheets.
The runs are smaller depending on how many Star Notes are
needed. The smaller the run the more rare the Star Note is.
Collectors consider a run of 640,000 notes or less