United States Large Size Star Notes 1910 - 1929
By: Douglas D. Murray & Ray Alfini
Soft Cover / 160 Pages
Actual size of book - 9" H x 5 3/4" W
Published by Coin & Currency Institute, Inc.
It was in 1985 that the noted numismatic researcher Douglas D. Murray revolutionized the then little-understood subject of star notes and Large Size United States currency with the publication of the Handbook of United States Large Size Star Notes 1910-1929. Murray took previously unknown information and produced two editions of a book that has been a necessity for all serious collectors and dealers for over twenty years.
Star notes are relatively well known on current-size United States currency and their explanation is fairly straightforward: When a note is found to be imperfect in the course of manufacture, it is replaced with a star note, that is a note bearing a star either before or after the serial number. A star note is also used for the 100,000,000th note in a series since the numbering machines cannot print over eight digits.
In all other respects, a star note is indistinguishable from regular notes, and of course, worth the same face value. Star replacement notes did not appear on large size currency until 1910 (before then there were instances where stars were part of the design). Prior to 1910, misprints were replaced by exact duplicates of the same serial number made by hand.
When Murray began his research, no then-published catalog contained any information on the subject. He discovered 2,100 notes to list in the first edition and by the time of the second edition in 1996 he had identified a total of 3,620. Now, twenty-two years later, an additional 2,677 star serial numbers have been added to the census of known notes. Additionally, all 6,296 serial numbers now identified include the date that they were made known to the author.
Astoundingly, government records indicate that about 95 million large size star notes were printed in total. Thus, only a minuscule .007% of the notes produced are known today. All twenty-nine different types of star notes are illustrated and listed, first by type (United States Notes, Silver Certificates, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, and Gold Certificates), and then by denomination. Prices were researched and compiled by Ray Alfini and are given in five grades from VG-F (Very Good -Fine) to CU (Crisp Uncirculated). Not only is each note listed with its corresponding Friedberg number, but Murray has also devised a Murray numbering system specifically for this book.
Another section of the catalog contains a sequential list of all known large size serial numbers by type, cross referenced to both Friedberg and Murray numbers. Wherever possible, both face and back plate data as well as the approximate condition of each note is included. An addendum lists the results of some landmark star note auctions. The Complete Catalog of United States Large Size Star Notes 1910-1929 (ISBN 978-0-87184-203-9) is the result of over 30 years of research and data gathering by the author, with assistance from a veritable who's who in the paper money field.