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PMG slabs pre-star replacement notes

Replacement notes from before the star note system was adopted by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing can now be identified.

The Paper Money Guaranty® began a new service Nov. 15 to attribute “Pre-Star Replacement Notes” for large-size National Bank Notes, small-size National Bank Notes, and large-size type notes (such as Legal Tender, Silver and Gold Certificates, and Federal Reserve Notes.

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

Replacement notes are those that took the place of notes that were deemed unfit for circulation.

Because this star format is so well known, one may think U.S. replacement notes will always include a star in the serial number. This is not the case.

PMG said that over a century ago, replacement notes for certain U.S. bank notes did not use a star. Many of these, however, are still identifiable by a slightly different font used for the serial number. This font was the result of replacement notes being printed using different equipment.

These notes are called “Pre-Star Replacement Notes” by numismatists.

Shawn Hewitt, a paper money researcher who has studied Pre-Star Replacement Notes extensively, has identified two distinct fonts (old and new style) used for regular and replacement notes. While the differences may go undetected to the untrained eye, close examination confirms the different font styles, allowing identification of Pre-Star Replacements.

PMG will attribute Pre-Star Replacement Notes for an additional $8 fee if the Variety service is selected.

Large-size type replacement notes will include a “Pre-Star Replacement” designation on the front of the PMG label and receive the Friedberg catalog number with an “R” suffix.

Large and small-size National replacement notes will include the “Replacement” designation on the front of the PMG certification label in the pedigree field and receive the Friedberg catalog number with an “R” suffix.

“I am pleased that PMG is among the first in the collectible currency industry to appreciate the significance of these rare notes,” Hewitt said.

Population data for Pre-Star Replacement Notes will be listed separately in the PMG Population Report, with the catalog number and “R “suffix.

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