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Is this note under-graded?

Entry posted by The JPR Collection · - 896 views

I sent out my first submission to PMG in March and they just came back.  Of the 7 notes I had graded, 3 had been graded by lesser respected grading companies.  I have no issue with 6 of the grades I received.  One of the regraded notes, however, I feel was significantly under-graded.  I was curious as to your opinions, or that of anyone from PMG that may read this.

The grading process as described on the PMG website states that 2 industry professionals grade each note in a submission separately, without knowing what grades the other has assigned each note.  A third professional will be used in the case that the first two do not agree.  After encapsulation, the notes are then reviewed again by an industry professional to make sure the grade assigned is correct for the note, in addition to verifying that the label information is correct and that the holder is free of any issues.

I have included front and back images of the 1914 $10 that I feel is under-graded.  I have also included front and back images of an 1899 $2 that was in the same submission and received the same grade from PMG.   At the end I have added front and back photos of my 1914 $20 that is graded 30 by PMG to avoid any cross series misrepresentations.  Note the visible fold lines and rounded corners that are absent from the $10.

What do you think?

Edit: PMG's response was, "Based on our grading scale, a note that has graded a 30 would be a note that is lightly circulated and may have light soiling.  There will typically be seven to ten folds.  It can sometimes be difficult to see the folds once the note is inside our holder.  Also, if a note has been pressed at all, then the folds may be more difficult to spot as well."  Just by looking at these 3 notes, all graded VF 30 by the same grading company, it is my personal opinion that one of them is clearly not like the others.  And if it were the opinion of the grader's that this note had been pressed, why would they omit any notation to that effect?  That is because PMG's opinion instead is that I should pay shipping, insurance, and grading fees again for them to fix their own obvious mistake.

Why won't this company just look at the photos, admit a mistake was made, and offer to rectify the situation?  Why do they despise creating goodwill with their customers?  What do they expect my opinion to others about their services to be in light of this situation, especially when I can show any potential customer these notes and the egregious disparity?  I just don't understand what happened to customer service, nor will I tolerate this extortion attempt.

1914 10 o.jpg

1914 10 r.jpg

1899 2 o.jpg

1899 2 r.jpg


1914 $20 Federal Reserve Note Obverse.jpg

1914 $20 Federal Reserve Note Reverse.jpg

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I have to agree with you on this. I wouldn't say your $10 note is a 66 but based on these pics it does appear under graded. There's no way around the $8 handling fee but if the note is truly under graded will PMG waive the the regrading fee? It wouldn't hurt to ask.


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Compare the notes above, and just type "PMG 30" into ebay and look at the photos.  PMG has clearly decided--by how it has graded notes--that the 1899 and the 1914 $20 above represent a VF 30.  You can disagree with their assessment, but their body of work, which is easy to find, speaks for itself as to how they have graded and continue to grade notes.

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I think you're lucky the 258 and 990 graded 30. The 258 looks like a 25 and the 990 could have easily been a 25. I have several 30's that look like your 922. If a note has been pressed, many folds are not visible unless examined under high magnification or ultra-violet light. That's why I always rant against sellers that auction ungraded notes and describe them as "we believe this is near GEM" blah blah blah.... they often come back as 30's as it's impossible to see all folds fro photos, especially the sellers that lighten the notes to make them look fake white. PMG is a coin toss. Unless the embossing is absolutely clear, obtaining the EPQ is very difficult. I have even sent notes that come back with "Good Embossing" on the reverse label but not the EPQ moniker! Why? I never understood this. PMG could create tremendous value if each note that was graded came with a detailed explanation of the logic behind a subjective number. However, because of subjectivity plus the sheer volume of notes they grade, I think it's just not possible. Note they seem to always have job openings for associates. I think it is a rare expertise where there is no formal training and a lot of grades are inconsistent because of the high volume and lack of true experts looking at all the notes. Diamonds, for instance, have gemologists with formal training to quantify cut, clarity and color. Paper currency seems to lack that expertise. I hope that one day the companies evolve and give us better explanations.

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