Have you ever noticed a star (*) mark in the serial number of your currency note? Here is what it means!
Earlier, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) used to replace damaged notes with notes of the same serial number. Thus, if there is an error in one batch, the entire batch should be kept aside until the new note is printed with the same serial number, which is found to be an expensive solution.
So the “Star Series Notes” were introduced as a workaround to benchmark it’s procedures with international standards. Star numbered notes are issued as a replacement to the actual currency notes that are damaged during the printing process. With this, the damaged note will be replaced immediately with a star note so that the entire batch is not stopped.
Even though this is a new concept in India, many other countries have adapted to it long back. This process is to reduce overhead costs and improve the printing and dispatching process.
RBI introduced the star number concept in 2006. Initially, these were issued in lower denominations, i.e INR 10, INR 20, and INR 50, but were extended to the higher denominations later. Unlike the regular packets, the star numbered packets might not have all the notes in proper serial format and they could be different. If you have a packet in the right serial, then you are lucky! Well, only if you are a collector!
View the RBI press release for more details.
To facilitate easy identification of the note packets containing star series notes, the bands on such packets will clearly indicate the presence of these notes in the packet. See below:
Will RBI publish information about the star replacement notes?
Yes. RBI will publish the information about the star replacement notes periodically on the RBI website. See the initial press release below:
Is it okay to accept the notes with the star mark?
Yes. Absolutely! They are legal tender and are allowed. If you still have a doubt, you may refer to the RBI press release posted above.