$1 Federal Reserve Notes Collection Special $1 Federal Reserve Notes
Many people choose $1 Federal Reserve Notes to start their paper money collections. Within that category, certain notes – including Star Notes, Mules, and those with "fancy" serial numbers – are especially sought after. Some people even prefer to collect notes that bear low serial numbers – particularly numbers below 00009999.
Star Notes (also called Replacement Notes) are special paper money issues that are released in much lower numbers than their regular counterparts. That's because they are only printed when a note is damaged or otherwise found to be imperfect during manufacture. The star can be found either before or after the serial number – on $1 Federal Reserve Notes, the star is located after the number.
See all $1 Federal Reserve Star Notes
Example of a Mule Note.
$5 note used for illustration only
Small-size Mule Notes offer an interesting twist to your collection. In 1938, the Bureau of Engraving & Printing made a switch from micro (.6 mm high) plate numbers to macro (1 mm high) plate numbers in order to improve readability. Rather than discard the existing micro plates, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing continued to use them side-by-side with the new macro plates until they were retired in 1953. Whenever a micro face plate was paired with a macro back during printing, one of these "Mule" Notes was created.
Changeover pair notes
Example of a backward changeover pair.
$20 notes used for illustration only
On all Federal Reserve Notes, when a minor design change is made to a note, a letter is added to the series year. Scarce and seldom seen, a changeover pair occurs when the last sheets of an older series mixes with the first sheets of a new series. When these sheets are overprinted with serial numbers and cut into individual notes, a limited number of random consecutively numbered changeover pairs are created. For example, one may find a Series 1934A C34945614 and a Series 1934 C34945615 (backward pair). Of the limited number of changeover pairs created, most were broken up and went into circulation long ago. To find two together is a rare treat for any collector!
Notes with fancy serial numbers
Federal Reserve Notes with fancy serial numbers (often called "fancies") are also prized by paper money collectors. Especially desirable are those with matching serial numbers, digits that repeat, or notes with interesting numerical patterns. Radar Notes feature serial numbers that read the same forward or backward, as in "radar". In a Repeater Note, the numbers repeat, like 45674567. Binary Notes show two randomly repeating digits in the serial number. Ladder Notes contain serial numbers with six digits in sequence. And in a Matching Note, you'll see identical digits consecutively placed within the serial number.
Shown at right are examples of fancy serial numbers from $1 Federal Reserve Notes.