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Improving banknotes ("pressing" part 2)


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OK. Here's a question....on the coin collecting side, we often discuss cleaning, dipping, artificial toning, etc. While we agree that these are all bad for the coin, we also use some of those or alternate techniques (ie. acetone) under certain circumstances. I've never thought of this with banknotes, but I recently found a bunch of notes that I folded into origami swans years ago. Unfortunately, I also realized that I misplaced the nice duplicate ones in my collection. So, are there good ways to help a note straighten itself out with minimal damage vs. bad ways (like wetting it and pulling out the iron)? If anyone has good ideas, I'd like to try them out. I was thinking about steam to relax the crisp folds and then sticking it in a book for a month, but I'm sure someone here is a lot more clever than I am.

BTW, before anyone says it...I'm not talking about improving a note and then trying to sell it for a higher grade. I'm also not talking about my nice stuff. We're talking about some cheap face-value notes (~.25-.50) that are all crumpled up and I don't feel like buying again. Thanks.

Dave

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Hey captaincoffee I when ever I find a note that has been folded and I want to keep in my collection I generally unfold the note carefully so there no tears and place it in a plastic sleeve and then put them in a thick book and pile some other books on top. In a day or 2 depending on the folds I have a nicely pressed note.

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  • 1 month later...
OK.  Here's a question....on the coin collecting side, we often discuss cleaning, dipping, artificial toning, etc.  While we agree that these are all bad for the coin, we also use some of those or alternate techniques (ie. acetone) under certain circumstances.  I've never thought of this with banknotes, but I recently found a bunch of notes that I folded into origami swans years ago.  Unfortunately, I also realized that I misplaced the nice duplicate ones in my collection.  So, are there good ways to help a note straighten itself out with minimal damage vs. bad ways (like wetting it and pulling out the iron)?  If anyone has good ideas, I'd like to try them out.  I was thinking about steam to relax the crisp folds and then sticking it in a book for a month, but I'm sure someone here is a lot more clever than I am.

BTW, before anyone says it...I'm not talking about improving a note and then trying to sell it for a higher grade.  I'm also not talking about my nice stuff.  We're talking about some cheap face-value notes (~.25-.50) that are all crumpled up and I don't feel like buying again.  Thanks.

Dave

 

Whether you are keeping it for yourself as a collection or for resales later, just keep them in their original condition. The water-pressed method notes are easily detectable by numismatist. In most cases, notes which are water-pressed loses it value by many times. It is also possible that the demand for such pressed notes are low unless it is a relatively rare note.

 

There are also washed notes to improve the appearance of the note. This is also not advisable.

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I know what you are saying, but I disagree for these notes. If I didn't do anything, I would have had to spend them at the market or just keep them folded up as swans (which I am doing for several). The notes were crisp, consecutive serial number bills that were origami for 10 years. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words:

20baht.JPG

The second shot is after being unfolded and pressed in a book for several days. The final one is after dampening the bill between a moist towel to loosen the folds a bit and then pressing it in the same book overnight.

I don't think that I've done anything to lower the value of this note. Value prior=20 baht. Value now=20 baht (maybe slightly more since they haven't been printed for a while). The only difference is that instead of spending it at the market, I'll now stick it in my banknote collection (and then spend it later when I get a better one). Some of the other ones I did came out even better.

Dave

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I think there is no correct answer here. I have a few notes that have been subjected to ironing or pressing or what-have you. These notes have discernable folds, but maintain a crispness to them. I have one that, though it has much filth from use and many 'pressed' folds, is crisp. I have often wondered if it has also been starched, it is so crisp. But, as they are low-value notes (Hungarian Pengo), it doesn't present more than a curiosity to me. A note that is worth more, in my opinion, should have less done to improve it.

 

As for me, I would not leave a desired note in an origami configuration, nor would I have it all crumpled up. Placing it between the pages of a book doesn't have any obvious negative attributes to the condition of a note that I have been aware of, and if the note hasn't been washed, or ironed or otherwise subjected to harsh conditions that would degrade the condition, I say all's fair.

 

As for reselling such a note, the graded condition should not be elevated beyond the grade before placing it in between the pages of a book as there are still those minor detectable lines that reveal all. The overall attractiveness of the note though would be better than the folded or wadded up appearance - like the $1 in my pocket.

 

You must simply be able to personnaly accept that, if you want to resell the note, the buyer will look ascance at it and perhaps decide to get a better note. I have taken this approach to my collecting, and simply get the best I can find and afford. I have stopped asking friends and family to bring home souveniers from other places as they invariably, though they know I'm a stickler, bring me stuff I can only place in my give-away stash (halloween is fun to give out such things. The kids get all excited to see a 50 or 100 or hogher denomination banknote go in - it's both a trick and a treat!) Even my wife, upon receiving a nice Canadian 10 in change when we were there, immediately crumpled it in her hand and then turned to me and asked if I wanted it! - no. I went and got one from the border exchange instead.

 

I still give her a bad time about that, though she brought home a nice new colorized US $10 last night. This new ten has a few wrinkles in it, but no creases. I find that wrinkled notes even out over time in the binder I keep them in.

 

Man, I can go on, can't I? Better get to work!

 

- Dave

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