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A STAR Note is a note with a STAR (*) in the prefix or suffix position of the serial number. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing inspects currency for printing errors prior to releasing notes into general circulation. When an error note is detected during the manufacturing process, it must be replaced with a new note. A "star" note is used to replace the error note.
Star notes are used to maintain a correct count of notes in a serial number run. By their nature, star notes are more scarce than notes with standard serial numbers and as such are widely collected by hobbyists. Generally Star notes are rare and command a premium. Some collectors of Rare American Currency only collect star notes.
The first star notes used as replacements was in 1911. There are notes printed prior to 1911 with stars at the end or the beginning of the note but these stars in the serial number were used as embellishments only and were not a star “replacement note. One example would be Treasury or Coin Notes of 1891.
At the right in the picture you will see a star at he prefix of the serial number that indicates this is a star “replacement” note. That note is a large size silver certificate, Series of 1899 Black Eagle.
The $1 Silver Certificate Series of 1899 distributed from approximately 1899 until 1923 is known as the Black Eagle. This is the vivid nickname that has been given to it with the formidable looking Eagle in the center face of the note. This note is one of the most commonly notes collected of all U.S. Currency.
There are approximately 23,000 Black Eagle Silver Certificates known according to Track and Price who keeps the most current and up to date information on all United States Rare Currency. The series consists of 13 different signature combinations. Every time Register of the Treasury or the Treasurer of the United States, changed office a new signature combination would be created. Currency collectors often ask me as to when their black eagle note was placed into circulation. Believing erroneously that the note was placed into circulation in 1899 as the date says it was. This is wrong. It generally can be difficult to place an exact date of month and day as to distribution. But you can approximately track it to the signature combination and when the two people who were in office and when the where in office. This is only approximate of course.
Another unique characteristic of the Black Eagle series the where date is located on the note. Date locations are divided into three categories. First their is date above (the rarest, only 489 out of the 23,000) the date below and the date right. The “date” that I am referring to is the location of the words “Series of 1899” and whether that location is above the upper right serial number or below the right upper serial number or if the date is at the right margin. (See Photo’s at the right)
Black Eagle “STAR” replacement notes are also available. Doug Murray’s Book “The complete catalog of United States Large Size Star Notes 12910-1929” give census data and pricing on this. I would strongly recommend this book if you are collecting or considering collecting large size stars.
I hope this gives you some idea about the interesting and unique history of American Currency and specifically Black Eagles. This short informational presented here is not meant to be complete and exhaustive of the Series of 1899 Black Eagle. Please do not hesitate to contact me personally if you have any further questions. I would be happy to talk with you. 1-619-931-8389. Don
One of the most famous error coins and perhaps the most popular is the 1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo Nickel. The 3 Legged Buffalo came about from die clashes. It some point at the Denver Mint it was decided to remove the die clash marks and use the die pair. The clash marks were removed by polishing. The die clash marks were removed but so was the bison’s foreleg. Thus we have the birth of the 3-legged buffalo. (See pictures to the right)
The collector community found this error very early on. I have had collectors tell me as kids they looked thought 1000’s of buffalo nickel rolls to find this coveted error coin. I never met anyone who actually found one in circulation or in a roll. It is estimated that approximately 5000 buffalo 3-legged buffalo nickels were produced by this die pair.
The supply of buffalo nickels have never kept up with demand. The price of this coin has always risen in both value and popularity with time.
Their is a wealth of information at the ANA second to none. The ANA welcomes numismatists of all ages, beginner and expert alike. Join the thousands of members who are already taking advantage of the ANA programs and services to become more knowledgeable and confident collectors. I would strongly reccommend joining the American Numismatic Assoication. Please visit the ANA Website by CLICKING HERE.
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