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New PCGS Currency Label Layout for "Apparent" Grades

- May 15, 2017

PCGS Currency has announced that, effective immediately, notes with major problems, repairs, and/or restorations will no longer be designated by the word “Apparent” on the label.  While the grading standards for problem notes have not changed, in lieu of the word “Apparent,” the grade will be boldly italicized on such notes and the problems will be detailed on the back of the label.

According to the PCGS Currency Grading Standards, notes that have major faults such as tears, splits, holes, missing pieces or have been subject to restoration, such as repaired tears or splits, redrawing of the design, bleaching of the paper, or even reconstruction of missing pieces, will be assigned a “problem note” designation.  Such problems will be noted on the grading label.  In these cases we will assign an “apparent” grade with a brief and concise description of the problems or repairs.  The “apparent” grade will equate to what the note would have graded without the mentioned problems.  For example, “apparent VF30, bleached and starched” might be a description of a problem note, as might “apparent XF45, upper-right corner restored”.  No net grade will be given.  Again, while the word “Apparent” will no longer appear on the PCGS Currency label, it should be understood that the term “apparent” still accurately describes any note graded with problems as defined by the PCGS Currency Grading Standards quoted above.

“Grading problem notes is an important function of any currency grading service, as so many rare and desirable notes have flaws, repairs, or restorations to some degree or another,” says PCGS Currency Vice President Laura A. Kessler.  “This minor change in the layout and wording of the holder will help dealers and collectors better market this type of material.  Many great collectible notes are not flawless but are still very valuable, and these notes deserve equal footing in the marketplace.”

According to Jason W. Bradford, President of PCGS Currency, “The “apparent” grade idea was designed to make problem notes stand out in the marketplace.  We fully believe that the “apparent” grading system is still the best way to approach the problem of flawed and/or repaired banknotes.  “Net” grading, as it is utilized by other grading services, is more a market phenomenon influenced by relative value over time rather than a standard that can be consistently applied.  By making this minor change to the PCGS Currency labels, we are keeping what is best about our grading system and improving the idea to make these notes more marketable and saleable.”

Article provided by PCGS Currency at

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