Star Notes

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Australian Star Notes

Between 1948 and 1971, Australia’s banknote issuing authorities used notes produced in separate printing runs to replace notes that were spoiled in the printing process. They were known as star notes because the last digit of the serial number of each replacement note was an star (pre-decimal), or an asterisk.

The first notes to be replaced in this way were Ten Shilling, One Pound and Five Pound notes with the Armitage/Macfarlane signature combination, printed in 1948.

For the initial five years of the decimal note series, the practice was continued. Notes produced in the special print runs were identified by a serial number prefix commencing with the letter Z. The second letter identified the denomination :

The third letter simply incremented as each series from 00000* to 10000* was completed.

The practice was stopped in 1971.

A for $1 notes
F for $2 notes
N for $5 notes
S for $10 notes
X for $20 notes


Example of a Pre-Decimal Star Replacement serial number

Pre-Decimal Star Notes

Ten Shilling[r13] Armitage/Macfarlane
[r14] Coombs/Watt
[r15] Coombs/Wilson
[r16] Coombs/Wilson
[r17] Coombs/Wilson
G 50 to G 97
A 0 – A 1 – A 2 or G 98 – G 99
A 3 – A 9
AC 90 – AC 98 or AE 91 – AE 99
AE 94 – AE 99 or AG 50 – AG 51
One Pound[r30b] Armitage/Macfarlane
[r31]  Coombs/Watt
[r32]  Coombs/Wilson
[r33]  Coombs/Wilson
[r34a] Coombs/Wilson
[r34b] Coombs/Wilson
I or K – K 49, H 82 and I 0
I 1 to I 9 or W 1
W 3 or W 4
HA 90 to HA 99, HC 94 to HC 96, or HE 90
HE 81 to HE 99
HE 81 to HE 99
Five Pound[r50] Coombs/WilsonTC 10 to TC 13
There were no £10 star notes

Example of a Decimal Star Replacement serial number

Decimal Star Notes

One Dollar[r71] Coombs/Wilson
[r72] Coombs/Randall
[r73] Phillips/Randall
ZAA 00001* to ZAF 35000*
ZAF 35001* to ZAH 17000*
ZAH 17001* to ZAQ 10000*
Two Dollar[r81] Coombs/Wilson
[r82] Coombs/Randall
[r83] Phillips/Randall
ZFA 00001* to ZFH 19000*
ZFH 19001* to ZFK 89000*
ZFK 89001* to ZFS 96107*
Five Dollar[r202] Coombs/Randall
[r203] Phillips/Randall
ZNA 00001* to ZNC 04000*
ZNC 04001* to ZND 05619*
Ten Dollar[r301] Coombs/Wilson
[r302] Coombs/Randall
[r303] Phillips/Randall
ZSA 00001* to ZSD 36000*
ZSD 36001* to ZSE 100000*
ZSF 00001* to ZSJ 48004*
Twenty Dollar[r403] Phillips/RandallZXA 00001* to ZXA 62500*
There are no $50 or $100 star notes