Banknote Grading

Grading Banknotes

Five characteristics are examined to accurately determine the state of preservation of a banknote. They are the state of cleanliness, the severity of folding, the state of the surface, the state of the edges and the severity and number of any punctures or pinholes on the note.

A points system is used where each characteristic is scored out of 20 - the maximum score for an absolutely pristine note being 100. Grading points are as follows:

Crisp, Flat, Uncirculated (CFU) 100
Extremely Fine (EF) 90
Very Fine (VF) 75
Fine (F) 55
Very Good (VG) 30
Good (G) 20


The following table describes the scoring process used for each characteristic: 

Cleanliness As Printed - Clean and Bright 20
Slight Soiling - just noticeable 15
Considerable soiling and/or banker's marks 10
Very dirty, legibility is reduced 0
Folding As printed  - flat and unfolded 20
One or two folds leaving a very faint increase 15
Several prominent folds 10
Many fold and heavy creasing 0
Surface As printed - crisp with no damage 20
Slight, just detectable abrasions or damage 15
Readily detectable damage in several places 10
Extensive damage 0
Edges As printed - perfectly straight and even 20
Slightly rough or with very minor indentations 15
Considerable indentation and/or with tears in the margins 10
Badly damages edges and /or tears extending in the design 0
Puntures As printed - no holes 20
One or two pin holes only 15
Several pin holes or a slightly larger puncture 10
Several larger holes 0
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