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Which grading system do you use


cookey
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Hello,

 

Which grading system do you use and which one is the most commonly used?

 

I find the IBNS system a bit vague.

For a practical question - is it possible for UNC or aUNC note to have small stains on it that are not visible right away? IBNS system mentions stains, smudges and dirt only for the VF note. Does this mean that if the note is otherwise perfect that it will be graded VF - XF at best if it has a small, not very visible stain according to this standard?

Based on PMG paper money grading scale that is using 70-point numerical scale derived from the Sheldon numerical scale, UNC note can have these imperfections.

 

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I prefer the IBNS standard until it gets to the UNC category. Whereas there can be ranges for all other grades, many think that "it is eaither UNC or it is not". I'd be Okay with that BUT - most everyone else is not. It is a very scarce dealer/seller who grades an UNC to the "it is either UNC or it is not" level. Most will call notes UNC with a small corner bend, bumped corners, counting marks, etc. It is also accepted by many collectors as well. So I have also learned ot accept the fact that there is a range to be had with UNC notes as well.

 

As for the TPG grades, I have said it before and I'll say it again - There needs to be a "third Party" (IBNS?) standard that TPG's should be held to for their grading. Having different standards for each company, even if they are close, is not acceptable. In my past experience, I have had to "grade" things that I would inspect - Long ago, the field I worked in adopted grading/inspection standards to ensure that there was quality behind them, and that one acceptable item would pass as acceptable anywhere else in the world, without question. Inspectors were also certified to that standard. A smart company would be able to set this up, make an acceptable stnadard. Then, enforcement would be up to the public, if they all wanted to have 'certified grades to a set standard by certified inspectors, no matter the company. If it were me, I'd also get away from the 70 point scale. I understand its been around for a while, but why 70 instead of 100??? It bothers me, I tell ya! 70 is a "C" grade in my opinion - but that's just me.

 

My rant done, I guess I use a combination of generally accepted standards, defaulting to the IBNS standard in most cases, especially as I collect world notes, and not just US notes.

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Excellent topic!

 

My view (and I should preface by saying that I'm not really a note collector) is that UNC should have no faults.

 

My bank for one runs all notes through a counting machine and hands counts them before distribution, so they're always going to have a slight corner bend, which to me, renders them to be UNC- though the note from a technical (regular use, not grading use) definition would be "uncirculated."

 

What I look at is whether or not there are folds. So as such, I would consider a stained note, or a stapled note to be UNC, though of course both would be discounted considerably (except for a note which is usually issued in stapled packs).

 

But even for me, things can get messy when dealing with notes printed on wavy paper - since it can be hard to discern if there were any minor folds.

 

And when the item enters the slab - now it's virtually impossible to assess - without the opportunity to closely examine the lay of the paper...

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Thanks a lot for the replies, I learned a lot :).

 

Since I started buying online recently, I have noticed that many sellers mark the notes as UNC and write please look at the scan in the description without listing the imperfections. It is impossible to see the small bends, minor folds and stains in the design on the scan. I assume that note would not sell as well if they did, which is a shame...

 

Regarding this one:

What I look at is whether or not there are folds. So as such, I would consider a stained note, or a stapled note to be UNC, though of course both would be discounted considerably (except for a note which is usually issued in stapled packs).

 

Fully agree, however in general I dislike the stains much more than the folds.

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  • 4 months later...

This is a great question - I follow IBNS and am of the mind that UNC is UNC but agree with Dave that there's qualities to a note that can make an UNC note more or less desirable compared to other UNC notes. Centering, paper quality, natural waviness, etc.

 

What I never liked about IBNS standards were the times I've been burned buying from international sellers who label a note F with a tear and don't disclose it because by IBNS rules, a Fine note can have a tear. That drives me nuts.

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I have to admit I'm much more comfortable with the IBNS standards. I think the IBNS grades allow for more understanding in the way banknotes are handled in daily life, for the use that they see and the relatively short lifespans notes have as opposed to coins. The attempt to graft the Sheldon scale onto banknotes makes little sense. Coins wear in predictable patterns that simply do not exist for banknotes. Each notes lives a unique life and shows it it different ways. Tearing, soiling, staining, fading, creases, folds and graffiti all are unique to each note; no two will ever wear alike and so coin grading and note grading are two wholly different disciplines.

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If it were me, I'd also get away from the 70 point scale. I understand its been around for a while, but why 70 instead of 100??? It bothers me, I tell ya! 70 is a "C" grade in my opinion - but that's just .

I can answer that. Sheldon was a dealer who delt primarily in US large cents. He got $70 for his top end perfect cents, and lessor grades brought lower dollar amounts. (Needless to say, this was a good while back) he dreamed up this grading system so he could set his price by coin grade. That's all, it's just an arbitrary number a dealer set a long time ago, to price his coins with. Of course it's been refined to the point it's practically chiseled in stone now.

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Being new to note collecting I am surprised just how generous the ratings are.

 

A note can be described as being "good" when it has tears and heavy folding. "Good" is in fact next to lowest grade possible. I would call this "tatty"!

 

However as these do seem to be the standard, I must adjust my ideas to conform.

 

Of course when you buy from ebay and the notes are marked as XF you cannot expect anything better than tape marks, writing and heavy folding :shock:

 

Fortunately I was expecting this and only bid accordingly. I am learning

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