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New Confusions On Canadian Banknote Grading

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 6 / Views: 375Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1691 Posts
 Posted 09/19/2020  02:05 am Show Profile   Check Petersun's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add Petersun to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Earlier last month, I made a post with questions about polymer bill grading. I have since then continued my exploration of grading practices on polymer banknotes. The further I explored, the more confusions I started having.

My main questions revolve around drawing the line between AU and UNC. I have so far consulted three sources: the Canadian Paper Money Forum, the PMG grading guide, and the BCS grading guide. I also consulted the Coinsandcanada website.

Take the following bill as an example.



I understand how difficult it is to grade based on an image. I will therefore do my best to describe what I see in words. On the right side of the note, there is a slightly raised area near the 10. Also, there is a slightly concave area (manifested in the image as being slightly darker) on the left side of the feather. I attribute these features to the ATM out of which the bill came.

Would these imperfections warrant a drop in grade from UNC to AU? Another way to frame the question would be: what distinguishes a counting mark acceptable for the lower UNC grades and a so-called ripple?
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Canada
8121 Posts
 Posted 09/19/2020  10:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DBM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Polymer notes are basically painted on a primed piece of clear plastic.
The first sign of downgrade will be tiny scratches in the clear window then micro scratches or wear in the paint layer.
"Dipping" is not considered cleaning...
-from PCGS website
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1084 Posts
 Posted 09/19/2020  1:41 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The further I explored, the more confusions I started having.


-welcome to the club.

I really wish it were more standardized (especially amongst all the TPG's) but the reality of the matter is much more complicated. Grading banknote is a subjective practice so every grader may give your $10 radar a different grade & grade # (some higher/some lower). It looks UNC to me but would probably be PMG UNC64 & BCS UNC60. That is the typical disparity I have found between the 2 services for UNC grades.

If your note has gone from a few bank employees to ATM machine and then in your hands then it should be (essentially) uncirculated (with possible minor detractions). If the flaws you describe are not actual folds in the note than it shouldn't get down graded to AU.

However, as 'DBM' points out, if there are scratches in the polymer substrate than it will lose it's "EPQ" or "Original" designation by either PMG or BCS. That's because a scratch is like a nick & considered an impairment. I had an UNC64 (plucked from a brick/not ATM) from BCS & after I called & asked he told me it had a scratch (thus no "Original").
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1691 Posts
 Posted 09/20/2020  10:50 pm  Show Profile   Check Petersun's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petersun to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In that case I have another question about scratches.
On bills that look uncirculated, I typically don't see scratches on the security strip under normal conditions.
However, when I shine a very bright light on the area, I sometimes see light lines that run parallel to the short side of the bill.
Does this result from machine handling, or is this a property of the material, sort of like grainy large cents (poor analogy, but you get the idea)?
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Canada
1084 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2020  7:52 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Does this result from machine handling, or is this a property of the material, sort of like grainy large cents (poor analogy, but you get the idea)?

Yes, yes & yes (I get the idea).
I was corresponding with a collector of CDN polymer. I was about to offer him a banknote prefix he needed but it had tiny scratches on the see-through, holographic window. I reported the condition to him. He only collects Frontiers (& later polymer). He informed me that he has a hard time acquiring notes without scratches. I suspect it is a property of the polymer they're using (likely soft/easy to impair). It's about all I know on the subject. I have seen crazy bidding for a few UNC68 to UNC70 "GEMS" from PMG. Perhaps the knowledge that these notes scratch so easily has been one of the factors behind the "condition rarity" trend.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1691 Posts
 Posted 09/21/2020  9:32 pm  Show Profile   Check Petersun's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Petersun to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the input! It is always nice to hear a second opinion when comprehensive sources are lacking in such a topic.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1084 Posts
 Posted 09/25/2020  7:26 pm  Show Profile   Check walk2dwater's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add walk2dwater to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No problem. I'm sure you could (or would) hear another 48 different POV's when it comes to TPG (if you had the luxury of being at a show/convention & could ask around). Still a "hot topic" for many banknote collectors.
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