Philippine Banknotes: Star Notes
When the bank prints a defective note, they are replaced by a special series of notes called replacement notes. The defective ones have their serial numbers noted down and replaced by a similar banknote, but with a different serial number. The defective banknote is then discarded. Banks do this to avoid reprinting banknotes with the same serial number and to ensure the number of banknotes printed remain the same throughout the printing process. Since banknotes should have unique serial numbers, replacement notes have their own unique serial numbers.
Different countries employ different standards in marking replacement notes. The most popular method is to use a star either before or after the serial number. Notes with this symbol are usually called “star notes”. The United States uses the star to identify replacement notes. The Philippines uses a different symbol, but it somewhat resembles a star which made our replacement notes “star notes” too. I am not sure if the Philippines adapted this from the United States.
Regular Philippine banknotes usually have 1 or 2 letters as a prefix followed by 6 numerical digits as depicted in the images below.
Philippine star notes have a special symbol for a prefix followed by 7 numerical digits like in the image below.
These banknotes are rare and are very collectible. Dealers also sell these for a higher premium than the face value. Banks usually reserve some star notes for local coin dealers and people who know the rarity of these banknotes usually keep them.
The symbol used in Philippine star notes is not really a star like what the US uses, and I have yet to find out the name of the symbol. If anyone can identify the symbol below, please let me know.
The earliest example I have of a star note is from the “Ang Bagong Lipunan Series” and I know for a fact that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been printing star notes for the New Design Series and New Generation Series notes because I have star notes from each series.
With the advent of ATM’s, getting a star note in mint condition has become easier. I have had the experience of withdrawing sequential star notes from an ATM before and yes I kept the star notes.
Another thing to look out for are star notes with overprints. These command even higher prices than the regular star notes and are very collectible.