From the PMG Grading Room

"From the Grading Room" is a monthly feature in which we highlight some of the unusual, interesting and special notes submitted to PMG for certification.

South Korea 100 Won ND (1962), Pick 36a

This fine example of a 100 Won South Korean Banknote earned a 67 EPQ grade. It’s worthwhile to examine the centering of the note, as this is one of the major factors in determining the note's grade. PMG has graded 94 examples at this grade level and only seven higher, all 68 EPQ.

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While this series is undated, a series of Bank of Korea notes of different design, that did include a date, was issued concurrent with this note. The 100 Won notes from the 1962-dated series are Pick 35a. Replacement notes showing a cross beside the serial number also form part of this undated issue, designated with the Pick number 36a*. The series of dated notes does not include replacements.

Generally, the undated issue has a higher market value, although PMG has certified 873 examples of this note and only 140 examples of Pick 35a. Perhaps in this instance the slightly higher value of the undated notes made them more likely candidates for submission.

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Hong Kong 5 Dollars 1912-41 “Color Trial Specimen,” Pick 235cts

This color trial specimen is a trial design of Pick 235, with a different color scheme but the same design as the issued notes. Specimens of this type are not included in the Pick catalog and can represent a challenge from a cataloging perspective. PMG records such color trial specimens using their corresponding Pick number and the suffix “cts.” They do appear in the PMG Population Report, sorted beside corresponding regular issues.

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All notes issued by the Mercantile Bank of India in this series are rare, and higher denomination notes are great rarities and very valuable. Issued notes are inscribed with a date, while this specimen is not, thus its date is represented on the PMG label using a range from the first to the last series, 1912-1941. PMG has certified just one issued note from these series, a Pick 235d issued in 1941, and this is the also the first such color trial specimen from the series that we have graded.

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While it was previously mounted, it was properly removed from its mount and therefore does not result in a NET grade, although it is factored into the numerical grade assigned. In such cases, PMG includes the comment “Previously Mounted” on the certification label. In instances where removal from a mount damages a note, removing paper and creating thin spots or tears, a note will receive a NET grade.


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