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How white is old paper?

stevereecystevereecy Posts: 202 ✭✭✭
edited August 15, 2023 5:58AM in U.S. & World Currency Forum

Hey guys,

I lack the experience to know whether the paper on this note is white enough. I try to compare it to other notes online and wonder how much of their whiteness is photo processing? The note looks pretty white when some light is passing through from the back but not so much from just overhead.

I still have time to return this and I’m trying to educate myself on the back end.

Thanks

Steve

Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

My currency "Box of Ten" Thread: https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1045579/my-likely-slow-to-develop-box-of-ten#latest

Comments

  • Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,789 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe it looks average for its grade. I’ve seen brighter paper on AU and UNC notes or XF notes with original paper qualities, but with wear and circulation comes a slight darkening. A lot of these notes have already been given a bath by the government.


  • stevereecystevereecy Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    Thanks. I’ve been wrestling with this in a vacuum.

    Really enjoying collecting coins and currency again

    My currency "Box of Ten" Thread: https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1045579/my-likely-slow-to-develop-box-of-ten#latest
  • JamericonJamericon Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    The "color" of currency paper has varied since the 1860s. Although it is white paper, over the years it's often appeared with a slight tint of grey or beige or cream, and had either a dull or bright appearance. And, as Steve mentioned, the BEP briefly had a laundering process for currency around the turn of the Twentieth century, which may have affected the color of many circulated large size notes in the market today.

    Jamie Yakes - U.S. paper money collector, researcher, and author. | Join the SPMCUS Small-Size Notes, National Bank Notes, and NJ Depression Scrip
  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,352 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 23, 2023 10:35AM

    Compared to bleached copy paper, these large size notes shouldn't be anywhere near THAT white. The paper used for all of them are various degrees of off white, some from the start when manufactured by Crane & Co. of Dalton, MA and many others from environmental factors including sunlight or chemical exposure and circulation, accumulated over the years.

    I like @Jamericon's description of light "cream" or "beige" as the color of the paper of large size currency. This paper is made from linen, not trees, and not bleached to get it as white as possible.

    And then we could get into the exceptions- the rainbow paper used for the 1869 Legal Tenders and some Nationals and fractionals but that only complicates things.

    The paper on your note looks nice and original to me in the photo. I don't see anything unusual or problematic.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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