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How To Tell What Condition or Grade Your Confederate or Obsolete Banknote Is In
How To Tell What Condition or Grade Your Confederate or Obsolete Banknote Is In

Grading is subjective and unfortunately, there is no 1 accepted grading standard in the paper-money collecting field. Generally, other than the UNC grade, you will encounter differing opinions on what constitutes Good thru AU notes. The Europeans tend to have stricter standards than their U.S. counterparts, while Modern U.S. currency collectors have a slightly different standard than those that collect Confederate or Obsolete banknotes. Even within a given field, it is hard to get 2 collectors to agree on a grade. The following grading standards are the ones that we follow and basically reflect the guidlines used by noted Confederate and Southern States currency experts Arlie Slabaugh and the late Col. Grover Criswell.

UNC- Uncirculated: A perfectly preserved note. The paper is clean and crisp. Corners are sharp and square, without any evidence of rounding. Most Confederate and obsolete currency may have uneven margins due to having been cut from the original sheets by hand. ( there are more stringent degrees of UNC such as GEM and CHOICE based on color brightness, margin width, eveness, and centering that command higher prices)

AU- About Uncirculated:
A perfect note with some minor handling. May show very slight evidence of bank counting folds or crinkles at a corner or one light fold through the center, but not both. Corners are not rounded.

XF- Extremely Fine:A note that has seen light handling. It may have a maximum of 3 light folds or 1 strong crease. The corners may show only the slightest evidence of rounding.

VF- Very Fine: A note with more evidence of handling and wear. The note may have a couple of folds. The paper may have minor dirt on it. The paper itself is still relatively crisp and not limp. The edges show slight wear. Corners also show wear but not full rounding.

F- Fine: A note which shows considerable circulation with many folds, creases or wrinkling. Paper is not excessively dirty but will have some limpness. Edges may show minor tears. Tears may not extend into the design. Colors or images may be faded

VG-Very Good: A well used note. Corners may have much rounding, tears if present, may extend into the design. The note may have staining and loss of color or faded images. Pinholes are common and the note is limp but no pieces of the note may be missing.

G- Good: A well worn and heavily used note. The note will exhibit normal damage from prolonged circulation consisting of some OR all of the following: holes, dirt, stains, tears, frayed edges, very faded &c.

P- Poor:This is the lowest grade that can be accorded to a note. Such a note is severely damaged with large pieces missing and showing heavy surface wear, large holes, stains and considerable discoloration.