Topic: Bad information in Charlton?  (Read 6885 times)
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« on: December 16, 2013, 08:50:00 pm »

There is bad, conflicting information in Charlton concerning grading of 1954 series notes.

On page xvi, under "Tips for UNCIRCULATED", the following is stated:
"1954 issues must have original paper ripples present in heavily inked areas"

Then, in the actual listings of 1954 notes, this wonderful grading tip is given:
"1954 Devil's Face and Modified Portrait notes normally have wavy or rippled edges, as issued, when in uncirculated condition.  Sadly, the ripples have been pressed out on some notes in a failed attempt to "improve" them, resulting in a lower grade instead."

Ripples are an unintended consequence of the printing process in the same way that crescent-shaped cup marks on Journey series notes are an unintended consequence of the cutting process.  I think it is very bad advice to telling people that production flaws are necessary features of the highest grade notes, and I have practical experience as a result of this.  How?  I recently sold a nice 1954 Devil's Face note with a low serial number.  I called the note Uncirculated and original because the note has nice embossing and just a bit of light rippling in the four corners where the counters are located on both the back and face of the note.  There is light evidence of handling, hence the note is Unc and not Choice or Gem Unc.  The buyer complained to me because he believed the note is pressed because it lacks strong rippling and he called the note flat.  He cited the first passage from Charlton I quoted above. He completely ignored the embossing and textured feel of the note, and even the light ripples in the corners.  Nope, it's a flat note, hence pressed, and I got the note back.  He could be messing with me, or he could have experienced buyer's remorse and needed his money back, hence the need to grab at any excuse to send the note back.  But I think the catalogue is being heavy-handed and one-dimensional in teaching collectors that ripples are the best feature of an original 1954 series note.  Is the catalogue planning, perhaps 20 years from now, to teach collectors that cup marks are desirable and hence worth MORE than Journey notes without them?

You people that like ripples, I have some advice for you.  If you want notes full of ripples, just take your notes, soak them in water, then let them air dry... taa-daa!  Your notes will be so full of ripples that you'll need 3-dimensional holders to put them in.  But seriously, kids, don't soak your notes in water for TOO long or the red ink from serial numbers will bleed and soak through to the back, and then you'll have one of those RARE bleed-through errors that you see from time to time on Internet auction sites.  :D

Anyhow, back to the point of this post... Not all 1954 series notes were created equally.  Some have heavy ripples, and some have light ripples.  I'll bet even some had no ripples originally.  But I guess that since 1954 series note are common in ALL grades except Gem, we have to invent some arbitrary criteria by which to rank them, hence the really bad advice that has infiltrated Charlton.  It's the embossing that is more important in distinguishing originality.  The problem with embossing, however, is that it can be compromised due to storage.  Sadly, embossing can become lost over time through no fault of your own, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the catalogue is reluctant to discuss this because storing notes in plastic holders is an industry standard (like the catalogue itself, lol).

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