Question on 'STAR' Notes...
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8 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

Could someone please tell me what the big deal is concerning STAR notes? Believe it or not, I actually don't collect them and tend to avoid them. I personally don't understand why they carry such a high premium. Now I am NEW to the hobby, so maybe someone can educate me as to why they are so much in demand?

 

I thank you for your time once again!

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When an error on a regular note is caught by the workers at the BEP they pull the note, destroy it, then replace it with a star note. Stars are replacement notes. Some star notes have errors and that is even more interesting to some because the note was replaced then messed up again. That kind of mistake sells for good money. Another thing, some star note runs are small. One $10 star note run is only 9600 notes printed making them very collectible.

Hope this helps some.

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The information posted by Goldmine is inaccurate. Many decades ago, notes that were spoiled were at a later date made up for by printing star notes at the end of the regular run. As you can imagine the number of star notes printed was much less than the regular notes, and are very rare in some of the earlier series. Modern runs have star note runs, but they have nothing to do with replacing spoiled notes. Presumably the BEP makes star note runs to maintain tradition (?). Modern star note runs are in smaller quantities than the regular runs, so collectors are attracted to them because in theory they are scarcer -- although if a higher proportion of star notes are saved relative to the regular notes they may ultimately be less scarce.

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So basically, this is a 'replacement' note and not an error note, correct? I was under the assumption that STAR notes were all error notes. I think I get it now.

 

If a note was deemed 'bad' or 'spoiled' by the BEP, they replaced it with a star note, correct?

 

Thanks for all the info. This is somewhat confusing to a 'newbie' like me!

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The information posted by Goldmine is inaccurate. Many decades ago, notes that were spoiled were at a later date made up for by printing star notes at the end of the regular run. As you can imagine the number of star notes printed was much less than the regular notes, and are very rare in some of the earlier series. Modern runs have star note runs, but they have nothing to do with replacing spoiled notes. Presumably the BEP makes star note runs to maintain tradition (?). Modern star note runs are in smaller quantities than the regular runs, so collectors are attracted to them because in theory they are scarcer -- although if a higher proportion of star notes are saved relative to the regular notes they may ultimately be less scarce.

 

With all due respect, your explanation is even less accurate.

 

When the Treasury placed an order for 10,000 notes by Monday, they expected to receive the 10,000 notes by then. Prior to 1910, if the BEP printed these 10,000 notes, only to find that 500 of them were not good for delivery, they determined the serial numbers of the unfit notes and re-printed the exact numbers. This was time-consuming and a logistical hassle. Whole production runs would have to be stopped to possibly reprint the faces and backs, and the numbering wheels would have to be reset. Worst of all, there were a thousand other orders waiting to be filled, and now the BEP was paying overtime to get the 10,000 notes out on a Sunday night.

 

In 1910, the decision was made to maintain a separate stock of replacement notes with a sequence of serial numbers separate from regular production runs—star notes. These were maintained for all kinds of notes except national bank notes. So now, when that 10,000 note order was short, the 500 were grabbed from the star pile and completed the order. The Treasury did not care what the serial numbers were, just that it got 10,000 notes.

 

These star runs saved the BEP time and effort and maintained production efficiency by keeping printing and numbering on schedule. Star notes are printed prior to regular production runs and are used to replace notes unfit for production because of damage, misprints, improper storage or even to replace special serial numbers—whatever the problem may be.

 

The star notes printed today are for the same purpose as those printed in the 1920s. And some large-size notes have a star as the placeholder in the serial number, but these are not star notes—true large-size star notes have a hole in the center.

 

Traditionally for small-size notes, the ratio of star notes to regular notes is 1-2%; for large-size this ratio is much smaller. Needless to say, star notes are always in high demand.

Edited by Jamericon
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