PMG Certifies 10 Million Notes!

Posted on 1/23/2024

To celebrate this historic milestone, here are 10 PMG-graded notes that tell the story of paper money collecting.

Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) is proud to announce a major milestone: 10 million notes certified!

Founded in 2005, PMG is the world's largest third-party paper money grading service, reaching the 5 million milestone in early 2020 and now doubling that number in less than four years. PMG is the first third-party paper money grading service to achieve this level of service to the numismatic community.

PMG has graded so many important rarities from around the world and across the centuries that we thought we'd take a look at the history of paper money through the lens of PMG-certified notes.

China 1264-1341 2 Kuan

Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai established the Yuan Dynasty in China, with its winter capital in modern-day Beijing. The Chinese pioneered paper money, and the Yuan Dynasty notes are the oldest paper money collectibles certified by PMG. At the center of the front of this note is an illustration of two strings of Chinese cash coins, which each have a hole in the center. Yuan Dynasty notes are always popular when they are offered, and this particular note realized $24,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale in December 2023.

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Netherlands / Leyden 1574 5 Stuiver

The town of Leyden joined the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule and was besieged from May to October 1574. To keep the wheels of commerce turning, besieged cities sometimes struck their own coinage, using whatever metal was on hand. By using pulp from books for its siege coinage, Leyden is credited with creating the earliest surviving paper money of Europe. This particular example realized $2,160 in a Heritage Auctions sale in April 2022. Learn more about it here.

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Norway 1695 25 Rixdaler Croner

Official paper money in Europe began in the second half of the 17th century. An early example are the banknotes issued by ship owner Jorgen Thormohlen with the permission of Christian V, King of Denmark and Norway.

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Great Britain 1797 1 Pound

To raise the money to rebuild its Navy, England established the Bank of England in 1694. The bank flourished, and the United Kingdom solidified itself as a world power in the 18th century. In the late 1700s, the bank only had enough gold to redeem half the notes it had issued, and fear was rampant. The answer was the Bank Restriction Act 1797, which temporarily removed the requirement that Bank of England notes had to be converted to gold upon request. The banknote here realized about $60,000 as part of a Spink sale of the Lou Manzi Collection of English Banknotes in October 2019; learn more about it here.

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Venezuela 1841 5 Pesos

As the nations of the New World gained their independence in the 1800s, new national currencies sprang up. The 5 Peso note here is an example of early Venezuelan currency. Since it is believed to be unique, it is highly interesting to collectors today. This note realized $84,000 at a Stack's Bowers auction in January 2023; learn more here.

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US 1863 $20 Gold Certificate

Today, the US Dollar is the most widely used currency for international trade. The current system of US paper currency traces back to the Civil War, when the federal government desperately needed money for the war effort. The note shown here is a Gold Certificate, backed by the metal that has been prized since antiquity, but today the dollar is a fiat currency. This particular note was part of a Heritage Auctions sale in January 2024, where it realized $480,000; learn more here.

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Dominion of Canada 1911 $500

Banknote collecting as a hobby took off in the 20th century. As collectors seek to build complete sets or simply target the greatest rarities, vintage notes with high denominations are often among those with the highest prices at auction. This Canadian banknote realized $240,000 in a Stack's Bowers auction in September 2022; learn more here.

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China 1953 10 Yuan

The paper money collecting market is particularly strong in China. In fact, more than half of all the notes that PMG has certified are ones from China. One area that collectors focus on are the early notes produced by the People's Republic of China in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This 1953 10 Yuan is one of four with consecutive serial numbers that together realized $432,000 in a Stack's Bowers auction in October 2023; learn more here.

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US 1996 $20 Federal Reserve Note

Error notes are a specialized area of numismatics that appeals to many collectors. This $20 Federal Reserve Note (one of the workhorses of US currency) was found in circulation with a Del Monte fruit sticker attached. PMG carefully examined this note (which has the Second Print behind the sticker and the Third Print, including part of a serial number, on top of the sticker) to determine that it was a genuine error at the printing facility. Learn more about this note, which realized $396,000 in a Heritage sale in January 2021, here or explore error notes in general here.

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Singapore 2015 50 Dollars

Another area of paper money that fascinates collectors is fancy serial numbers. Low serial numbers are particularly attractive, such as this Singapore 2015 50 Dollar Commemorative with Serial Number 1, which realized about $400,000 in a Mavin auction in November 2018. (Learn more about it here.) Other types of fancy serial numbers include ones that are Binary, Ladder, Radar, Repeater, Rotator and Solid. You can watch short videos about each of these at PMG's YouTube channel.

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PMG looks forward to continuing to serve the paper money collecting community with our expert certificate services coupled with our industry-leading crystal-clear secure holders. Notes are backed by the PMG Guarantee, which helps create a safer and more vibrant marketplace for the collectors.

PMG is proud to offer many valuable free resources to the collecting community, including the latest news and research through its monthly newsletter and social media channels. To learn more about how to access this news, click here.

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