thatcoinguy's Blog

15 Jan 2022

Star Notes: Hidden “Errors”

Paper Money-U.S. | thatcoinguy

Star notes are representative of what could have been. What WAS there. I think of star notes as reminders that the US Mints (and FEDs) are not perfect. Errors come out all the time. And star notes are a testiment to that. A truth, unspoken and unakknowledged by collectors. Today, though, you learn my perspective.

Star notes are made when a FED (one of the twelve "mints" for paper money) prints an error or something wrong with the note. The note is shedded or otherwise discarded so that it is unaccesible. Then, in it's place in a $100 strap in the case of a $1 star note, a note is printed with a COMPLETLY DIFFERENT serial number, along with a star to the right of the digits instead of a captiol letter. In this way, star notes are really representative of error notes that the FEDs caught. I find that you can find a star note (on average) in every one out of one hundred bills. This means that one out of one hundred bills are errors.

Taking this into context, what about the mints? If the FEDs produce an error one in every one hundred coins, does the mint? There is no record of error counts for a mintage that are caught by the mint every year, and with the mint's new detection system they put into place in 2002, the errors that us collectors don't get to find increased in number significantly.

Just some thoughts to ponder.

Keep collecting,



Long Beard

Level 5

I believe the United States Mint records the denomination and weight entering the figures at scheduled intervals and prior to being waffled for destruction. So if you could find the records, the weight would provide the total number of errors detected.


Level 6

Very cool and fun to look for! ; )


Level 5

I need to look for star notes !! I should be watching out for them. Interesting how they and why they make them.


Level 5

I still haven’t found any Star notes yet even though I have searched well over 100 $1 Bills. Thanks for the information and blog!


Level 6

Even my MPC's have error note designation. Not stars but a change in the serial number. Call them replacement notes. Thanks.

AC coin$

Level 6

Nice information and bill . Thanks for sharing.


Level 7

They have been making them since 1910.. I get some of mine from the A.T.M.. Thanks.for the blog.

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.