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Topic: Cleaning banknotes  (Read 27269 times)
rarecoins2001
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« on: October 03, 2010, 04:10:34 pm »

I know this is a taboo subject and people would advise not to do it but I want to know if people have experimented in cleaning notes and what methods they used.  Are the old notes also made with cotton?  What about the bank issued notes are any just on paper?  I have thought about trying to clean some of my old damaged notes for experimental purposes.

ikandiggit
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2010, 05:10:13 pm »

I'm curious about this as well. There has been a lot of discussion across the border regarding coin doctoring (enhancing the appearance and/or quality of a coin) and not making the buyer aware of the cosmetic changes.

The same could be done with paper money. On one of the U.S. forums, there had been a thread that exposed a couple of notes that were purchased, cleaned and repaired and resold at a higher grade and much higher price without any mention of the treatment.

This also brings to mind the difference between cleaning and conservation. Is conservation acceptable because it's done by a professional conservator? And if it is, does it have to be noted?

Also, if one was able to clean a note without any noticeable evidence, is it unethical not to mention it?

I'd like to hear comments and opinions.
alvin5454
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2010, 05:59:19 pm »

don't do it. Notes cannot be improved by cleaning, only damaged. An experienced collector will always be able to detect cleaning, restoration and the like. If it's an inexperienced collector who may not be able to detect this, it most certainly is unethical to not mention it. If you do not mention it, it will no doubt come back to bite you, or worse, others in the hobby.....
friedsquid
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2010, 06:02:55 pm »

Quote
Is conservation acceptable because it's done by a professional conservator? And if it is, does it have to be noted?
Also, if one was able to clean a note without any noticeable evidence, is it unethical not to mention it?

Whether having a note repaired by a professional or not, I personally feel that it should be mentioned and let the buyer decide on that basis. Obviously this is not always going to be the case, but in a perfect world I always think disclosure is best...

Again, I'm sure there are many notes that have been played with, tampered with, and no one has mentioned it to the buyer if the seller felt they could get away with it...Again I think that eventually that note may end up in the hands of someone perhaps more knowledgeable than the orginal buyer and spill the beans....I just don't see the benefits in the long run...If the note has been washed. pressed, cleaned whatever I think ethically it should be mentioned....I think you always have to put yourself on the other side of the transaction and think how you would feel if your son/daughter unknowingly bought you a note at Torex and gave it to you as a gift all excited saying how the dealer said the note was original not pressed..not cleaned...and is suppose to have the smell of bleach because new notes always smell that way....how would you feel ???



Always looking for #1 serial number notes in any denomination/any series
ikandiggit
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2010, 08:36:35 pm »

As a collector, I would like to know that a note was repaired/cleaned if it enhanced the eye appeal and as long as it didn't look artificial or noticeable, I would be comfortable owning it.


rarecoins2001
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2010, 09:20:12 pm »

Some notes can only be improved by a cleaning I have an old Cobourg Police note that has a huge rust stain and is in bad condition.  A cleaning will only make it better.  I have no intentions of selling it and I knew this post would lead to moral statements instead of the information I am looking for.  I am going to try Oxy Clean first on another low value note.  I am first going to mark it up with a variety of inks and pencil marks as well as some other dirt.

ikandiggit
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2010, 09:34:33 pm »

I knew this post would lead to moral statements instead of the information I am looking for.  I am going to try Oxy Clean first on another low value note.  I am first going to mark it up with a variety of inks and pencil marks as well as some other dirt.

The topic of morals and ethics is going to appear whenever the subject of cleaning comes up.

Most collectors of rarer notes or important notes consider themselves caretakers of the piece(s) until they get passed on to another collector (caretaker).

If the notes you have are common or low value, well, you own them so do whatever you want with them. Have fun! ;D
BWJM
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2010, 11:48:32 pm »

If you clean a note, should you disclose such information? I would reword this question as follows: If you were buying a note that has been monkeyed with, would you want to know about it?

I echo all of the above comments that are anti-cleaning.

One day, the notes in your collection will be sold. Perhaps that won't be until after you die. Do you want to be remembered as someone who cleaned their notes? "How many notes did he sell that were cleaned? I should check my notes that I bought off him. Maybe they were repaired at some point. Don't buy a note from that guy - the note is probably cleaned, maybe even pressed." People talk, and they're not always nice, especially when talking behind your back.

BWJM, F.O.N.A.
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President, IBNS Ontario Chapter.
Treasurer, Waterloo Coin Society.
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rarecoins2001
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2010, 10:17:07 am »

I would say that a majority of all old notes have been cleaned at some point but that point may have been a long time ago so people probably cannot tell anymore.  When I buy an old note that is really dirty a cleaning can only improve it.  With silver coins most have been dipped to improve their appearance because the black ones will not sell.  If the note is super rare a cleaning would not stop me from buying it.  If anyone buys my notes it is because I am dead and if they want a refund they will have to get a shovel out.  I thought out my method and I will buy the worst note I can mark it up length wise and then divide the note width wise and try different techniques.  I may also experiment with the hologram square this will give me the knowledge to see if missing or altered holograms are real errors or things that have been played with.  If I succeed I will probably only share the results and not the methods.

Bob
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 01:32:51 pm »

I will add my 2ยข to this debate.  Tamper with your spending money if you must, but I have seen far too many precious notes destroyed by their owners in search of maximum market value.  Think of all the great rarities that have been wrecked because the edges have been trimmed off to remove a bit of roughness picked up through years of honest circulation.  How many 1920 Bank of Toronto $50s have irreparable eraser damage because somebody objected to a counting number written on the note?  How many clean and bright notes have been deprived of delicate tints, and reek of dry cleaning fluid or bleach?  It does make one sad.
I do not agree that most older notes (chartered, Dominion) have been cleaned, although a great many have been pressed.
It might not be wise to assume that cleaning can not be detected, whether the next day or forty years on.

Collecting Canadian since 1955
87Megalodon
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 09:59:19 am »

now i'm curious. what goes on at auctions?
friedsquid
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 03:18:11 pm »

now I'm curious. what goes on at auctions?

People bid on items in hopes to win them   ;D

Some items an auctioneer will never know if they have been cleaned, altered, repaired, pressed etc if the note is already in a TPG's holder.  They can only go by what the holder says unless they know otherwise from a past event..assuming they care to say...
We have seen instances of members informing auctioneers regarding a particular item if the info stated in not true or misleading, and I believe most auctioneers will note the discrepancies when the item comes up for sale instead of having the issue come up during the actual sale...
I believe most auctioneers depend on people being able to trust them and it is in their best interest to be as straight forward as possible...




Always looking for #1 serial number notes in any denomination/any series
rarecoins2001
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2010, 10:17:44 am »

I have done some experimenting and found very interesting things.  I have not found a do all chemical but one chemical I found does most inks but no dirt and another chemical cleans the remaining inks that the first chemical will not plus it cleans the dirt from notes with almost no traces other then the fact that it can also start to remove the serial number.  This would indicate why some notes have a weak or touched up serial numbers.  Most of the stuff I tried did not clean very much.
I probably won't post the chemicals I used for fear of misuse.  I may post a picture later.

Shawn

rarecoins2001
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2011, 04:21:09 pm »

Here are the results.  Good thing I found a note that was already cut up and marked up with different inks.  The right side is original the center one showed pretty good results and the far left was a combination of 2 of the good results.

{http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/8400/cleanedbill1.jpg:http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/8400/cleanedbill1.th.jpg}
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 08:58:51 pm by BWJM »

William1066
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 11:38:35 am »

While the ANA and those content to parrot them will say that yous should NEVER clean a note, this is nonesense.
Many inexpensive notes are out there and cheap because they are in appalling condition. filthy, torn wadded up in a ball. 
I have purchased many of these for a song then put some work into restoration to produce a note that, while far from UNC, is quite presentable.
The first step, almost universally, is to soak the note for a few hours in a luke warm solution of water and Dawn dish soap.  I use about half or less of the amount of soap I would use to wash the dishes.  I use Dawn because it is most effective at breaking down the soils typically accumulating on banknotes.  Additionally, the soap will reduce the surface tension allowing the water to penetrate the fibres of the note paper.
Once the water begins to take on a dirty appearance I change it for clean water.  I repeat this until the water remains clear.
Next, I place the notes between two or more sheats of blotter paper and press the sandwich under a modest weight. (My 3 volumes of SCWPM are just about right)  I leave the stack over night then change the blotter paper for dry sheets.  This process I repeat several times.
The result is a much cleaner if still imperfect note in a flat, presentable condition.  By comparing the note after this treatment to its condition before, it's difficult to argue that the note has not been improved.
This process was gleaned from papers published by the Smithsonian and others.  If you wish to review this process and others for proper conservation of banknotes and other documents I recommend the NORTHEAST DOCUMENT CONSERVATION CENTER

 

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