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Quick currency grade (revised)

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Category: US Coins & Paper Money
Forum Name: US Paper Money
Forum Description: Paper money & bank notes
Printed Date: 20 Sep 2019 at 10:08pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Quick currency grade (revised)
Posted By: coldshot
Subject: Quick currency grade (revised)
Date Posted: 14 Jan 2007 at 9:09am
Uncirculated: A perfectly preserved note, never mishandled by the issuing authority, a bank teller, the public or a collector. The paper is clean and firm, without discoloration. Corners are sharp and square, without any evidence of rounding (rounded corners are often a telltale sign of a cleaned or "doctored" note.) An uncirculated note will have its original, natural sheen.
Note: Some issues are most often available with slight evidence of counting folds (creases). Many collectors and dealers often refer to such notes as AU-UNC.

About uncirculated: a virtually perfect note, with some minor handling. May show evidence of bank counting folds at a corner or one light fold through the center, but not both. An AU note cannot be creased, a crease being a hard fold which has usually "broken" the surface of the note. The paper is clean and bright with original sheen. Comers are not rounded.
Note: Europeans will refer to an about uncirculated or AU note as EF-Unc or as just EF. The extremely fine notes described below will often be referred to as GVF or good very fine.

Extremely fine: a very attractive note with light handling. May have a maximum of three light folds or one strong crease. Paper is clean and bright with original sheen. Comers may show only the slightest evidence of rounding. There may also be the slightest sign of wear where a fold meets the edges.

Very fine: an attractive note, but with more evidence of handling and wear. May have a number of folds both vertically and horizontally. The paper may have minimal dirt, or possibly color smudging. The paper itself is still relatively crisp and not floppy. There are no tears into the border area, although the edges do show slight wear. The comers also show wear but not full rounding.

Fine: a note which shows considerable circulation, with many folds, creases and wrinkling. The paper is not excessively dirty but may have some softness. The edges may show much handling, with minor tears in the border area. Tears may not extend into the design. There will be no center hole because of excessive folding. The colors are clear but not very bright. A staple hole or two would not be considered unusual wear in a fine note. The overall appearance is still on the desirable side.

Very good: a well used note, abused but still intact. Corners may have much wear and rounding, tiny nicks or tears may extend into the design, some discoloration may be present, staining may have occurred, and a small hole may be seen at the center from excessive folding. Staple and pinholes are usually present, and the note itself is quite limp but NO pieces of the note can be missing. A note in very good condition may still have an overall not unattractive appearance.

Good: a well worn and heavily used note. Normal damage from prolonged circulation will include strong multiple folds and creases, stains, pinholes and/or staple holes, dirt, discoloration, edge tears, center hole, rounded comers and an overall unattractive appearance. No large pieces of the note may be missing. Graffiti is commonly seen on notes in good condition.

Fair: a totally limp, dirty and very well used note. Larger pieces may be half torn off or missing besides the defects mentioned under the good category. Tears will be larger, obscured portions of the note will be bigger.

Poor: a "rag" with severe damage because of wear, staining, pieces missing, graffiti, larger holes. May have tape holding pieces of the note together. Trimming may have taken place to remove rough edges. A poor note is desirable only as a "filler" or when such a note is the only one known of that particular issue.

Other defects
Notes with physical defects that are out of character for the grade as it would otherwise be assigned must receive additional attention. They first must be graded according to the standards above without regard to the defect. A description of the defect must then be added to the grade of the note. The words "pinholes," "staple holes," "trimmed," "writing on the face," "tape marks" etc. are examples of the qualifiers that must always be added to the description of a note. This is done rather than attempting to adjust the grade to account for these defects.

Posted By: Starwarsfreak
Date Posted: 14 Jan 2007 at 12:47pm
Made this a sticky so it won't get lost in the topics.


Posted By: coldshot
Date Posted: 15 Jan 2007 at 1:26am
thnx friend...

Posted By: danlin90650
Date Posted: 16 Jan 2007 at 3:14pm
Thanks Coldshot for the detailed explanation  of currency grades.Smile


Posted By: codydude815
Date Posted: 23 Jan 2007 at 5:40am

The Cody has spoken

Posted By: scoutjim99
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2007 at 5:40am
Very good info

FLY-IN #1502
ANA # 3137213
my banknotes
Some of my coins

Posted By: rrantique
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2007 at 12:46am
Thanks Coldshot there is a mountain of info thereClap

Posted By: stonechip10
Date Posted: 20 Jan 2008 at 3:14am
im not a collector and dont know anything about coins or paper money could anyone tell me if a 1934A $5  silver certificate with the blue seal is worth anything and what is a good price to get on ebay its in nice shape not all ripped and bent up. This is my first time here so i have to figure out how  to get around this site thanks for the help my email is in case i dont find the reply here thank you


Posted By: sanderssocal
Date Posted: 31 Jan 2008 at 8:06am
Originally posted by stonechip10 stonechip10 wrote:

im not a collector and dont know anything about coins or paper money could anyone tell me if a 1934A $5  silver certificate with the blue seal is worth anything and what is a good price to get on ebay its in nice shape not all ripped and bent up. This is my first time here so i have to figure out how  to get around this site thanks for the help my email is in case i dont find the reply here thank you
That Bill is worth quite a bit from what i know if it has the right signature it oculd be worth around 500 unc so iam assuming the bill is V.f -very fine, it should be worth 250 again with the proper signature, the best refrence would be to buy a book specializing in U.s currency, or the a World Currency book although it does not specialize in a specific country.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2009 at 10:22pm
Wonderful information.

Posted By: coins86
Date Posted: 27 Dec 2009 at 2:01am
you would think it would be a nice bill at a nice price.  but allegedly the green sheet prices are down right now, on small sized currency.  paper currency grading is as strict as coint grading.   and it seems anything not graded and sealed by pcgs is a risky venture.

Posted By: Cooldude
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 1:57am
great info! 

------------- - Comics, Magazines, Currency & Coin Collecting Supplies, Trading Cards Supplies

Posted By: morgan-lover
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 12:58pm
A  1934A $5  silver certificate in UNC?  You're dealing with a note, according to sigs,  from $60 to $100.  Buy books to research what you collect.  The basis currency book is Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. Friedberg.    Let me say this... REGULAR Silver certificates ARE NOT RARE...(is used and ragged) unless you have an ERROR NOTE, A CRISP NEW NOT, MULTIPLE ON SHEET, STAR NOTES, or Unsual Signature, etc.  I have hundreds of these notes in used condition and I am amazed that someone people think they are RARE.

If you want to specialize in National Banknotes, get... National Bank Notes - 6th Edition by Don Kelly.  Kelly's book will tell you how many notes were issues on each bank and how many are accounted for... thus, giving you an idea of the rarity of a National Bank Note and how many notes are still un-accounted for... maybe laying in a trunk in the attic, a roof rafter, buried in the ground, etc. -

May God bless and prosper you in all that you do in His name,

Posted By: KathyNumismatis
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2011 at 7:42am
One other thing that people don't always think about is that there are some rarer serial number blocks that have higher values within some issues. The Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money 1928 to Date by John Schwartz and Scott Lindquist would be a useful reference to have.

Heritage Auctions -

Posted By: alexanderbond
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2011 at 9:32am
you would anticipate it would be a nice bill at a nice price. but allegedly the blooming area prices are down appropriate now, on baby sized currency. cardboard bill allocation is as austere as bread grading.

------------- - Silver Certificate

Posted By: SeanRivera
Date Posted: 15 Sep 2011 at 6:21am
Thanks  for this  post.  Good revised of currency grade. < ="text/" ="">

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