Intro: Beginners Guide to Collecting Currency
Have you ever wanted to start a currency collection? Well this Instructable will teach you the basics of collecting currency.
Step 1: Decide on What Type of Currency to Collect
There are many different types of currency collections that you can start but here are just a few.
Large-size types, lower denominations: A collection of $1, $2 and $5 values.
Interesting serial numbers: Low serial numbers such as 00000001, 00001429, 000016776, and others sell for a premium. Another example is a "radar" note, which is currency with thew same serial number forward and backward, such as 12344321 or 44888844.
Star notes: When a note is found defective after printing, it is replaced with a star note. On federal reserve notes, the star is after the serial number, while on all other issues, the star comes before.
Currency errors: All sorts of interesting errors and misprints exist, such as a double denomination, such as a $10 printed on one side and a $5 written on the other. (The serial numbers were blurred a bit.)
Step 2: Know Your Facts
Before going out and purchasing currency, be sure to know all of your facts. Some dealers may try to overcharge, while others do not. To determine what you should be paying for currency, you will need to know the grading system. To determine what you should be paying for a note, you can look in The Official Red Book, or similar books. You can also check auction sites such as ebay.
Grade | Numeric rating | Description
Gem Uncirculated | Unc-65 | A note that is flawless.
Choice Uncirculated | Unc-63 | Almost as nice as Gem Uncirculated, but not quite there.
Uncirculated | Unc-60 | Retains its original crispness. It may show signs of improper handling.
About Uncirculated | AU-50, AU-55 and AU-58 | Appears new but shows very slight signs of use.
Extremely Fine | EF-40 and EF-45 | Shows some faint evidence of circulation.
Very Fine | VF-20, VF-25, VF-30 and VF-35 | A note that has been in circulation, but not for long.
Fine | F-12 and F-15 | A note that shows much evidence of circulation.
Very Good | VG-8 and VG-10 | A note that shows considerable wear or circulation.
Good | G-4 | A note that is badly worn.
If you send your currency off to a third party company to be graded, be sure to send it to a reputable company such as PMG.
Step 3: Purchase Your Currency
Now that you know what you want to collect, and what you should be paying for it, it is time to purchase your currency. If you live in the U.S., you can purchase some currency from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing here. You can also look up currency dealers in your phone book, or check newspaper ads. Another place is an online auction site such as [www.ebay.com ebay], but be careful. Some sellers may have their currency over-graded. Check the seller's feedback before making any purchases.
Step 4: Handling Your Currency
After you have purchased your new collection, you will need to handle it properly in order to prevent damage of the note/s. Try to avoid any direct contact with the currency. Whenever handling it , be sure to wear cotton gloves, and do not bend the currency.
Step 5: Storage
It is best to store currency inside a currency "sleeve" which you can purchase from a local currency dealer. Be sure to keep your currency in a dry place to prevent a build up of moisture.
Step 6: Let Your Collection Grow
Now that you know the basics of collecting currency, you can let your collection grow. Soon you will have a large collection, and will be amazed at how much it can sell for.
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