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Ireland World War 2 Issues. Anyone seen better than AU grade

In 1940 Irish banknotes had their design changed to incorporate a special marking 'war code', a capital letter in a circle on the face of 10 Shilling, £1, £5, £10, and £20 notes, producing the series of Irish World War 2 Issues.
The series was printed for Currency Commission and Central Bank, and lasted until 1944. Banknotes dated 1939 and 1945 were without war code letters.

Except for the £20 note, which is rarely seen, the banknotes are quite common.
But most are GVF at best, with a few examples at AU, notably some £10 notes dated 1942.

But has anyone actually seen an UNC example, grading at 66-68?

There are some nice looking examples pictured on the Irish paper money website, but still circulated.
And some specimens, which might be UNC here: https://www.irishpapermoney.com/irish-wartime-banknotes/central-bank-of-ireland-war-code-specimens.html
But it is issued notes that I am thinking of.

Here is a pic of one of my best examples, I put it at GEF.

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    Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve only seen 3, two were AU and the other was VF.

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    I have seen a 1941 £1 example graded as AU55, and some of the 1941 £10 notes with similar grades

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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't collect a lot of Ireland, mostly NI and it is possible to find high grade examples of everything from £1-£100. But even pre-war Ireland is difficult to find in Central Bank and the Ploughman notes in high grade.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭


    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    Great examples @SaorAlba & lovely 10 Shilling @Seldon

    I have not noticed any WWII era notes from Ireland in UNC in the past 5 years, but to be honest, I have not really searched for them either. Newer UNC notes from Ireland have been beyond my budget up till recently (but these are newer versions).

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    @SaorAlba
    You have a couple of nice original Nationals there - tough in any decent grade without graffiti.
    Northern Ireland issues, with the exception of the National Bank (small number of branches = small issue) then to be far more common than Irish government notes. There are a few reasons of this, one being that Northern Ireland was far wealthier.

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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Seldon said:
    @SaorAlba
    You have a couple of nice original Nationals there - tough in any decent grade without graffiti.
    Northern Ireland issues, with the exception of the National Bank (small number of branches = small issue) then to be far more common than Irish government notes. There are a few reasons of this, one being that Northern Ireland was far wealthier.

    The National Bank of Ireland issues are actually the second scarcest - as you note they were often defaced by crossing out Daniel O'Connell's watermark on the note. The scarcest issues with the smallest bank are actually Provincial Bank of Ireland before 1951 - they are quite rare especially in high grade.

    The easiest banks are Northern Bank and Bank of Ireland and Belfast Banking. Ulster Bank is a bit scarcer, particularly with early high grade notes.



    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I collected Irish banknotes very seriously in the past. It was my observation that true uncirculated Irish notes issued prior to 1951 essentially do not exist. I have never seen one that would meet my criteria for true Uncirculated (MS68,69,70 by TPG standards). These notes were issued in very limited numbers and circulated heavily. Many also had count numbers written on them by banking people. Most of the notes I have seen that were represented as true uncirculated were actually AU notes that had been soaked and pressed (the embossing disappears when this is done.)

    All glory is fleeting.
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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    I collected Irish banknotes very seriously in the past. It was my observation that true uncirculated Irish notes issued prior to 1951 essentially do not exist. I have never seen one that would meet my criteria for true Uncirculated (MS68,69,70 by TPG standards). These notes were issued in very limited numbers and circulated heavily. Many also had count numbers written on them by banking people. Most of the notes I have seen that were represented as true uncirculated were actually AU notes that had been soaked and pressed (the embossing disappears when this is done.)

    It is the same with Scottish banknotes which I have collected for a long time now. True uncirculated notes do not exist before the late 1960s as bankers would fold the notes when they were put into teller drawers because of the size of the notes.

    With Northern Ireland notes you can find uncirculated notes since they were issued in larger numbers and as reserve issues which were stored and not circulated like Central Bank of Ireland and Ploughman(Consolidated) notes.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    @291fifth and SaorAlba

    You are absolutely correct. I have never seen a true UNC Irish note older than 1969, apart from £1 notes dated 11.3.63, which were issued in 1974.

    My criteria for strict UNC is four original sharp corners, which would be a MS70.

    My conclusion is that no one was keeping them in Ireland.

    I also agree with you that many Irish notes were steamed and pressed to improve them, which is a destructive vandalism, imho.
    I have a few pressed notes, two or three, rare dates that I have not been able to replace with another example as yet.

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    @SaorAlba said:

    The National Bank of Ireland issues are actually the second scarcest - as you note they were often defaced by crossing out Daniel O'Connell's watermark on the note. The scarcest issues with the smallest bank are actually Provincial Bank of Ireland before 1951 - they are quite rare especially in high grade.

    @SaorAlba
    I'll have to differ with you there. In collecting notes from 1929 to 1936, I find those of the National Bank to be far scarcer than those of the Provincial.

    The National Bank was the smallest bank by number of branches in Northern Ireland and by the amount allocated for its note issue.

    See table below, taken from:
    https://www.irishpapermoney.com/special-sections/Partition-of-Irish-Currency-1928-1930.html

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    SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Seldon: Yes, from an issue standpoint you are correct that the Provincial issued more than the National - but for some reason, perhaps circulation patterns - Provincial is much more difficult to find these days.

    That said, a decent amount of the National notes are heavily circulated and defaced. Provincials are often heavily circulated and £1 and £20 notes are difficult to find nice examples of - £5 are relatively easy after 1946 and £10 to some extent.

    The new edition of the Irish Paper Money was schedule for publication in early 2020 accd to Pam West and Johnathan Calloway but then the pandemic happened.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
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    MAM0912MAM0912 Posts: 72 ✭✭✭
    edited December 8, 2021 9:17AM

    Here's a CU note that I purchased from Mel (Jermey) Steinberg at the NYC Int Show in Dec 1997. Can't say it would be a 70 but might be Gem 65.

    Marty

    US Obsoletes esp NJ, WEB Notes,

    National Iron Bank of Morristown (#1113) and Irish Currency
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    A nice example, essentially unused - anything before 1951 is tough to get unused.
    The two bottom corners look to be slightly rounded, and some surface staining on the centre reverse (might be a scanner reflection?) - if so your 65 rather than 70, imho.

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    Here is one of my better £10 war code notes. Got this out of a small run in sequence I bought back around 1996. It is around AU, imo.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,936 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MAM0912 said:
    Here's a CU note that I purchased from Mel (Jermey) Steinberg at the NYC Int Show in Dec 1997. Can't say it would be a 70 but might be Gem 65.

    In looking at the note very closely it appears to have had a very soft center vertical fold at one time. There is slight discoloration on white paper of the reverse. This indicates a note that was probably once part of a group of notes that were briefly placed in a wallet. I agree that the TPGs would probably rate the note as 65, which by my definition, is a very high grade AU. Still, the note is exceptional for the date and might even be the finest known of the date.

    My own note of that type is dated 19.12.46 and probably about a 55 by TPG standards. Yours is nicer than mine by at least 10 grading points.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    Serial_no_8Serial_no_8 Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    "This indicates a note that was probably once part of a group of notes that were briefly placed in a wallet. I agree that the TPGs would probably rate the note as 65, which by my definition, is a very high grade AU"
    If there's a fold (or discolouration) then it is NO way Gem UNC "65" but rather Almost Uncirculated AU50, 55 or 58

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