Learn Grading: What is PMG's EPQ Designation?
Posted on 5/19/2020
PMG’s Learn Grading column illuminates the techniques, grades and terminology that are used by PMG’s graders. This methodology provides an accurate and succinct description of a note’s condition and appearance.
This month’s topic is the PMG Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) Designation. An EPQ note is, in the opinion of PMG graders, completely original. EPQ notes will not have been physically, chemically or materially processed to give the appearance of a higher grade.
|A note with PMG's Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) designation. Click images to enlarge.|
PMG graders examine the embossing, inks and overall integrity of each note to make the determination whether it will qualify for EPQ. Notes exhibiting normal wear-and-tear for their grade are eligible.
All notes graded Very Fine 20 and higher are automatically evaluated for the EPQ designation. Notes must qualify for the EPQ designation to grade Gem Uncirculated 65 and higher.
As an example of the premium that an EPQ can carry, Heritage Auctions' April 24, 2020 sale featured two 1928 $100 Gold Certificates (Friedberg# 2405) that both had the same numeric grade. The one graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 63 realized $6,600, while the one graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 63 EPQ realized $7,200.
Another example from the same sale: Three examples of the 1896 $2 Silver Certificate (attributed as Friedberg# 247) had the same numeric grade. The two graded PMG Choice Very Fine 35 realized $1,740 and $1,800, while the one graded PMG Choice Very Fine 35 EPQ realized $1,980.
|The PMG Population Report shows the number of notes certified with and without the EPQ designation for each numeric grade. Click image to enlarge.|
The PMG Population Report shows the number of notes certified with and without the EPQ designation for each numeric grade.
The PMG certification label recognizes these notes with an EPQ at the far right of the front of the label and with the words Exceptional Paper Quality spelled out on the back.
To learn more about the PMG Grading Scale, click here.
Previous Learn Grading columns:
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