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How To Get Currency Graded

Grade Currency – Cost, Process, and Advice

We have already published two blog entries about when to grade currency and the importance of PQ when grading.  However, we have never directly addressed how to grade currency.  We are going to hit some of the more frequently asked questions.  We are specifically discussing how to grade currency through the services offered by PMG or PCGS.

Do I Have To Mail My Currency To Get It Graded?

The answer to this question is that yes you do typically have to mail currency to get it graded.  Many non-collectors don’t trust anyone else to handle their precious items.  Whether you like it or not, to get something graded and authenticated it will be out of your possession during the grading process.  This will typically require you to mail the currency to the PCGS facility in Peoria, IL or the PMG facility in Sarasota, FL.  The only way around this would be to have your currency graded onsite at a coin show.  However, even at a coin show you need to allow at least 24-72 hours where the note will be out of your possession.  The grading services typically set up at Baltimore shows (March, June, November), the Orlando FUN show (January), The Memphis show (June), The Long Beach show (September), and a few different shows that are in Chicago (March, August, November).  Show grading is also usually at least two times more expensive.

Can I Trust The Grading Services?

You can absolutely 100% trust the grading services.  They are insured and have absolutely no interest in stealing or damaging your currency.  They grade tens of millions of dollars worth of currency every year.  They are run by professionals.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Currency Graded?

The two major factors that affect the cost of currency grading are the value of the note being graded and how fast you want it graded.  If you are willing to pay more than $100 per note then you can get a grade back within a couple of weeks.  If you only want to pay $15, then be prepared to wait a few months for a grade.

What Is The Start To Finish Process:

Step1: – Download and print a grading form from your grading service of choice
Step2: – Mail your currency via registered mail with insurance
Step3: – Your account will be updated when the package is received
Step4: – Your account will be updated again when the currency has entered the grading system
Step5: – You will get a notification that a package has shipped to you
Step6: – You can login into your account to view the grades
Step7: – The now graded currency will be mailed to you

Some of these steps are a little bit different between grading services.  Keep in mind that you pay for shipping both ways.  Based on your service level the entire process could take anywhere from two weeks to as much as a year.  It all depends on which service you pay for.

How Do Graders Know How To Appraise Currency?

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about grading.  The people grading your currency are not assigning it a value.  They are doing two things.  They will let you know if it is authentic and they will assign it a number grade between 1 and 70.  They are never going to give you a value or an offer.  They are not dealers or appraisers.  They purely deal with the authenticity and condition of each banknote.

How Much More Money Is Graded Currency Worth?

In our opinion, 99% of the currency that we see will get no extra value if graded.  Grading is not a magic bullet.  In fact, many collectors don’t like graded currency.  The only time it makes sense to get something graded is if the value added to the bank note is greater than the cost and time of having it graded.  Please reference the first link in our article about when to grade currency.

Remember that you can get paper money graded by working with an authorized dealer.  We are authorized PMG dealers and PCGS collector club members.  We can help with any currency grading questions you have.  Sales@AntiqueMoney.com