The 20-dollar bill with star is one of the most commonly used banknotes in the United States. But if you look closely, you’ll notice something strange – there is a tiny star located next to the large ’20’ printed on the lower right corner of the bill.

This mysterious star has generated a lot of curiosity and speculation over the years. In this comprehensive guide, we will uncover the history and meaning behind the star on the 20-dollar bill.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The tiny star on the 20-dollar bill is an anti-counterfeiting measure that was added in the 1990s. It helps scanning machines detect whether a bill is authentic or fake.

In this guide, we will explore the background of when the star was added, what it signifies, who added it, how it helps prevent counterfeiting and delve into some of the popular myths and theories surrounding the star’s meaning.

We’ll also look at some fun facts about the 20-dollar bill itself. With detailed research and insights, you’ll have a complete understanding of the star’s origins and purpose by the end of this article.

Background on the Mysterious Star

The star on the 20-dollar bill has been a topic of fascination for many people. It first appeared on the bill in the 1970s, but its origin and purpose remain a mystery. Some speculate that it was added as a security feature, while others believe it has a deeper symbolic meaning.

Regardless of its purpose, the star has captured the curiosity of individuals around the world.

The meaning and purpose behind the star:

The star on the 20-dollar bill has sparked numerous theories and interpretations. Some believe it represents the unity and strength of the United States, symbolizing the country’s values and ideals. Others see it as a nod to the Freemasons, a secret society that played a significant role in the founding of America.

While there is no definitive answer to its meaning, the star continues to intrigue and captivate those who come across it.

Who added the star to the 20-dollar bill:

The addition of the star to the 20-dollar bill is shrouded in mystery. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, responsible for designing and producing U.S. currency, has not officially disclosed the reason behind its inclusion.

Some believe that it was a deliberate decision made by the designers, while others speculate that it could be a result of a printing error. Despite various theories and speculations, the true origin of the star on the 20-dollar bill remains unknown.

How the Star Helps Prevent Counterfeiting

The star on the 20-dollar bill is not just a decorative symbol; it plays a crucial role in preventing counterfeiting. The United States Treasury introduced the star as an additional security feature to make it more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate the bill.

Scannability and anti-counterfeiting features

The star on the 20-dollar bill is designed with scannability in mind. It contains special ink that can be easily detected by scanning machines used by banks and businesses. These machines are programmed to recognize the unique properties of the star and verify the authenticity of the bill.

This feature acts as a deterrent for counterfeiters, as their fake bills will be easily identified and rejected during the scanning process.

Additionally, the star is printed using advanced printing techniques that make it extremely difficult to reproduce. The ink used in the star has unique properties that cannot be easily replicated, making it challenging for counterfeiters to create convincing fakes.

This adds an extra layer of security to the 20-dollar bill, making it harder for counterfeiters to succeed.

How the star aids scanning machines

When a scanning machine detects the presence of a star on a 20-dollar bill, it triggers a series of checks to ensure the bill’s authenticity. These checks include analyzing the ink used, verifying the unique properties of the star, and comparing the bill’s overall design with known authentic bills.

If any discrepancies are found, the machine will flag the bill as suspicious and reject it.

This scanning process helps businesses and banks detect counterfeit bills and protect themselves from financial losses. It also helps maintain the integrity of the US currency and ensures that only genuine bills are in circulation.

Other security features on the 20-dollar bill

In addition to the star, the 20-dollar bill includes several other security features to prevent counterfeiting. These features include:

  • Color-shifting ink: The number “20” on the bottom right corner of the bill changes color when tilted, making it difficult to reproduce.
  • Security thread: A thin strip embedded in the bill glows a specific color under ultraviolet light, revealing hidden text and patterns.
  • Microprinting: Tiny words and numbers are printed on the bill, which are difficult to replicate accurately.
  • Watermark: A faint image of President Andrew Jackson is visible when held up to the light.

These security features, combined with the star, make the 20-dollar bill one of the most secure and difficult to counterfeit currencies in the world.

For more information on the security features of the US currency, you can visit the official website of the US Currency Education Program.

Myths and Theories About the Star

Conspiracy theories

When it comes to the star on the 20-dollar bill, numerous conspiracy theories have captured the imagination of many. One popular theory suggests that the star is a hidden symbol of a secret society that controls the world’s financial system.

This theory gained traction due to the intricate design of the star and its placement on the bill. However, it is important to note that these theories are largely unfounded and lack any substantial evidence.

Symbolic interpretations

Another intriguing aspect of the star on the 20-dollar bill is the symbolic interpretations that have been attributed to it. Some believe that the star represents the United States as a guiding light for other nations. It is seen as a symbol of hope, prosperity, and the American dream.

Others interpret the star as a tribute to the country’s founding fathers and the principles they stood for. While these interpretations add a layer of meaning to the star, it is important to remember that they are subjective and open to individual interpretation.


There are also a number of misconceptions surrounding the star on the 20-dollar bill. One common misconception is that the star has some sort of magical or mystical significance. This belief often stems from a lack of understanding of the design elements and symbolism used in currency.

In reality, the star is simply a decorative element that adds visual interest to the bill. Another misconception is that the star is somehow linked to the Illuminati or other secret societies. This notion has been perpetuated by various internet rumors and hoaxes, but there is no factual basis for these claims.

Fun Facts About the 20-Dollar Bill

Pop culture and the 20-dollar bill

The 20-dollar bill has made its mark in pop culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and even songs. One of the most iconic references is the image of the mysterious star on the back of the bill, which has sparked curiosity and speculation among many.

While some believe it holds a hidden meaning or secret, the star is actually just a part of the intricate design of the bill. Nevertheless, its presence has given the 20-dollar bill an air of intrigue and mystique.

Most common banknote

The 20-dollar bill is one of the most common banknotes in circulation. It is widely used for everyday transactions, making it an essential part of the economy. Its popularity can be attributed to its versatility, as it is often used for smaller purchases such as groceries or dining out.

Additionally, the 20-dollar bill is also commonly used for tipping service workers, further contributing to its widespread use.

Changes and redesigns over the years

Throughout its history, the 20-dollar bill has undergone several changes and redesigns. From the introduction of color and security features to the inclusion of new portraits, each iteration of the bill represents a unique chapter in its evolution.

One notable redesign was introduced in 2003, featuring a larger portrait of President Andrew Jackson and a colorized version of the White House on the back. These changes aimed to enhance the bill’s security and prevent counterfeiting.

For more information on the history and design of the 20-dollar bill, you can visit the U.S. Currency Education Program website.

The 20-Dollar Bill With Star – Conclusion

In conclusion, the mysterious star on the 20-dollar bill has a pragmatic purpose related to counterfeiting detection. But the vagueness around its meaning has also given rise to some intriguing myths and theories.

While we may never know the full story behind the humble star, unpacking its history and impact illuminates the often overlooked details embedded in our everyday objects and currency.

We hope this comprehensive guide has shed light on the background and significance of the star on the 20-dollar bill. Next time you get a 20-dollar bill in change, take a moment to appreciate this unique feature of American currency.

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