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Topic: Grading Polymer notes  (Read 6180 times)
cdn_guy
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« on: November 16, 2011, 02:03:15 pm »

Will grading of polymer notes follow the same standards as previous issues?
Noticable marks when the notes go through counting machines will be easier to spot and see, what if anything will this do to the 'grade' of the note?
BWJM
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 02:20:00 pm »

My opinion: for a note to be considered Gem UNC, it must be a pristine note. Anything that would detract from that would draw the note down to Choice UNC, UNC, AU and below.  This is essentially how it's been for as long as I can remember. The type of substrate used (paper / polymer) shouldn't matter. The main difference made by the type of substrate is the type of defects you will find, and how easy they are to make. But a defect is a defect, and they all mean a note is no longer a candidate for "Gem UNC".

Most of the notes I've gotten lately have been Gem UNC because they've only been personally handled. The ones that are not Gem are due to tellers roughly handling the notes.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 02:21:49 pm by BWJM »

BWJM
Member of CPMS, RCNA, ONA, ANA, IBNS, WCS.
Treasurer, Waterloo Coin Society.
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CA_Banknotes
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 02:42:07 pm »

One thing about the polymer notes, is that it seems tellers handling the notes gently doesn't seem to do anything to the notes, while with the paper ones you could still see faint handling marks.

Only issue may seem to be the holographic window. In a new and untouched bundle, the notes still had some tiny hairline marks on the holograms, but they weren't visible unless under strong light. Notes that have been through counting machines tend to have entire lines of the holographic material scratched clear off, and that's a definite black mark on the condition of the notes.
mmars
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 02:46:20 pm »

Contrary to what BWJM is saying, grading standards have not always been straightforward and instinctual.  Collectors are always finding ways to discriminate one note versus another.  Many older series of notes are pressed, so seeing ripples and original embossing are considered good things and are necessary to achieve a grade of Gem Unc.  By comparison, Journey series notes with original ripples and cup marks are actually downgraded because of these features.  Maybe 20 years from now when washed and pressed Journey notes become the norm, collectors will start to cherish the strongly rippled note over the perfectly flat note just like is being done now with 1954 series notes, lol.

So the OP asks a fair question, though it is obviously too early to provide answers.  However, I think the only consensus that will be reached will be to send your Frontier notes to a TPG and let them decide how to grade since they are, after all, the grading experts.

    No hay banda  
lara4228
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 12:08:28 am »

This is a great topic of conversation regarding the grading of these new notes.

I posted earlier in a section of the forum I now see I should have posted here instead.  Here is an example of a marking through the transparent section of the bill.

My initial question was:  is this a printing error of some sort or is it from the bank teller's dispensing machine?

The way the marks run NE down to SW and parallel make me wonder if it is an error from the printing process?  See for yourself and let me know your take on it.

Thanks!

{http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/2928/picture004jy.jpg:http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/2928/picture004jy.th.jpg}
{http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/1140/picture005pkl.jpg:http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/1140/picture005pkl.th.jpg}
{http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1407/scan0001ahy.jpg:http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/1407/scan0001ahy.th.jpg}

Lara
friedsquid
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 07:58:45 am »

From what I have seen so far, the new $100's that I have looked at have a vast amount of lines for many reasons that I can explain, yet I am sure that there are many I cannot.
I have seen when the bills go through a counter or tellers dispensing machine the marks appear, but they are different in size and direction. I have seen the bills jam in counting machines and re done and depending how they were placed usually increases these scratch marks. I also witness a teller cut open a banded bundle with a letter opener and mark a number of the top bills that were in contact with the opener. I have also had bundles that were re bundled and likely counted a number of times leading to more scratch marks. I can also assume that some bills that people are getting have already been in circulation and returned to the banks.
Yesterday while I was at an RBC in Toronto a fellow was at the counter returning about 5 of these saying that he doesn't want them because he had a problem buying something with them at a local mall..
The good news is that you can get unmarked/unscratched bills if you can get them form a new brick or bundle that is not counted at the bank or teller. You usually just have to ask for them not to put them through the machine...Good luck...




Always looking for #1 serial number notes in any denomination/any series
CA_Banknotes
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 08:12:34 am »


The good news is that you can get unmarked/unscratched bills if you can get them form a new brick or bundle that is not counted at the bank or teller. You usually just have to ask for them not to put them through the machine...Good luck...



It gives you a chance to get unmarked bills, but is no guarantee. I went through a few untouched bundles and most of them still had very faint hairline marks that you could only see in strong light.

I've run a set of notes through my own counting machine at home, and did find that they do scratch up more as they go through the machine. Nothing as significant as a bunch of notes I got the day after the launch, where there were consistent diagonal lines of holographic material straight off the note, leaving a clear space. If you take a paperclip and use a little force, you will scratch the material right off.
friedsquid
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 09:55:44 am »

Quote
It gives you a chance to get unmarked bills, but is no guarantee.

Yes I will agree



Always looking for #1 serial number notes in any denomination/any series
Rupiah
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 08:08:16 pm »


The good news is that you can get unmarked/unscratched bills if you can get them form a new brick or bundle that is not counted at the bank or teller. You usually just have to ask for them not to put them through the machine...Good luck...



I tried to go through the polymer frontier series forum and this thread is the closest to scratches and grading that I have seen. So pardon me for posting here and not starting a new thread.

I am writing because I am not convinced that the teller handling and counting affect the polymer notes anymore than the journey notes or for that matter any other notes. Secondly the polymer notes are supposed to be durable and not as much susceptible to marks as paper.

Before I go any further I would like to point to a set of videos that show the production process for the polymers posted on the BOC website. They can be found here:

http://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/bank-note-videos/

Scroll down to the section that says "Life of a bank note _____"

See the two videos titled "Production" and "Distribution"

After seeing these videos it is hard for anyone who does brick hunting to convince me that the teller counting machines are any worse of than the kind of problems that can happen to the notes during the production process. In fact if you see the guy rolling the sheets of polymer notes it should send shivers down your spine. Watch closely the rollers that roll the sheets and you will see them moving over different portions of the notes. It is hard to imagine that they cannot cause "defects" to the sheets.

My conclusions:

It is hard to imagine a G-UNC note in a traditional sense of the word as a pure blemish free note even if it not handled by anyone other than yourself coming out of production and distribution. On the other hand if you do have a note like that it should be worth its denomination in ounces of gold because if one can come out unscathed after that treatment during production and distribution it must be royal.

One last thing - Watch closely at the hologram strip and you will invariably notice an overspary of silver colour. Is this intended or is it a "defect"? Should a G-UNC have this?

Perhaps this will call for either a change in approach to grading the polymer and/or a very high premium for perfect notes.

Just two cents worth from a guy who has recently taken an interest in bank notes because of the polymer series.  :)

Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?
AZ
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 09:56:43 pm »

I have found it fairly hard to find perfect polymer notes where the holographic windows do not have either scratches or halos. I check Unc notes under a strong lamp and I have seen defects on most of the notes I have handled. Here are my thoughts and observations:

1. The scratches most likely appear when heavy stacks of polymer sheets are dragged against each other or a hard surface during production, transportation or printing. They may also be made by rollers or counting equipment.

2. The halos likely appear when stacks of sheets are bent.

3. ATMs and counting machines in banks do not necessarily damage notes. I have received notes with nearly perfect holograms from ATMs, and I have received a stack of perfect notes from a teller who counted them twice in a machine. Machine counting appears safer than hand counting as most tellers would leave flicks on the notes and fingerprints on the holograms.

4. Obviously, the best way to find Gem Unc notes is to go through bundles of Unc notes, but it is still hit and miss. All notes in a bundle can have fairly bad scratches and halos.
Rupiah
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 01:07:05 am »

Finally got hold of the latest GPM catalog. For polymer notes the following grade descriptions are provided:

GEM UNC and CHOICE UNC - polymer notes must be scratch-free on the surface and the clear windows, Clear polymer windows must not have hairline scratches.

UNC - polymer notes can show very minimal hairline scratches on the surface and on the clear windows

There is one demerit point for scratch in a UNC note.

AU - polymer notes will have some hairline scratches on the surface and the clear windows

All of the above deal only with hairline scratches. I would say hairline is less than a 0.2mm or the width of signature lettering.

The GPM says in bold letters that:

"from this point on, polymer and the clear polymer windows will have hairline scratches" and the point they are referring to is a grade of EF and below.

I am looking forward to seeing a GEM UNC note meeting the standard set out in the GPM.

Although I have my doubts if the standard for GEM or CHOICE UNC as described in the GPM can be achieved simply based on the manner in which the notes are produced I am willing to accept that maybe at the brick searching stage some can find these notes. But doesn't someone in the production stage go through the notes after they are cut so as to replace them with SNR's if individual notes are found to be below quality?

In any case lets assume that those that are selling GEM or CHOICE UNC in $100 denominations have gotten it presumably from bricks. Isn't that about $100,000 worth of notes in a brick of $100's? But what about SNR and GEM UNC. Is that even possible? Given that SNR's are set aside and then they are individually handled etc.

WoW!

And I thought that a common person could access these bricks at $100,000 a pop.  :(

I am surprised that the BOC does not want to get into the business of selling GEM/CHOICE UNC bills seeing that there is premium of 10-20% on regular notes and 350-600% on SNR GEM-UNC's. I think it is a sure fire way to cut our country's deficit and maybe make the hobby more widespread. Besides they can at least ensure a scratch free note  ;)

Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?
 

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