UNCIRCULATED: A perfectly preserved note, never mishandled
by the issuing authority, a bank teller, the public or a collector.
Paper is clean and firm, without discoloration. Corners are sharp
and square without any evidence of rounding. (Rounded corners
are often a tell-tale sign of a cleaned or “doctored” note.)
NOTE: Some note issues are most often available with slight
evidence of very light counting folds which do not “break” the
paper. Also, French-printed notes usually have a slight ripple in
the paper. Many collectors and dealers refer to such notes as AUUNC.
ABOUT UNCIRCULATED: A virtually perfect note, with
some minor handling. May show very slight evidence of bank
counting folds at a corner or one light fold through the center,
but not both. An AU note canot be creased, a crease being a hard
fold which has usually “broken” the surface of the note. Paper is
clean and bright with original sheen. Corners are not rounded.
NOTE: Europeans will refer to an About Uncirculated or AU
note as “EF-Unc” or as just “EF”. The Extremely Fine note
described below will often be referred to as “GVF” or “Good
EXTREMELY FINE: A very attractive note, with light handling.
May have a maximum of three light folds or one strong
crease. Paper is clean and firm, without discoloration. Corners
are sharp and square without any evidence of rounding.
(Rounded corners are often a tell-tale sign of a cleaned or “doctored”
VERY FINE: An attractive note, but with more evidence of
handling and wear. May have several folds both vertically and
horizontally. Paper may have minimal dirt, or possible color
smudging. Paper itself is still relatively crisp and not floppy.
There are no tears into the border area, although the edges do
show slight wear. Corners also show wear but not full rounding.
FINE: A note that shows consideralble circulation, with many
folds, creases and wrinkling. Paper is not excessively dirty but
may have some softness. Edges may show much handling, with
minor tears in the border area. Tears may not extend into the
design. There will be no center hole because of excessive folding.
Colors are clear but not very bright. A staple hole or two
would would not be considered unusual wear in a Fine note.
Overall appearance is still on the desirable side.
VERY GOOD: A well used note, abused but still intact. Corners
may have much wear and rounding, tiny nicks, tears may
extend into the design, some discoloration may be prsent, staining
may have occurred, and a small hole may sometimes be seen
at center from excessive folding. Staple and pinholes are usually
present, and the note itself is quite limp but NO pieces of the
note can be missing. A note in VG condition may still have an
overall not unattractive appearance.
GOOD: A well worn and heavily used note. Normal damage
from prolonged circulation will include strong multiple folds
and creases, stains, pinholes and/or staple holes, dirt, discoloration,
edge tears, center hole, rounded corners and an overall
unattractive appearance. No large pieces of the note may be
missing. Graffiti is commonly seen on notes in G condition.
FAIR: A totally limp, dirty and very well used note. Larger
pieces may be half torn off or missing besides the defects mentioned
under the Good category. Tears will be larger, obscured
portions of the note will be bigger.
POOR: A “rag” with severe damage because of wear, staining,
pieces missing, graffiti, larger holes. May have tape holding
pieces of the note together. Trimming may have taken place to
remove rough edges. A Poor note is desiralble only as a “filler”
or when such a note is the only one known of that particular