Whether you’re a seasoned collector or new to the world of currency, understanding the intricacies of paper money grading is essential. One of the most respected and widely recognized grading services in the industry is PMG (Paper Money Guaranty). In this article, we will delve into the world of PMG notes, providing you with a comprehensive guide to paper money grading.

What are PMG Notes?

PMG is a professional paper money grading service that evaluates and certifies the condition and authenticity of banknotes. Established in 2005, PMG has quickly become the go-to authority for collectors and dealers worldwide. Their team of expert graders meticulously assesses banknotes, assigning them a grade on the internationally recognized Sheldon grading scale.

The Importance of PMG Certification

PMG certification provides several key benefits to collectors and dealers. Firstly, it guarantees the authenticity of the banknote. PMG employs rigorous security measures to ensure that the notes they certify are genuine. Additionally, PMG certification enhances the marketability and value of the note. Collectors and investors trust the expertise of PMG, making certified notes more desirable and easier to sell.

The PMG Grading Scale

The PMG grading scale ranges from 1 to 70, with each grade representing a specific condition. Understanding the different grades is crucial when assessing the value and desirability of a banknote. Here is a breakdown of the PMG grading scale:

  • Uncirculated (UNC) – Grades 60 to 70: Banknotes in uncirculated condition have never been used in commerce. They are crisp, clean, and exhibit no signs of wear or handling.
  • About Uncirculated (AU) – Grades 50, 53, 55, and 58: AU notes may show minor signs of handling, such as light folds or counting marks, but have minimal wear.
  • Extremely Fine (XF) – Grades 40, 45, and 50: XF notes have evidence of circulation, but the wear is limited to high points and the overall appearance remains attractive.
  • Very Fine (VF) – Grades 20, 25, 30, and 35: VF notes have more pronounced wear, including folds and creases. However, the design details are still well-defined.
  • Fine (F) – Grades 12, 15, and 20: F notes exhibit moderate wear, with noticeable creases, folds, and soiling. The overall appearance is still acceptable.
  • Very Good (VG) – Grades 8, 10, and 12: VG notes show significant wear, with multiple creases, folds, and possible paper loss. The design details are worn but generally recognizable.
  • Good (G) – Grades 4, 6, and 8: G notes have heavy wear, extensive creases, and may have missing pieces. The design details are heavily worn.
  • Very Good (VG) – Grades 2 and 4: VG notes are heavily circulated, torn, and may have missing pieces. The design details are heavily worn.
  • Poor (PO) – Grade 1: PO notes are in extremely poor condition, almost unrecognizable, with severe damage and extensive paper loss.

Factors Considered in PMG Grading

PMG graders take various factors into account when assigning a grade to a banknote. These factors include:

  • Centering: The alignment of the design elements on the note.
  • Paper Quality: The crispness and integrity of the paper.
  • Colors: The vibrancy and clarity of the colors used in the design.
  • Signatures: The quality and legibility of the signatures on the note.
  • Serial Numbers: The visibility and positioning of the serial numbers.
  • Damage: Any visible damage, such as tears, stains, or repairs.

The Benefits of Collecting PMG Notes

Collecting PMG-certified notes offers numerous advantages to both novice and experienced collectors. Here are some key benefits:

  • Expert Opinion: PMG employs a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable graders who assess the notes with precision and expertise.
  • Authenticity: PMG certification guarantees the authenticity of the banknotes, ensuring peace of mind for collectors.
  • Market Demand: PMG notes are highly sought after by collectors and dealers, increasing their marketability and demand.
  • Value Preservation: PMG certification helps preserve the value of the banknotes over time, making them a reliable investment.
  • Community and Resources: Collecting PMG notes opens doors to a vibrant community of fellow enthusiasts and valuable educational resources.


PMG notes have revolutionized the world of paper money grading with their meticulous evaluation process and internationally recognized grading scale. Whether you collect for pleasure or investment, PMG certification adds value and authenticity to your banknotes, making them highly desirable in the market. By understanding the PMG grading scale and the factors considered in grading, collectors can make informed decisions and build impressive collections. Start exploring the world of PMG notes today and embark on an exciting journey in the realm of paper money collecting.