Frequently Asked Questions

PMG Grading

What notes will not be graded by PMG?

PMG will not grade notes that are counterfeit, are of questionable authenticity or have been altered. Most notes that are issued for reasons other than socioeconomic exchange are not eligible for PMG certification and PMG will not grade checks, stocks or satire and advertisement scrip. In addition, PMG maintains a list of specific note types that are not eligible for PMG certification. Learn more >

What does it mean if my note was returned with a label that says "Questionable Authenticity"?

If PMG graders believe that a note is likely not genuine but its research is inconclusive, the note will be labeled "Questionable Authenticity" and not encapsulated. In most instances, the full grading fee will be refunded. However, notes without serial numbers, unique serial numbers or identifiable serial numbers, as well as notes with a block number only, will be assessed a $5.00 processing fee. Examples of these notes include, but are not limited to, select Specimens, Proofs, Essays, Fractional Currency, US Remainders and regular issue notes with block numbers only.

For more information, click here.

What is Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ)?

An Exceptional Paper Quality (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. Notes exhibiting normal wear-and-tear for their grade are eligible. All notes graded Very Fine 25 and higher will be evaluated for the EPQ designation. Notes must qualify for the EPQ designation to grade Gem Uncirculated 65 and higher.

What is the PMG Star () Designation?

PMG assigns its trademarked Star () Designation to notes that have exceptional eye appeal for their assigned numeric grade. For a note to be designated with a Star () by PMG, it must exhibit exceptionally strong plate and/or overprint embossing, vibrant ink color, and pristine paper quality exceeding the well-established standards used to determine the Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) Designation.

All US and world notes are automatically evaluated for the distinction of the PMG () Star Designation. Notes that do not qualify for the EPQ Designation will be disqualified from receiving the Star Designation.

It is important to note that the () is assigned irrespective of the notes’s numeric grade. For example, a PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 may be at the low, middle or high end of the PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 grade.

Notes graded PMG Gem Uncirculated 70 must also qualify for the PMG Star () and EPQ Designations.

What is a “Net” grade?

A “Net” graded note is one that exhibits mishandling or problems that are more significant than one would expect for the assigned numeric grade. Notes with moderate-to-extensive circulation are expected to exhibit some problems and PMG will not assign a “Net” grade unless these issues are severe. If a note is “Net” graded, the problem will be listed. Common problems include a tear, PVC damage, a missing corner, an amateur repair and extensive staining, ink or writing. The grade guarantee does not apply to Notes given a “Net” grade by PMG. Notes with “Net” grades are guaranteed to be genuine only.

If a note is removed from a PMG holder can I be assured that it will receive the same grade if resubmitted to PMG?

No. Once a note is removed from a PMG holder the PMG Guarantee no longer applies. This is because PMG cannot account for where that note has been, what if anything has been done to it, and for the overall subjective nature of note grading itself.

What is a Pedigree?

A pedigree describes the current and/or past ownership of a note. It notates the collector or collectors who have previously owned a particular note. For example, a note from the collection of Drs. Edward and Joanne Dauer may be pedigreed “Drs. Edward and Joanne Dauer” or “Dauer” on the PMG certification label. PMG will pedigree notes to significant collectors or collections if sufficient documentation is provided. Pedigrees can also be used to describe hoards. A submitter may request that their own name or the name of a collection be listed as the pedigree on the PMG certification label, subject to PMG’s approval.

What if my PMG-certified note has an outdated Pick catalog number?

PMG attributes most world paper money according to "Pick" catalog numbers described in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. These catalogs are continually updated by Krause Publications and, on occasion, some catalog numbers are changed. As a result, some PMG-certified notes are encapsulated with a label that has an outdated Pick catalog number.

Changes to the Pick catalog numbers are completely outside of PMG's control and PMG therefore cannot be responsible for notes that are no longer correctly attributed on the PMG label due to a later Pick numbering change. When attributing notes, PMG will use the most current Pick catalog numbers in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. For PMG-certified notes that have a now-outdated Pick catalog number, PMG will discount its ReHolder rate to $5 to update the attribution. Similarly, PMG will offer this discounted ReHolder rate of $5 to update the label for notes that were previously encapsulated with a Pick Unlisted attribution and have since been assigned a specific Pick catalog number.

What do I do if I think my PMG-certified note is overgraded?

PMG offers a free Appearance Review service in the event that someone believes that a PMG-certified note is overgraded. Notes that are reviewed and downgraded by PMG are covered by the comprehensive PMG Guarantee of grade and authenticity. To read the full PMG Guarantee, click here.

What do I do if I think my PMG-certified note is undergraded?

If you believe your PMG-certified note is undergraded, you may submit it to PMG under the “ReGrade” service tier. An applicable grading tier must also be selected.

Why do PMG graders not wear gloves?

Gloves make it more difficult to examine a note and increase the likelihood of it being torn or mishandled. It is widely accepted within numismatics that a note should be held with clean, dry hands and without gloves.

Similarly, librarians who handle rare books are generally discouraged from wearing gloves due to the increased likelihood of tearing a page or otherwise damaging a book. The Library of Congress, for example, states that “contrary to widespread belief, gloves are not necessarily recommended to handle rare or valuable books…it is generally preferable to handle your books with clean hands, washed with soap and thoroughly dried, rather than with gloves.” Extensive research on this subject is available online.

Submitting to PMG

Where is PMG located?

PMG is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is located within a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility. PMG also has submission offices in Munich, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; Hong Kong; Shanghai, China; Guangzhou, China; Seoul, Korea; and Singapore.

How do I contact PMG?

PMG may be contacted by mail, telephone or email.

United States
PMG
P.O. Box 4755
Sarasota, FL 34230
United States
1-877-PMG-5570 toll free
+1 941 309 1001
+1 941 309 1002 fax
Service@PMGnotes.com

Hong Kong
NGC Hong Kong Ltd.
25 Canton Road, Suite 1206, 12/F
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
+852 2115 3639
+852 2115 3783 fax
Asia@PMGNotes.com

China
NGC Shanghai Business Information Consulting Co., Ltd.
Unit 1101-41, Shanghai Central Plaza
381 Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai 200020
+86 400 635 8225 toll free
+86 21 6091 8050
+86 21 6091 8051 fax
Asia@PMGnotes.com

Germany
PMG
Maximiliansplatz 12a
D-80333 Münich, Germany
+49 89 255 47 545
Europe@PMGnotes.com

Switzerland
PMG
Operation Center 1
CH-8058 Zurich, Switzerland
+41 43 816 28 16
Europe@PMGnotes.com

How do I submit to PMG?

PMG Collector members may submit their notes directly to PMG. Join today!

As the official grading service of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), PMG allows ANA members to sign up for a free PMG submission account. For more information, click here.

Many PMG Authorized Dealers also accept submissions from the public. For a list of PMG Authorized Dealers, visit the PMG Dealer Locator.

How do I access the submission forms?

To access submission forms, simply login, click on the profile symbol (head icon) in the upper right corner of the website and click on "My Submissions." Select the appropriate form for your location and collectible type.

What is the cost of PMG grading?

PMG’s grading fees are generally based on a note’s fair market value and the submitter’s desired turnaround time. For a comprehensive list of all PMG grading tiers, service tiers, fees and requirements, click here.

Why do I need to list my note's value on the submission form? How do I know its value?

PMG uses the submitter's declared value to insure the note while it is in its care. The note's value also determines the PMG grading tier. Since PMG guarantees the authenticity and grade of notes that it certifies, it charges a higher fee for more valuable notes. For more information, read the Declared Value Policy.

PMG does not value or appraise notes but it does provide a price guide on its website to help collectors find their note's value.
PMG World Paper Money Price Guide

Can I send multiple submissions to PMG in the same box?

Yes, you may send multiple submissions to PMG in the same box. You may not, however, send submissions to PMG and another independent affiliate (e.g. PMG or NCS) in the same box.

What should I do if I have a Walkthrough or Express submission?

If you have a Walkthrough or Express submission we recommend writing "WK" or "EX," respectively, in bold letters on the outside of the box that you send to PMG. This will help to ensure that these packages are opened first.

Can I drop my notes off at your office?

PMG accepts submissions from collector members through the mail or at shows only. We cannot accept submissions from collectors at our office. PMG Authorized Dealers may drop off their notes at our office if they make an appointment. To schedule an appointment, contact PMG Customer Service at Service@PMGnotes.com or (+1) 877 PMG 5570 (764 5570).

Do you buy, sell or appraise notes?

No. PMG does not buy, sell or appraise notes in order to maintain its independence. PMG is focused on providing expert and impartial assessments of authenticity and grade.

How do I safely package my notes for shipment to PMG?

To help ensure that your submissions arrive safely at PMG we recommend that you follow these tips:

  • Do not tape or staple sleeves.
  • Do not bundle and tape notes together.
  • Do not tape notes to cardboard.
  • Make sure notes are secured in either a box or envelope, so that there is no room for them to move around potentially getting damaged.
  • Do not tape submissions to the inside of the box or envelope.
  • Please feel free to use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect notes in their mailing container.
  • Be sure to label sleeves with the submission/invoice number and line item.
In addition to knowing your notes will arrive in the same condition as when they left your hands, if you follow these recommendations you can be sure that your notes will be graded and returned without any unexpected delays or fees.

What measures are in place at PMG to ensure the safety of my notes?

PMG headquarters is a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility with two large vaults, a staff of armed guards and more than 150 security cameras. Submissions to PMG are opened under security cameras and each note is immediately assigned a unique identification number that is used to track it throughout every stage of PMG’s grading process. All notes are fully insured while in PMG’s possession and are handled only by trained staff.

What is the PMG grading process?

When a submission is received by PMG it is opened by trained staff under security cameras. Each note is entered into PMG’s proprietary system and assigned a unique identification numbered with a barcode that is used to track the note throughout the PMG grading process. At this stage, the notes are separated from the submission paperwork so that the PMG graders never know the submitter’s identity, which ensures impartiality.

Notes are then transferred to the PMG grading room, where multiple professional graders carefully examine each note. After grading, notes are encapsulated in PMG’s archival-quality holder designed for long-term preservation and protection.

After encapsulation, notes are returned to the PMG grading room for a final inspection.

Finally, the notes are matched up to the original submission form and brought to PMG’s shipping department. Every note is individually counted and checked against the submission paperwork to make certain that no mistakes occurred. Notes are then securely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box and are now ready to be sent back to the submitter.

Can I check the status of my submission online?

Yes! PMG Collector member and PMG Authorized Dealers may login at PMGnotes.com to track the status of their submission. Submitters may also contact PMG Customer Service at Service@PMGnotes.com or call +1 941-309-1001.

Shipping

Can I pick up my notes at your office?

PMG returns submissions to collector members through the mail only. We cannot accept pickups from collectors at our office. PMG Authorized Dealers may pick up their notes at our office if they make an appointment. To schedule an appointment, contact PMG Customer Service at service@PMGnotes.com or 877-PMG-5570 (764-5570).

What service will PMG use to ship my notes back to me?

The default shipping method used by PMG is USPS Registered Mail.

Shipments within the United States are insured according to the declared value provided by the submitter on the PMG Submission Form(s). See the Domestic USPS Registered Mail Shipping / Insurance Fee Matrix >

Insurance is not available on international shipments. (See “Does PMG insure return shipments?” below for more details.)

For international shipments weighing more than four pounds, or for destinations not served by USPS Registered Mail, PMG will use either USPS Priority Mail or USPS Express Mail. All international packages are shipped by signature required services.

If you have a USPS Express Mail account, an account with carriers other than USPS (e.g,. FedEx or DHL), or high-value items that you would like returned by Malca-Amit or Brink’s, contact PMG Customer Service at service@PMGnotes.com or 877-PMG-5570 (764-5570) before submitting in order to make alternate return shipping arrangements. We must have this information on file prior to receiving your submission.

Can my notes be shipped by FedEx, UPS or another carrier?

If you have your own account with FedEx, UPS or another carrier other than USPS, please contact PMG Customer Service at service@PMGnotes.com or 877-PMG-5570 (764-5570) before submitting so that we can place this information on file. We must have this information on file prior to receiving your submission.

If you do not have an account with any carriers, or if this information is not on file with PMG, your notes will be returned by USPS mail.

Does PMG insure return shipments?

Shipments to US addresses are shipped by PMG via USPS Registered Mail by default and insured according to the declared value provided by the submitter on the PMG Submission Form(s). See the Domestic USPS Registered Mail Shipping / Insurance Fee Matrix >

Shipments to non-US address are not insured. We encourage international submitters to secure private insurance coverage, such as that provided by Hugh Wood, ShipandInsure.com, Brink’s or Malca-Amit.

If you have private insurance, or if you would like to ship with a carrier other than USPS, please contact PMG Customer Service at service@PMGnotes.com or 877-PMG-5570 (764-5570) before submitting so that we can place this information on file. We must have this information on file prior to receiving your submission.

Note: If you submit to PMG’s Official Submission Centers in Munich or Hong Kong, your submission will be fully insured in transit from the Official Submission Center to PMG headquarters and back to the Official Submission Center. PMG will also handle all customs clearance for such submissions. Grading fees for PMG’s Official Submission Centers in Munich and Hong Kong include round-trip shipping, insurance and customs clearance fees.

How much does return shipping cost?

Domestic USPS Registered Mail shipping fees are calculated according to the fee schedule here. Please note that additional charges may apply for extended or remote service areas, heavier packages, added items, return mint packaging, etc.

Shipping costs for international shipments vary based on the destination, weight and, sometimes, value of the package. If your submission will be returned to a non-US address, PMG will charge the domestic USPS Registered Mail rate at the time that your submission is received. If this amount does not cover the total cost of return shipping, you will be charged the additional cost at the time that your submission is shipped. You can estimate costs by visiting the USPS website.

Note: If you submit to PMG’s Official Submission Centers in Munich or Hong Kong, your submission will be fully insured in transit from the Official Submission Center to PMG headquarters and back to the Official Submission Center. PMG will also handle all customs clearance for such submissions. Grading fees for PMG’s Official Submission Centers in Munich and Hong Kong include round-trip shipping, insurance and customs clearance fees.

How does PMG handle customs for international return shipments?

Customs declaration forms for return shipments to international addresses must be completed by the submitter. Customs documents can be provided by PMG upon request. Any customs fees or taxes are the responsibility of the submitter.

Note: If you submit to PMG’s Official Submission Centers in Munich or Hong Kong, your submission will be fully insured in transit from the Official Submission Center to PMG headquarters and back to the Official Submission Center. PMG will also handle all customs clearance for such submissions. Grading fees for PMG’s Official Submission Centers in Munich and Hong Kong include round-trip shipping, insurance and customs clearance fees.

How long will my package take to be delivered?

The following times are estimates based on PMG’s experiences with these carriers and services. For shipments to US address:
USPS Registered Mail: 5–7 business days
USPS Express Mail: overnight
FedEx: overnight, 2 business days or 3 business days (based on customer’s selection)
UPS: overnight, 2 business days or 3 business days (based on customer’s selection)

For shipments to international addresses (note: times do not include the customs clearance process, which may vary by country):
USPS Registered Mail: 7–14 business days
USPS Express Mail: 5–7 business days
FedEx: 3–5 business days
UPS: 3–7 business days

Can I track a return shipment from PMG?

Yes. Submitters will receive an email within a few hours of their submission being shipped by PMG. This email will include shipping details and the carrier’s tracking number. The tracking number can be entered on the carrier’s website for up-to-date tracking information.

PMG Collector Membership

What are the benefits of PMG Collectors Society membership and how do I join?

PMG Collector Society members receive direct submission privileges to PMG and other Certified Collectibles Group member companies. Certain membership levels also offer grading credits and discounts.

Click here to see all of the PMG Collector Society member benefits and join.

Can I submit to other Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) companies?

Yes. Your PMG Collector membership entitles you to submit to Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) and Classic Collectible Services (CCS).

Does the grading credit I receive with my Premium PMG Collectors Society membership expire?

Yes. This credit expires one year from the day it was issued.

How do I use my member credit?

If you joined as an PMG Premium or Elite member, your $150 grading credit will be posted to your account instantly. It will then be automatically applied to your submissions until the credit is exhausted.

If you have a member credit you must still provide a valid payment method to cover shipping and handling fees.

Can I transfer my membership credit to a friend to use?

No. The credit is only valid for the member to whom it was issued.

Is my membership refundable?

Because of the benefits received with your membership, a pro-rated refund is not available. However, if you have signed up for auto-renewal of your membership, and decide within 30 days of auto-renewal that you would like to cancel your membership, you may receive a refund of your membership dues by contacting PMG Customer Service at Service@PMGnotes.com or +1 941-309-1001. You may not receive a refund if you have already used a grading credit.