One of the coolest things you can collect when it comes to modern banknotes is “Star Notes.” Star notes are special bills produced by the U.S. as replacements for bills that were damaged during the production process.
When the Bureau of Engraving and Printing replaces a damaged bank note, they represent that by printing a small star beside the serial number on the replacement note. Hence, “star notes!”
In this blog, I’m going to show you exactly which star notes are valuable, how to identify them, and how to sell them for $$$.
Let’s dive in.
What are star notes?
Star notes are a special type of currency note that is produced by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. They are called “star notes” because they have a star symbol at the end of the serial number instead of a letter.
Star notes are produced when an error occurs during the printing process, such as a misalignment of the printing plates or a tear in the paper. Rather than discarding the flawed notes, the Bureau replaces the serial number with a star and reprints the note with corrected plates or paper. This allows the Bureau to maintain an accurate count of the number of notes in circulation while also accounting for the flawed notes that were not destroyed.
Star notes are marked with a small star symbol at the end of the serial number, and the serial number will be different from standard notes.
You can also tell if a note is a star note by looking for a faint “FW” or “LW” in the background of the note, which indicates that it was printed on replacement paper.
How to find star notes
Once you know what to look for, the next step is to start looking for star notes. Here are some tips on where to find them:
- Banks and Currency Exchanges: One of the most common ways to get your hands on star notes is to visit your local bank or currency exchange. Ask if they have any star notes in stock, or if they can order them for you.
- Online Marketplaces: Another option is to search for star notes on online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a premium price for rarer notes, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. Recently, a favorite place to buy currency has been Whatnot. I’ve personally got some great deals here, and even hold my own auction every now and again. You can get $10 of credit here.
- Coin Shows and Conventions: Coin shows and conventions are another great place to find star notes, as well as other rare and valuable currency. Check local listings or online for upcoming events in your area.
- Trades with Other Collectors: Finally, consider networking with other currency collectors to trade star notes or other currency. You can find groups on social media platforms or online forums dedicated to currency collecting and trading.
Remember, star notes are relatively rare, so you may need to be persistent and patient in your search. But with a little effort, you may be able to find some valuable star notes to add to your collection or use as an investment opportunity.
How do I know if my star note is worth money?
Determining the value of a star note can be a complex process, as it depends on a variety of factors such as rarity, condition, and demand among collectors. Here are some steps you can take to help determine if your star note is worth money:
- Identify the star note: As mentioned earlier, star notes can be identified by the small star symbol at the end of the serial number. Look for this symbol on your note to confirm that it is a star note.
- Research the rarity of the note: The rarity of a star note can greatly impact its value. Look up the production numbers for the specific star note series and year you have, as well as the printing location, and compare it to other notes from the same series to determine how rare it is.
- Check the condition of the note: The condition of the note can also impact its value. Look for signs of wear or damage, such as folds, creases, or tears. Notes in pristine condition will generally be worth more than notes that show signs of wear and tear.
- Research the market: Once you have determined the rarity and condition of your star note, do some research on the current market demand for similar notes. Check online marketplaces, such as eBay, for current prices of similar notes. You can also consult with a currency dealer or appraiser for a more accurate estimate of the value.
- Determine the value of the note: Based on the above factors, you should be able to determine a rough estimate of the value of your star note. Keep in mind that the value may vary depending on the current market demand and availability of the note.
Which star notes are worth money?
The value of a star note depends on the following criteria:
Run size: How many bills were printed in the series. The lower the run size the better. Star notes are considered to be more rare when their run size falls below 640,000. While there are many small runs printed between 160,000 and 640,000 notes, some star notes have been produced in quantities as low as 16,000. From what I’ve found, the best way to determine the run size is to check out the star note lookup on ,,MyCurrencyCollection. It will give you a lot of data about your bill just by entering its serial number.
Condition: Like with all collectibles, the better the condition of the note, the more valuable it will be.
Serial Number: If a star note also has a fancy serial number, it can be worth big bucks! Here are some examples of the more valuable types of fancy serial numbers:
Low numbers – ex. 00000001
High numbers – ex. 99999999
Repeaters – ex. 23232323
Solids – ex. 11111111
Binary – entire number consists of only two unique digits ex. 29992292
Ladders – ex. 12345678
Radars – palindromic numbers ex. 25644652
How to make money with star notes
OK, so you’ve got your star notes, you know what they’re worth, now you want to make money – right?
Well, the good news is that there’s more than one way to get top dollar for your star notes. Here are the main ones:
- Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, or Whatnot, are a popular choice for selling star notes. These platforms allow you to set your own price, and you can reach a broad audience. Keep in mind that there may be fees associated with using these platforms.
- Currency Dealers: Currency dealers may be interested in buying your star note if they are looking to add it to their own collection or inventory. You may get a lower price than if you sold it directly to a collector, but the process may be faster and easier.
- Auction Houses: If you have a particularly rare or valuable star note, you may consider selling it through an auction house. This can be a good way to reach serious collectors, but keep in mind that there may be fees associated with the auction process.
The bottom line
By learning about star notes, identifying them, and understanding their value, you can potentially acquire valuable currency that can appreciate in value over time. However, as with any investment opportunity, it’s important to do your research, consider your options, and be aware of the risks involved.
Whether you’re a serious currency collector or just interested in making some extra money, star notes offer a unique and exciting opportunity to explore the world of currency collecting.
So now you know what a star note is and how you can identify the rare ones, check out the video below to learn strategies for finding them in “the wild” and selling them for a profit!
Finally, If you want to learn more about U.S.Banknotes, I highly recommend checking out this book.
Star notes can be identified by the presence of a red star symbol located near the serial number. While circulated 1953 red seal star notes are typically valued around $12, uncirculated versions of the 1953 five dollar red seal star note can be worth up to $100. It’s worth noting that the red seal was used on United States Notes issued between 1862 and 1971.
Star notes from the 2017 series for one-dollar bills appear to be particularly rare. These notes are typically printed in runs of 250,000, which makes them relatively uncommon. Therefore, keep an eye out for new and crisp 2017 one-dollar bills with star notes, as they may be a valuable find.
There are two types of star notes: regular star notes and replacement star notes.
Regular star notes are printed as a normal part of the production process, and their serial numbers have a star symbol at the end to indicate that they are not part of the standard sequence of serial numbers. These notes are produced when an error occurs during printing, such as a misalignment of the plates, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing replaces the flawed notes with new ones that have a star designation.
Replacement star notes, on the other hand, are printed to replace standard notes that were damaged or destroyed during the printing process. They have serial numbers that begin with a star symbol, and they are produced on special paper that is kept separate from the regular paper stock. Replacement notes are generally considered to be rarer than regular star notes, and they can be highly sought after by currency collectors.