Questions from a Coin Collector With An Interest in Paper Money
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7 posts in this topic

Do you have any advice when buying and selling paper money? I don't mean this as an overly broad topic, but could someone comment on the current market? Do the major grading services engage in "market grading" as opposed to technical grading as is sometimes done with coins? What certification services are the most respected? Are there pricing disparities for the various services? Are there any price guides that correlate to the new 70 point system (borrowed from numismatics) so that one could precisely determine the value between a UNC 66 and 67?

 

Could someone also explain the special significance for determining premiums for premium quality notes as well as for rarer serial numbers? Is there much of a market for radar notes, repeaters, etc., or are these ephemeral trends (much like, cf., the white vs. toned market alterations such as have existed with coins)?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Wow, you could respond with an encyclopedia! A lot of your questions have been answered before in other threads, so if you have some time, browse around the forum. Also, if you have any real specific questions we might be able to help out a little easier, like "I have a series 1993 $1 star note graded 67, how much of a premium should I expect to pay over a 65 or 66?" stuff like that.

 

So here goes my attempt at answering some of your questions:

 

Do you have any advice when buying and selling paper money?

- Buy low, sell high. I know it's a joke, but come on, that's like asking if we have any advice about women or religion or politics.

 

I don't mean this as an overly broad topic, but could someone comment on the current market?

- From what I hear, it's soft, and based on what I collect and have been buying, prices have come down, particularly on common notes both large size and small, an even some not so common notes.

 

Do the major grading services engage in "market grading" as opposed to technical grading as is sometimes done with coins? What certification services are the most respected?

- I believe there is some market grading, but I don't believe it's as prevalent as in coins. The major services are PMG and PCGS. CGA is also a major player, but I've never owned any of their graded notes, so I really can't comment.

 

Are there pricing disparities for the various services?

- Maybe, I suppose it depends on the note in question. Most around here prefer PMG to PCGS, but I don't think there is a huge premium like in coins.

 

Are there any price guides that correlate to the new 70 point system (borrowed from numismatics) so that one could precisely determine the value between a UNC 66 and 67?

- I don't know and I don't really care. I am a budget collector, mostly of large size notes, the highest grade I have is 64, outside of a series 2003 $1 FRN graded 67, but I think that was a free gift a few years ago for signing up for my PMG membership. As for price guides, I really don't use them at all, but tend to look at auction archives to at least get a sense of the current market, though that doesn't work when the market is changing fast like it has lateley.

 

Could someone also explain the special significance for determining premiums for premium quality notes as well as for rarer serial numbers?

- If you are talking about premium quality, like EPQ notes, there might be a modest premium, but I think every PMG note graded above 65 automatically gets the designation, so above a certain grade I don't think it matters. As for "Rarer" serial numbers, they are technically all unique, so no note is really any rarer than any other. There are some that command premiums though, like #1s or low serial numbers, or special patterns like repeaters, solids, radars, etc. I just bought an 1896 deuce, and the serial number is 29823, but I didn't even notice till it arrived. The premium in my opinion is only driven by demand, if you have a serial number you notice (like, look at this one it's all 3s!) then you can probably get a premium, but you need to find someone that appreciates it to get the premium.

 

Is there much of a market for radar notes, repeaters, etc., or are these ephemeral trends (much like, cf., the white vs. toned market alterations such as have existed with coins)?

- See my comments above on serial numbers. They've been popular a long time, so I would label it a fad.

 

Good luck, and hopefully someone else will chime in with an opinion!

 

 

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53 posts

Look at the ads by the major dealers in BankNote Reporter like Denly, Perakis etc. to get a handle on banknote pricing. Don C Kelly's Website is also excellent. To price currency you need to do your homework. Nationals are another area which requires even more specialized research. I use an excel spreadsheet to based on dealer pricelists to finetune my pricing on Nationals. Along with a Kelly Book and issue of BNR I have spent hours doing this. The Greensheet can assist at developing a matrix for valuing different grades but it is a wholesale publication and no more than a wishlist at that.

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Hello,

 

Ity's great to meet another 'newbie' like myself. I actually started collecting coins, so I can relate to some of the questions you are asking. I will say that my answers (or opinions) are probably not as 'good' as some more advanced collectors, but I will try to answer some of your questions.

 

Right now, I think the market is somewhat 'soft,' but this is NOT a bad thing. I attribute it to the economy and the fact that paper money collecting is something that collectors usually discover after collecting coins or having an interest in history, etc. (this is only my opinion). I believe the hobby will GROW in the future, as everyone I talk to is amazed by the hobby and some even ask "Wow, they actually grade and certify paper money?"

 

Honestly, in my opinion, now is a great time to buy; provided you study the market and research dealers, as some prices for the same item vary highly between dealers and auction sites. I do use price guides, but ONLY as a guide. Best bet is to use actual market data, but understand that any sales data can change on a dime (or dollar, sorry bad 'pun').

 

I happen to prefer PMG for grading my notes, but I already buy them graded, as I admit that I can't grade. My second choice would be PCGS, and I would not buy a graded note from another company, as I have heard too many negative things.

 

I am a fairly high grade collector, as the lowest graded note I own is a 63 EPQ. This is because high grade notes tend to increase (and sometimes decrease) in value. Be careful starting out! I went head first into this hobby and it became quite addictive. I have spent some money and probably should have waited on some purchases, but always remember one thing, "the time to buy an antique is when you see it!" I attribute this to paper money as well, as some notes I would never see again for awhile, so I am glad I own them!

 

Thanks for listening; I will now 'shut up,' as I am not an expert in this field, just a 'newbie.' I am also sure that some of the experts on this board don't want a 'newbie' like me taking up so much space talking about my collecting habits!

 

 

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216 posts

Regarding Mintcollectors comment:

 

 

"I happen to prefer PMG for grading my notes, but I already buy them graded, as I admit that I can't grade. My second choice would be PCGS, and I would not buy a graded note from another company, as I have heard too many negative things."

 

I concur 100% with this statement and it is extremely important for new collectors to bear in mind. Especially the last part of it. It is my strong opinion that new collectors should AVOID third party graded notes other than PMG and PCGS.

 

 

 

 

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16 posts

I have been collecting fractional currency for more than 12 years and most of my notes have increased by 2-3X in value. If you want to get started with these buy Rob Kravitz's book, it explains the history of these notes and a good description of their value and rarity.

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213 posts

Knowledge is the key; just as with coins--learn to grade!! Takes time and patience and an exposure to lots and lots of notes, just as with coins. Find a friend or dealer that you trust.

Always buy the note and NOT the holder!

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