Currency Grading and Top Notes
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6 posts in this topic

I haven't seen a book or anything out there for grading currency. It seems the only way is by just getting examples from each TPG and examining them. Each one seems to grade a little different. If anyone knows of something like the coins Photograde, please let me know.

Also, as far as obtaining some notes for investment. I'm looking for some that I can sink some money into for long term. From reading the boards, a lot of people say to specialize but I find that kind of difficult, I find my self looking at all kinds of notes, most of them just have nice art.

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I haven't seen a book or anything out there for grading currency. It seems the only way is by just getting examples from each TPG and examining them. Each one seems to grade a little different. If anyone knows of something like the coins Photograde, please let me know.

Also, as far as obtaining some notes for investment. I'm looking for some that I can sink some money into for long term. From reading the boards, a lot of people say to specialize but I find that kind of difficult, I find my self looking at all kinds of notes, most of them just have nice art.

 

First, I am assuming you have a 'true passion' with paper money to start with, correct? There are far easier things to invest in than collectibles and you must truly enjoy what you buy or you will end up resenting it; especially if it does not go up in value all that much. That being said I do buy for 'investment,' but I also enjoy every item I own. I think it is only natural for a person who spends four or five figures on an item to think about its long term market potential. This is an issue that has been discussed to 'death' on most coin and comic book forums; where investing and speculating on items is common.

 

Second, I will not offer personal advice on what I think will 'go up in value.' I don't have a crystal ball; but I personally prefer notes; both large and small size BEFORE 1935. This does NOT mean I think these notes will always rise in value; please understand that I am NOT giving any investment advice. Everyone collects differently and for different reasons. I do like large size notes, but you have to understand that this hobby has already seen some massive price increases in the past. It will probably take many, many years for this to happen again, if at all; in my opinion. Most investments in collectibles are for a period of five to ten years or more!

 

In conclusion, I do like Nationals as well, but this is a very hard market to predict and you must do your research! I know of a lot of great collectors that spent years building a National collection only to loose a lot of money when they sold.

 

Here are some book and publication recommendations: For US paper money (what I ONLY buy); go with either any book by Scott Lindquist or the Official Red Book of US Paper Money (third edition is the latest).

 

A subscription to Bank Note Reporter is worth it as well. Check past eBay and Heritage auctions for price references on notes you want to buy.

 

For Nationals: You MUST own the book by Don Kelly. It even comes with a CD containing a census of how many known notes there are! This is very valuable insight.

 

I hope this helps and welcome to the PMG forums and boards. Also, other members well more experienced than me; may be able to give you some advice; but know that most collectors are biased in some ways based on what they collect (even myself).

 

The point is; BUY what you like! Most great collections that have sold for a lot of money have one thing in common; they were all built with general love and respect for the individual items that make up the collection! They never started out as 'investments.' Note this; as it is important! Good luck with your quest.

 

 

Edited by mintcollector
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i have been using the numismaster online pricing guide just to give me some indication of a "rough" value. I'm very new to collecting "paper" money. is it worth the cost of 6 bucks a month? i would appreciate you advice on that. thanks a million large bank notes!

Edited by martynflorida
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Hello,

 

I would check completed Heritage auctions, as well as completed eBay auctions. Also, check dealer sites.

 

I do not use what you are referring to, but I do use PMG pricing information which is available to paid members of this board. Bank Note Reporter is great as well...

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Proudtoown, I'm always happy to see people take an interest in collecting paper currency, I hope they get as much enjoyment out of it as I do.

 

I just question your statement "Also, as far as obtaining some notes for investment. I'm looking for some that I can sink some money into for long term. From reading the boards, a lot of people say to specialize but I find that kind of difficult, I find my self looking at all kinds of notes, most of them just have nice art."

 

Primarily the "obtaining some notes for investment" which is like saying obtaining some coins for investment. I believe it you check out some of the sales of large collections that brought hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars those were collections not a bunch of items someone purchased as an investment, held onto then sold for a nice profit.

 

I've only been collecting for four years and just once did I see a couple nice notes sell at an auction where the thought of buying for investment came to mind. Once in four years, so it's a rare occurance. This happened recently when late at night I sat in an auction room with less than twenty other bidders and the internet for the auction went down. I watched one note estimated to go for between $100,000 to $125,000 hammer at the opening bid of $60,000. The second note was estimated to go for between $125,000 to $150,000 and it hammered at $75,000.

 

To get those two notes at those prices may have been a good investment but as said, this was the first time seen in four years.

 

The people that seem to have had a good return after a long term are collectors, I've never even heard of an investors sale.

 

What I'm sugesting is that if you find paper currency interesting then use disposable income to build a collection you enjoy. Purchase high quality notes, not necessarily top pop notes but high quality notes that you can enjoy holding and looking at for a long period of time. After a number of years you will have a collection which you are proud to own and was a pleasure to build. Someday you may decide to sell the collection and at that time you may find the collection you enjoyed building happened to be or not be a good investment. There are few guarantees in investments, so do not view it as a financial investment, view it as an investment in enjoyment, a benefit of a higher standard of living.

 

Enjoy it, for at the very least this is what you will get out of it.

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