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Paper Money Grading Standards

GEM UNCIRCULATED - GEM UNC - GCU65
1. A near perfect original note.
2. Colours must be bright, original with exceptional eye appeal. Paper must be bright and fresh.
3. The note must have near perfect centering with sharp square corners and edges.
4. No noticeable impairments upon close examination: counting flicks, soft bends or machine marks, paper flaws, writing, pinholes, etc.
5. The note must not be processed or pressed.

Tips for different series of GEM UNCIRCULATED

1935, 1937 and some 1954 series notes must have heavy embossing on the engraved printed areas, serial numbers and the typed signature.
1954 issues must have original paper ripples present in heavily inked areas.
Journey notes with holograms will show no "cutting cup" or banding marks.

CHOICE UNCIRCULATED - CHOICE UNC - CHCU63
1. A near perfect original note with much eye appeal.
2. Colours must be bright. The paper on older notes may exhibit minor toning.
3. The note may be slightly off centre. It must have sharp edges and corners.
4. No noticeable impairments upon close examination with the exception of one of:
A minor original paper flaw prior to printing, a very slight soft corner, one very small counting flick.
5. The note must not be processed or pressed.
6. The note may have only one demerit point.

Tips for different series for CHOICE UNCIRCULATED

1935, 1937 and some 1954 series notes must have heavy embossing on the engraved printed areas, serial numbers and the typed signature.
1954 issues must have original paper ripples present in heavily inked areas.
Journey notes with holograms may show a slight "cutting cup".

UNCIRCULATED - UNC - CU60
1. An original note, must not be processed or pressed.
2. Colours must be bright with eye appeal. There may be noticeable paper toning, but no major distractions.
3. The note may be noticeably off centre. Edges and corners may be muted, thus not sharp and precise.
4. There may be minor flaws or defects resulting in up to three demerits, such as: visible counting creases (one demerit each), tight margin (one demerit).
5. Banding strap marks, ATM or counting machine marks that have caused small indentations in the note are acceptable.
6. Notes with blemishes or distractions, a small tear, nick, crease with broken fibre, including an edge bump or folded corner, would not receive an uncirculated grade.

Tips for UNCIRCULATED
1935, 1937 and some 1954 series notes must have heavy embossing on the engraved printed areas, serial numbers and the typed signature.
1954 issues must have original paper ripples present in heavily inked areas.
Journey notes with holograms may show a "cutting cup".

DEMERIT POINTS
Counting crease, no broken fibres; one point each
Edge bump; one point each
Paper toning; one point
Counting flick, no larger than 2 cm; one point each
Soft corner; one point each

DEMERIT POINTS FOR GRADES
GEM UNC No demerit points
CH UNC One demerit point
UNC Three demerit points

AU
1. An attractive, original note with bright colours.
2. Paper toning may be present, especially on earlier notes.
3. Note may have several small counting flicks, or one light centre fold, but not both.
4. Minor original flaws in the paper prior to printing may be present.
5. The note must have basically sharp edges and corners; however, very minor edge bumps from banding straps, or a couple of soft corners, are acceptable.

EF
1. An attractive note with bright colours.
2. Original paper ripples may not be present.
3. Heavy counting creases, or one centre crease with broken paper fibres, or two light folds may be present, but no combination of these.
4. The note still must exhibit sharp edges, but two or more soft corners and edge bumps may be present.

VF
1. Will have good eye appeal, but colours will have decreased hue and vibrancy. Considerable paper crispness will remain.
2. Evidence of wear will be present along the edges and corners, with no weakness in the design. The corners will not be rounded.
3. The note may have up to four major creases or folds with broken paper fibres, but no design loss in the creases.

F
1. Signs of considerable wear (circulation) with wear along the edges and corners. The corners may be rounded, with wear showing within the design areas.
2. Noticeable soiling will be present.
3. Will have four or more heavy creases or folds with broken paper fibres, with additional minor folds, but the design should not be worn off completely in the creases.
4. Paper will retain some crispness.

VG
1. Evidence of heavy circulation, with little or no paper crispness remaining.
2. Considerable soiling, with some loss of colour hues and vibrancy; some design loss on the creases.
3. Heavy vertical and horizontal creases and folds will be present; edges and corners will be worn.
4. Tiny edge nicks and tears may extend into the design. Pin holes are usually present. No pieces are missing from the note.

Good (G)
1. A heavily circulated note wich may have numerous tears and defects, but no large section of the note should be missing.
2. Paper quite soiled and often dark. Colours may be noticeably faded or altered.
3. Basically a whole note, but with very heavy wear along the edges and corners which may begin to look rather tattered. Heavy folds with wear on the design within the creases, some separation often beginning along the heaviest creases. A limp and lifeles note.


In addition, to grade a note accurately it is necessary to consider any additional impairments. These should include:
a. Minor counting creases or edge defects, especially for EF and AU grades.
b. Tears, pinholes or signature perforations.
c. Stains, smudges, crayon marks or writing.
d. Missing corners, cut and punch cancellations or edge defects.
e. Rubber stamp impressions.
f. Any repairs, such as with sticky tape, scotch stape, stamp hinges, etc.
g. Chemical damage, paste or glue from attachment to a page.
h. Poorly centered or badly trimmed edges.
i. Pressing, cleaning, trimming of edges, erasure marks.

A note with portions missing should be graded as if it were a whole note, then the amount missing should be fully described. This process is much more informative than "net grading", which should be avoided.

Proof, specimen and essay notes are commonly accepted as being in uncirculated condition.
Otherwise, the should be described as impaired, with the type and degree of impairment stated.

As printed in the Charlton Standard Catalog of Canadian Government Paper Money, 20th Edition 2008

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