The Grading of paper money is a very important aspect of dealing with High Denomination Notes. Whether you are buying for a collection or
just trying to determine what the value of a given note is. Very small and seemingly insignificant features such as a small
corner fold or a slight, almost undetectable wrinkle, could result in a substantial reduction, in the overall value of a note. Click to see a side by side
comparison of PCGS & PMG 's grading scale.
We are authorized dealers for PMG and PCGS Currency. We're happy to send your notes in for grading. If you need packaging material (to send us your notes for grading or for appraisal and purchase) we will send you packaging material at our expense. We do this as a service to our customers. Not everyone has the proper packaging material to ensure the safety and integrity of your items. Simply call or send us an email with your mailing address and we'll ship them out right away.
The words rips, tears, pinholes, writing, bank stamps, rust, staple holes, trimmed, writing on face, tape marks, etc. should always be added to the description of a note. Stating this does not necessarily lower the overall grade of the note. The final price will usually reflect the downgraded worth of the defective note. The description, as a matter of fairness and honesty, should always include the specific defects.
Use this page as a guide when writing up the descriptions for your notes so that the note's rating is fair / accurate and will disclose the notes true quality. Make sure you go through the check list of defects so that you don't miss items that aren't immediately visible to the eye. We believe in using WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get to explain any issues associated with a note. That way, there aren't any surprises.
A perfectly preserved note, crisp, full color, no stains, never mishandled by the issuing authority, a bank teller, the general 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 tell-tale sign of a cleaned, reconditioned, or "doctored" note.) An uncirculated note will have it's original, natural printing or paper sheen. NOTE: Some notes are most often available with slight evidence of very light counting folds which do not "break" the paper. Typically NO FOLD notes. Technically up to a 64 CAN have a fold OUTSIDE the design.
A very attractive note with light handling. May have a maximum of three light folds or one strong crease. The paper is clean and bright with original sheen. Corners may show only the slightest evidence of rounding. There may also be the slightest sign of wear where a fold meets the edge. A classic 3 fold XF note has one in the center and two at the quarter folds (just like you would imagine folding a note in half and then again in half leaving "quarter" marks.)
A note which shows considerable circulation, with several folds, creases and wrinkling. The paper is not excessively dirty but may have some softness and stains. 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. Colors are clear but not very bright. A staple hole or two would not be considered unusual wear in a Fine note. Overall appearance is still on the desirable side.
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 corners and an overall unattractive appearance. No large pieces of the note may be missing. Graffiti or writing is commonly seen on notes in G condition.
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.
A virtually perfect note, with some minor handling. May show very slight evidence of bank counting folds at a corner or one light fold through the center. 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. Corners are sharp (not well rounded). An AU note CAN be a NO FOLD note (although atypical). Typically AU notes are Single Fold, but there is a two fold max.
An attractive note, but with more evidence of handling and wear. May have several folds both vertically and horizontally. The paper may have minimal dirt, or possible color smudging, paper itself is still relatively crisp and not floppy. There are no tears into the border area, although the edges do show slight wear. Corners also show wear but not full rounding.
A well used note, abused but still intact. Corners may have much wear and rounding, tiny nicks, tears may extend into the design, some discoloration may be present, staining may have occurred, and a small hole may sometimes be seen at 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 VG condition may still have an overall not unattractive appearance.
Typically extremely worn and may be missing pieces including some in meaningful sections of the design. Holes, stains, tears, splits, and other problems will likely present.
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.