New Collector Needing Advise
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6 posts in this topic

Well I have "almost" decided to start collecting old american money. I worked at a bank for six years and always bought any old money that I saw. I gave it all to my dad because I never had the interest. He's not a avid collector (with knowledge or advise on the issue) but rather just a guy with a couple hundred wheat pennys, several silver certificates, and a box of silver, rare, and odd money. Nothing graded or even in protective sleeves. Now that you know my background in money, I can tell you what has encouraged my new found interest. I recently found a $1000 and $500 and potentially the $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, & $1 all 1934 Cleveland (D) ungraded from a guy I work with. I've only layed eyes on the $1000 & $500 notes but he said he thought he had the complete set (he's old with nobody to leave them to and is trying to find someone to sell his collection to that might appreciate it). My questions are; are these notes a good investment (all for less than 3k) and planning on holding for 20 years? How much more would getting them graded add to the value (my grade on the two would be 35 but lets plan on only a 25)? How much more would a complete set be worth, compared to just the $1000 and $500 matching, or compared to a set not matching at all? and my last question is; Is old American money collecting a proffitable hobby? One that a man (or woman) can enjoy investing in without the remorse of dead expences and lost returns? By the way I am completely naive to any informational sources, terms, grading process, what to add to the collection after this purchase, how to verify authenticity, etc. Thanks!

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I would consider the condition at least a 35 on each note in the set, compared to what I've read and saw for sale on ebay. The corners are sharp, edges too, the color is great, with no tares, no discoloration, no fold marks, no holes, it is perfectly centered and the note is stiff (pop machine stiff). The guy seems to think the $1000 & $500 will grade around a fifty but I'm being cautious and assuming only half of that. So for arguments sake lets assume the complete set, (each piece) has already been graded at 25 each. I know (even being a novice at best) that these notes will grade higher than that.

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Generally, the $500 and $1000 would be worth more than face by a lot, meaning a good $500 might sell at retail for $800 and up while a $1000 might sell at retail for $1700 and up. So given that, you're at least at $2500 with those two bills, and add in the others at face you're at $2686 (though to be clear, the $1 would not be a Federal Reserve not and would not be from the Cleveland Fed). In general, the $5 through $100 are not very rare, and wouldn't command much of a premium unless they were stars or very high grade. To be sure, there are some rarer notes from the 1934 series issued by the Cleveland Fed, but you haven't provided enough information to tell if they are part of the lot. In any case, without more info, the price you quoted sounds a lot like full retail.

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I would suggest for starters you pick up the Standard Catalog of US Paper money by Krause and a subscription to BNR (Banknote Reporter) if your goal is to accurately price and catalog your collection.

 

I would suggest this infrastructure at the very least then you can go from there depending on areas of interest / activity.

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