Error Note Chronicles: Star Errors
Posted on 7/18/2023
Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) is the world’s leading authority on banknote errors, a popular segment of numismatics. In Error Note Chronicles, we take an in-depth look at different errors. This month’s topic is Star Errors.
Banknotes are printed in sheets, and sometimes errors slip through the quality control process, resulting in rarities for paper money collectors. Typically, such sheets are identified and destroyed, and replacement sheets are printed. In modern times, a star at the end of a serial number on a US note indicates it is a replacement. Ironically, sometimes these notes that were printed to replace ones that had errors end up containing errors themselves!
On modern notes, the star is not supposed to be a solid color; the center is supposed to have no ink. Sometimes, however, excess ink will create a star that looks solid, resulting in a Solid Star Error. This 2009 $1 Federal Reserve Note (Atlanta) with Solid Star Error graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQ realized $312 in a Heritage Auctions sale in March 2021.
|2009 $1 Federal Reserve Note (Atlanta) with Solid Star Error graded PMG 65 Gem Uncirculated EPQClick images to enlarge.|
On certain vintage notes, the star on one or both of the serial numbers has been observed being inverted, like the one on the left serial number here. This 1935G $1 With Motto Silver Certificate with Inverted Star Error graded PMG 30 Very Fine EPQ realized $456 at a May 2023 Heritage Auctions sale.
|1935G $1 With Motto Silver Certificate with Inverted Star Error graded PMG 30 Very Fine EPQClick images to enlarge.|
Finally, a star might be inadvertently left off of a serial number, resulting in the Missing Star Error. Such is the case with the serial number on the left of this 1934A $5 Federal Reserve Note (San Francisco) with a Missing Star Error graded PMG 20 Very Fine. It realized $1,740 at a Heritage Auctions sale in January 2023.
|1934A $5 Federal Reserve Note (San Francisco) with a Missing Star Error graded PMG 20 Very Fine Click images to enlarge.|
PMG, an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), has certified many exciting error notes, including the famous “Del Monte” error note that realized $396,000 in a January 2021 sale.
Collectors and dealers with error notes can submit them to PMG for certification under an applicable grading tier with “error” or the specific error noted under the Variety/Pedigree column on the submission form. There is no additional fee for this service.
For more information about submitting to PMG, visit PMGnotes.com.
Other Error Note Chronicles columns:
- Cutting Error
- Doubled Print Error
- Dual Denomination Error
- Gutter Fold Error
- Ink Smear Error
- Insufficient Inking
- Inverted Back
- Inverted Overprint Errors
- Misalignment Errors
- Mismatched Prefix Error
- Mismatched Serial Number Error
- Missing Print Error
- Multiple Errors
- Multiple Impression Error
- National Bank Note Errors
- Obstructed Printing Errors
- Offset Printing Error
- Overprint on Back Error
- Paper Jam Error
- The PCBLIC Error
- Printed Fold Error
- Solvent Smear Error
- Stuck Digit Error
- Watermark Errors
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