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Grade 60

BadWithMoneyBadWithMoney Posts: 204 ✭✭✭
edited August 10, 2021 9:12PM in U.S. & World Currency Forum

So what's the deal with grade 60? In the PMG population report for silver certificates there isn't a single grade 60 EPQ and only a handful of plain grade 60s.

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    Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You might as well include grade 61 also. There’s only one, out of over 74K graded that has been graded 61EPQ. My theory is, most “uncirculated” notes as bad as 60 and 61 typically get relegated to an AU grade. The other end of the spectrum is just as rare. There’s only 3 perfect (70EPQ) $1 SCs graded.

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That doesn't seem right. I can understand few making the mark of perfection, but 60 and 61 are grades between 58 and 62 or 63, where many notes are graded. So why no 60s or 61s?

    What would qualify a note for this grade? I can think of two factors, centering and fading. Otherwise uncirculated notes showing below average traits in these categories could result in these grades. Most other defects or problems would be noted on the holder but what other qualities might cause a note to receive this grade rather than a comment?

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    @BadWithMoney said:
    Maybe it is just that, for uncirculated notes, someone took care to keep them in pristine condition, and when they didn't they got banged around causing big drops in condition.

    So Unc60's are UNC62's that were banged around?
    I'm guessing as much.
    UNC60 seems to be Steven Bell's thing from BCS (Canada) as I've got a boat load of em:



    I attended a workshop he conducted & he basically felt like most banknotes were over-graded since he found many had flaws that weren't being reported.

    The only upside about having a barge full of 60's from BCS is you at least know that they're conservatively graded.

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting that BCS uses the 60 grade frequently. Looking at this 60, yes, I can see how conservative BCS is and expect that many of those 60s would grade 62-64 with the two major US grading services.

    The "flaws" that I see on this 60 are a lower left rounded corner and minor soiling, and both look to be minor. Perhaps there are other problems that can't be seen.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    @sellitstore said:
    Interesting that BCS uses the 60 grade frequently. Looking at this 60, yes, I can see how conservative BCS is and expect that many of those 60s would grade 62-64 with the two major US grading services.

    The "flaws" that I see on this 60 are a lower left rounded corner and minor soiling, and both look to be minor. Perhaps there are other problems that can't be seen.

    -It was sold to me as UNC64 and it looks like 62-63 to me. I have several like this (which look more 62-64).

    The majority were slabbed as 60, a lot of 62's & 63's, fewer 64's & a handful of 65's, about 4 or 5 "66" after submitting about 200. Several notes I thought (& were described as UNC) came back as AU. Many "Gems" (66's IMO) I hand picked out of unmolested bricks myself which came back as 64's: the way I see it, he's just very conservative & most of us here know that these top graded (64-66) are at least 2 points higher on a US TPG scale (The 66's look 68 on a US scale). I've never seen a BCS UNC67 & I think its tougher to get "Original" than a "EPQ/PPQ" but I may be wrong. I had an unmolested 2018 polymer $10 (handpicked from a brick) that failed to get "Original" & after I called to enquire he said that he spotted a minor knick in the polymer. I cannot see half the things he spots & he reports major deductions (like glue, pen, edge tears, etc).
    I've also got a number of US TPG notes that are graded "UNC62/63" that would go AU55 or 58 under BCS scrutiny. So, the way I look at it, he's a collector's grader (great for the buyer) but not in favour of the seller's end (a detriment to getting a strong price). I know this frustrates a lot of CDN sellers (who may even turn to PMG). But I think when it comes to the rare stuff collectors are getting to know this & bid accordingly (a BCS grade is absolutely conservative & you can bank on it whereas the others are less certain). I've passed on countless CDN items up for auction as I can now see some of the flaws I didn't see only a few years ago. Examining notes with such hyper-critical skills is only good for the collector. I also have noticed that he can be generous on the lower-end circulated grades at times too.

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My understanding that BCS is very conservative with their coin grading, too. Seems that they are very conservative by US standards across the board on everything. This is only good for those who are very confident in their grading skills and don't need the BCS opinion. Then one could cherrypick the most undergraded notes.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    The variation (inconsistency) in grading is a pretty contentious topic on CPMF. I felt really jaded initially but then I just figured that I would "suck it up" & it would all end up good "at the end of the day." I'm hoping most collectors will appreciate BCS's conservative standards but perhaps I'm being overly optimistic?

    Also, I have seen some outrageously over graded notes from a few TPG's which shall remain nameless (but I've grown to be very vigilant & wary). From a collectors' perspective I'd rather have conservative than liberal. Let's face it, while the TPG certifiers strive to be objective (& hopefully consistent) it's bound to be subjective & prone to human error (though some of the labelling mistakes are really annoying).

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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭



    I've got so many with super sharp corners, razor sharp edges, perfectly centred design & several planchettes with UNC60 but at least "Original." About the only thing I would agree on is the "original" qualification but I feel like so many of these (& 62's) are just too low. I've looked over many of them that were sold to me as Choice (62-64) but they're all designated as 60 by BCS. Every 65 & 66 I've gotten looks more like a 67 or 68 (to me) but I may be wishful thinking. So I can only hope that should I sell - others can see that he's been super conservative & tough in his grading.

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    Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I feel your pain @Serial_no_8 , but in the grand scheme of things, I like your note, you like your note and chances are many others also like your note. Don’t let the number on the holder diminish your appreciation and opinion of the note. Believe it or not, I know a collector that cuts all the graded notes out of their holders when he gets them. He’s always saying, “Buy the note, not the holder.”

    And, please correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the grading and shipping fees on the above note surpass the value of the note ? Isn’t this a fairly common Canadian replacement note ?

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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    "...Looks like 8 threads going in the last 2 years, I thought this place was a little slow!.."

    • Yes "BWM," it's quite slow over there. Ever since the site shut down in 2018 & was revived a couple months later, it's never been the same. At first the new admin did a lot to keep the site current but they also have seemed to be absent as of late. Many collectors have "dropped out" after the introduction of polymer & the exodus to SM has also taken its toll.

    "Don’t let the number on the holder diminish your appreciation and opinion of the note. Believe it or not, I know a collector that cuts all the graded notes out of their holders when he gets them. He’s always saying, “Buy the note, not the holder.”
    -Yes, that's how I look at it (I am happy with both notes). I just thought I'd post them due to the OP topic (on UNC60). I always find myself preaching the same mantra, "buy the note, not the holder".

    "And, please correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the grading and shipping fees on the above note surpass the value of the note ? Isn’t this a fairly common Canadian replacement note ?"

    • You are correct again Steve (BCS grading fees are super low). The first (1954) replacement is pretty scarce (80,000) while the 2nd "Birds" $2 is more commonly seen (160,000)
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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When the $50 notes were introduced in 2012, there was a problem with them melting in hot cars during the summer. I trust that they worked that problem out.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    Here's Steven Bell's idea of UNC 60 (from his site):
    ""UNC" - 60
    This is the lowest grade a note can go before it is deemed circulated. It exhibits several allowable imperfections and next to no desirable qualities. The note still shows no signs of true circulation."

    I'm not sure what he means by "no desirable qualities" but I suppose he's referring to the ideal qualities (less embossing, less vibrant colours & some counting flicks, etc) which must not be observed in "Choice 62-64" to Gem (66-68). There is no "61" on his scale & his comments that an AU ".. note is still crisp and clean with still bright colours" implies that UNC60 must have bright colours too. I've never seen toning, stains but fading may be likely in his idea of "UNC60." He's very strict with his idea of Original (or EPQ/PPQ) so toning/stains would not be allowed (paper has changed).

    "What is SM?"
    SM = Social Media such as Reddit, Instagram also IG, Facebook FB, etc. I'm convinced that there is less activity on all forums due to many collectors switching (focussing their time) on SM. Many new SM collectors are not interested in: replacements, short prefixes (Blocks), mules, or even grading (it seems).
    "Really? Are there a lot of people who collect new money?" -yup, just read my comments on SM collectors.

    IMO: the 2011 Bank of Canada polymer series have pretty drab colours & so-so designs (& I think others feel the same). But they are a FIRST for BOC so I try to keep interested. There were a couple super scarce prefixes early on so that's what kept me looking & trying to keep updated with what's happening. The 2017 "150th Anniversary" $10 was quite a cool (50M short series) & the vertical $10 (2018) I feel is "eye catching." (The recent designs aren't just 2-tone in colour but more interesting in that regard too). I don't think they melt unless extreme heat exposure. They seemed to split easy if a cut has been started. I still prefer paper to polymer.

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