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ACCA Paper Bill Grading Standards

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ACCA is the first professional coin and bill appraisal agency outside the USA that is not part of the American System. Its level of research and professionalism, with regards to Asian coins, has reached a definite level of scale and developmental potential. In recent years it has provided appraisal services to numerous Asian collectors and satisfied their needs, such that even national level agencies, including courts, customs, crime investigation agencies and investigation bureaus, employ ACCA as their judicial 3rd party appraisal unit. Also, for its paper bill appraisal division, ACCA has completely defined its 100-point grading standard back in 2008, when the company was first established. But because the ACCA Operation Team has extremely high standards of quality management with respect to how it would retain the paper bills’ original conditions, and because the available sealing materials and standard procedures have not yet reached the standards set by its founder, Mr. 簡任賢, it decided to go through more than three years of research and development. As part of this process, it even hired SGS (the inspection company) to complete a series of material analysis, until the sealing process finally reached the high standards set by ACCA itself. And it is owing to this careful and disciplined attitude that the paper bill’s lifespans may be lengthened and stabilized. This is distinctly different from the motley crew of appraisal companies typically found in the market, who are only interested in seizing appraisal fees and not in whether the materials used will affect the bills’ integrity down the line. At ACCA, this sort of grand vision and determination has never changed. What has changed are just certain greedy and unscrupulous vendors, suppliers, and even collectors.

Thanks to the rise of the Chinese collectors’ market and constantly improving forging techniques, the need for appraisal services has quickly grown. This in turn has encouraged certain opportunistic sellers and amateur coin packaging companies to, through sales, marketing, and vendor partnerships, establish numerous unprofessional appraisal agencies. This resulted in a variety of incidents involving imitation, vague definitions, price wars, and players acting as judges, seriously hurting the infantile Chinese collectors market, and even the entire Asian collectors market. Therefore, ACCA has the responsibility—in fact the duty—to maintain its leadership position as the role model in Asia’s appraisal field. Aside from nurturing outstanding appraisal talents, ACCA must also continue to provide vendors and collectors with good quality products and comprehensive post sale services. It refuses to take shortcuts and destroy its own future, because appraisal work is a “perpetual business”. One must realize this fact, or be eliminated by the market through one’s own doing. Look at America, for example, where coin appraisal began. In its prime there were more than 200 appraisal companies. But after 30~40 years of evolutionary selection, only 80 some companies remain. Perhaps a consumer might ask in surprise, how is there so many? The main reason is because at present, America is still the world’s biggest market when it comes to coin trading, with purchases and sales amounting to nearly half the global volume, which is why there is such a significant appraisal need.

When it comes to paper bill appraisal, America’s PMG is still the name that represents size and fame. But PMG’s grading system continues to use the 70-point grading point system used by the American for coins. So just for this ACCA completed a lengthy market research, conducting numerous surveys with coin vendors, collectors and the general population. The result is that it decided to compose a new grading system that is suitable for collectors all over the world: a 100-point standard. This standard was first brought forth by implemented by ACCA, and it is believed that it will become very popular in the near future. The most important advantage and virtue of the 100-point system is that it brings the decimal system to numerical grading. A perfect score of 100 is easy for collectors to understand and easy for beginners to learn. This systematic grading standard will far surpass the 70-point coin grading system. Perhaps supporters of the American system would beg to disagree, but ACCA will make great efforts to make the 100-point system the standard in the industry, and everyone is asked to support and spread it far and wide.

ACCA Paper Bill Appraisal Grading Explanation Table

ACCA PMG PMG Details ACCA Details
100 CU 70 One Hundred Gem Uncirculated The best possible product, fresh from the printer and flawless in appearance. All areas are symmetrical, all colors uniformly distributed, with not a single errant drop of ink to be found.
99-98-97 CU 67–69 Superb Gem Uncirculated A premium level product, fresh from the printer with no flaws other than either face of the bill possibly having factory issues such as soft marks from factory bundling, small ink drops, and paper pulp.
96-95 CU 65–66 Choice Uncirculated Brand new and never circulated. The bill has 4 sharp corners, clean and shiny faces, no water stains, and no yellow stains (except for 95 no EPQ, which allows for very slight yellow stains). Within focus areas, there may be some dust marks, ink marks, or small foreign matters in the paper pulp, visible to the naked eye. But there are no other flaws
94-93 CU 63–64 Choice Uncirculated Brand new and never circulated. But due to either improper storage or extended aging, there is some very slight color fading or yellow staining. There are no water stains that take the luster from the surface. The 4 corners may have some extremely light wear, possibly with slight yellowing or blackening at the tips. Original ink marks are permitted, but any fold marks, even slight ones, are not.
92-91 CU 60–62 Uncirculated Brand new and never circulated. But due to either improper storage or extended aging, there is some very slight color fading or yellow staining. There may be some water stains that take the luster from the surface. The 4 corners may have some light wear, possibly with slight yellowing or blackening at the tips. Original ink marks are permitted, as are very slight fold marks. Compared to 93~94, the bill surface is not as clean and bright.
90-88-85-82-80 AU 50, 53, 55, 58 About Uncirculated Has gone through light or extremely light use. The paper is still stiff and not soft (includes cleaned bills), and have some obvious fold marks, but overall the bill face is unstained. Because the bill has been used, the following conditions may exist: fold marks at the corners (that do not extend to the design pattern), slight color fading, needle hole (90); 1~3 fold marks extend to the design pattern (88); surface is undamaged, but secondary focus areas may have multiple fold or wrinkle marks; has fold or wrinkle marks that are more serious than found in 85~88 (82); has 1 or 2 fairly serious fold or wrinkle marks (80).
75-70 XF 40, 45 Extremely Fine Has gone through light to normal use. There may be numerous conditions on the bill surface as a result, and these may include: obvious fold marks, light staining, and (water/chemical) cleaning. But the entire surface is intact, with no rips at the edges. The 4 corners may be fairly worn. 75 points: may include a few serious fold or wrinkle marks, and light staining, with overall appearance at better than average. 70 points: may include serious triple folding marks, with larger pinholes or moth bites.
65-60 VF 30, 35 Very Fine Has gone through a medium level of use. The bill surface has been touched and passed around numerous times. Compared to 70~75 pointers, the overall surface is not as clean. Conditions may include: medium level staining, softened paper, cracks at the edges that may extend to the design pattern (including cut bills and repaired bills). Main focus areas show obvious signs of having been used, the center area may have holes, and the bill may or may not have been repaired.
55-50 F 25, 20 Fine Has gone through medium to heavy use. The bill has experienced extended circulation, and the 4 corners have clearly worn away. There are numerous folds or wrinkles, and cracks from the edges have extended to the main design pattern. The bill surface may be dirty or faded, but one can still identify details from the bill’s design pattern. The paper is soft, has a hole in the center, and may be been repaired. 50~60% of the bill’s picture design can be identified.
45-40 VG 15, 12 Very Good Has gone through heavy usage. The surface is heavily worn and may show conditions that include: multiple fold or wrinkle marks, stained surfaces, medium fading, rips at the edges with some parts missing, worn rounded corners, and small missing portions. The bill may have been repaired. 40~50% of the bill’s picture design can be identified.
35-30 G 8, 6 Good Has gone through heavy usage. The surface is heavily worn and may show conditions that include: multiple fold or wrinkle marks, stained surfaces, serious fading, rips at the edges with some parts missing, worn rounded corners, holes in the middle of the bill, and possible missing portions. The bill may have been repaired. 30~50% of the bill’s picture design can be identified, and the overall integrity of the bill is inferior to 40~45 pointers.
25-20 AG 4 About Good Has gone through severe use. The paper surface is severely worn and may show conditions that include: multiple fold or wrinkle marks, stained surfaces, serious fading, multiple rips at the edges with parts missing, worn rounded corners, holes in the middle of the bill, and missing portions. The bill may have been repaired. 30~40% of the bill’s picture design can be identified.
15-10 AG2 Poor Has gone through extremely severe use. Bills in such conditions are very rare. The surface is extremely worn and may exhibit the following conditions: multiple serious folds or wrinkles, extremely stained surfaces, extreme fading, severely ripped at the edges with numerous parts missing, worn out corners, holes in the middle of the bill, and missing portions. The bill may have been repaired, but it is difficult to recognize focus area patterns. 20~30% of the bill’s picture design can be identified.
5 PR 1 Very Poor Has gone through extremely severe use. Bills belonging to this lowest of all grades are extremely rare. The surface is extremely worn and may exhibit the following conditions: multiple serious folds or wrinkles, extremely stained surfaces, extreme fading, severely ripped at the edges with numerous parts missing, worn out corners, holes in the middle of the bill, and missing portions. The bill may have been repaired, but it is difficult to recognize focus area patterns. Only 10~30% of the bill’s picture design can be identified.
Grading English Definition
100 One Hundred Gem Unc
99、98、97 Superb Gem Unc
96、95 Gem Uncirculated
94、93 Choice Uncirculated
92、91 Uncirculated
90 Choice About Unc
88、85、82、80 About Uncirculated
75 Choice Extremely Fine
70 Extremely Fine
65 Choice Very Fine
60 Very Fine
55、50 Fine
45、40 Very Good
35、30 Good
25、20 About Good
15、10 Poor
5 Very Poor

ACCA will add English explanations according to paper bill conditions. Relevant conditions are explained below:

Paper Bill Condition English Explanation Marked as NET
Cleaned Bill has gone through cleaning. NET
Displaced Bill has a displaced or tilted design.
Faded Certain areas are faded. NET
Folded There are fold or wrinkle marks.
Ink Flood Bill is ink marked, has excessive ink, or was applied to overly wet ink.
Limp Bill is used and wrinkled.
Mark Bill is marked or labelled.
Moth-eaten Bill is partially eaten by moth or other insects. NET
No Decision Inconclusive, due to insufficient data.
Not Genuine Bill is forged and not genuine.
Pinhole Bill has one or more pinholes. NET
Rusted Bill is somehow rusted. NET
Scrawl Bill has been written or drawn on, typically with random writing or pictures.
Split Bill has been damaged with rips, holes or splits.
Stained Bill is stained, has stain marks, or is dirty.
Adhesive Bill is adhered with tape or other adhesive. NET
Thinned Bill has been thinned. NET
Tooled Bill has been tooled, repaired. NET
Trimmed Bill has been trimmed.
印製廠 英文縮寫
美國鈔票公司 ABNC
中央信託局印製廠 CTPA
財政部印刷局 BEPP
中央印製廠 CPFA
中央印製廠台北廠 CPFT
中央印製廠上海廠 CPFS
第一印刷廠 FPFT
中國大業公司 TYPC
中華書局有限公司 CHBA
英國華德路鈔票公司 W&S
美商保安鈔票公司 SBNC
德納羅鈔票公司 TDLR
大東書局有限公司 DTBC
行政委員會印刷局 EPCO
華威印刷有限公司 WPC
香港新華德利有限公司 HHEC
外砂萬益銀莊 HKPA
大業印刷公司 TYPC
西北印刷廠 NWPF