What Is The Meaning Of * Symbol In Indian Currency – Star Replacement Notes Of RBI

Star Replacement Notes of Reserve Bank of India

A replacement banknote, called as (*) star note, is a banknote that is printed to replace a defective one and is used as a control mechanism for governments or monetary authorities to know the exact number of banknotes being printed.

(Ex : 83M*000252)

See the banknotes below


If you own a company and your company produces products in batches of 100. While on final quality checking one of the 100 shoes are found to be defective.

Rejecting the whole batch of shoes or Rejecting only the defective pieces are the two choices you have.

Rejecting the whole batch of products are not practical. Replacing them with new pieces in a later batch will be practical and keeps the production target in balance.

History of replacement banknotes:

2006 –  RBI issued notes with a * (Star) after the first three characters or prefix followed by the six digit serial number.

These are used as replacement notes for errors in printing. These were issued initially in denominations of 10, 20, 50.

2009 – Star or replacement notes are issued for Rs.100.

Why it is important?

Every banknote packets are printed in a serial numbered system. So, At the printing stage , If any defective banknotes detected are replaced at the note printing presses by banknotes having the same number. So that the sequence of the packet is maintained.

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As a part of the Bank’s ongoing efforts to benchmark its procedures against international best practices as also for cost effectiveness at printing presses, it is proposed to adopt the star series numbering system for replacement of the defectively printed banknotes.

The star series notes are identical to the existing banknotes in every respect. It’s value won’t change at any aspect.

The Star series notes will look exactly like the existing notes of Rs.10, Rs.20 and Rs.50 in the Mahatma Gandhi series but will have an additional character viz. a *(star) in the number panel. 

Key Facts:

In the printing stage of notes, when any defect is detected, such notes are replaced by star series notes.

This is done in compliance with international best practices and to ensure cost effective printing system.

The issue of star series notes started from year 2006 for notes of denomination 10, 20 and 50.

From 2009, star series notes started getting printed for notes of denomination 100 also.

Star series notes have the same serial number as defected notes but different prefix. The prefix of star series notes are unique.

The Star series notes are legal tender.

Since these notes are rare, they are auctioned by people.

A list of such notes is maintained by RBI.

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