Frequently Asked Questions

PMG Grading

What notes will not be graded by PMG?

PMG will not grade notes that are counterfeit, are of questionable authenticity or have been altered. Most notes that are issued for reasons other than socioeconomic exchange are not eligible for PMG certification and PMG will not grade checks, stocks or satire and advertisement scrip. In addition, PMG maintains a list of specific note types that are not eligible for PMG certification. Learn more >

What size holder will my note(s) be encapsulated in?

Unless requested otherwise by the customer on the submission form, PMG will generally encapsulate notes in the smallest possible holder if doing so allows them to fit in one of PMG’s standard holder sizes. For example, a vertically oriented note will be encapsulated in a horizontally oriented PMG standard holder if it will fit. Notes that require the PMG Oversize Holder or Custom Holder will generally be encapsulated according to the note’s orientation.

What is Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ)?

An Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) note is, in the opinion of PMG graders, completely original. EPQ notes will not have been physically, chemically, or materially processed to give the appearance of a higher grade. Notes exhibiting normal wear-and-tear for their grade are eligible. All notes graded Very Fine 20 and higher will be evaluated for the EPQ designation. Notes must qualify for the EPQ designation to grade Gem Uncirculated 65 and higher.

What is the PMG Star () Designation?

PMG assigns its trademarked Star () Designation to notes that have exceptional eye appeal for their assigned numeric grade. For a note to be designated with a Star () by PMG, it must exhibit exceptionally strong plate and/or overprint embossing, vibrant ink color, and pristine paper quality exceeding the well-established standards used to determine the Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) Designation.

All US and world notes are automatically evaluated for the distinction of the PMG () Star Designation. Notes that do not qualify for the EPQ Designation will be disqualified from receiving the Star Designation.

Notes graded PMG Gem Uncirculated 70 must also qualify for the PMG Star () and EPQ Designations.

What is a “Net” grade?

The NET designation indicates a note that has problems that are more severe than can be reflected by the note’s assigned numeric grade. If a note receives the NET designation, the severe problem or problems will be listed. The grade portion of the PMG Guarantee does not apply to Notes given a NET designation by PMG. Notes with the NET designation are guaranteed to be genuine only.

If a note is removed from a PMG holder can I be assured that it will receive the same grade if resubmitted to PMG?

No. Once a note is removed from a PMG holder the PMG Guarantee no longer applies. This is because PMG cannot account for where that note has been, what if anything has been done to it, and for the overall subjective nature of note grading itself.

What is a Pedigree?

A pedigree describes the current and/or past ownership of a note. It notates the collector or collectors who have previously owned a particular note. For example, a note from the collection of Drs. Edward and Joanne Dauer may be pedigreed “Drs. Edward and Joanne Dauer” or “Dauer” on the PMG certification label. PMG will pedigree notes to significant collectors or collections if sufficient documentation is provided. Pedigrees can also be used to describe hoards. A submitter may request that their own name or the name of a collection be listed as the pedigree on the PMG certification label, subject to PMG’s approval.

What if my PMG-certified note has an outdated Pick catalog number?

PMG attributes most world paper money according to "Pick" catalog numbers described in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. These catalogs are continually updated by Krause Publications and, on occasion, some catalog numbers are changed. As a result, some PMG-certified notes are encapsulated with a label that has an outdated Pick catalog number.

Changes to the Pick catalog numbers are completely outside of PMG's control and PMG therefore cannot be responsible for notes that are no longer correctly attributed on the PMG label due to a later Pick numbering change. When attributing notes, PMG will use the most current Pick catalog numbers in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. For PMG-certified notes that have a now-outdated Pick catalog number, PMG will discount its ReHolder rate to US $7.50 to update the attribution. Similarly, PMG will offer this discounted ReHolder rate of US $7.50 to update the label for notes that were previously encapsulated with a Pick Unlisted attribution and have since been assigned a specific Pick catalog number.

What do I do if I think my PMG-certified note is overgraded?

PMG offers a free Appearance Review service in the event that someone believes that a PMG-certified note is overgraded. Notes that are reviewed and downgraded by PMG are covered by the comprehensive PMG Guarantee of grade and authenticity. To read the full PMG Guarantee, click here.

What do I do if I think my PMG-certified note is undergraded?

If you believe your PMG-certified note is undergraded, you may submit it to PMG under the “ReGrade” service tier. An applicable grading tier must also be selected.

Why do PMG graders not wear gloves?

Gloves make it more difficult to examine a note and increase the likelihood of it being torn or mishandled. It is widely accepted within numismatics that a note should be held with clean, dry hands and without gloves.

Similarly, librarians who handle rare books are generally discouraged from wearing gloves due to the increased likelihood of tearing a page or otherwise damaging a book. The Library of Congress, for example, states that “contrary to widespread belief, gloves are not necessarily recommended to handle rare or valuable books…it is generally preferable to handle your books with clean hands, washed with soap and thoroughly dried, rather than with gloves.” Extensive research on this subject is available online.

Submitting to PMG

Where is PMG located?

PMG is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is located within a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility. PMG also has submission offices in London, United Kingdom; Munich, Germany; Hong Kong, China and Shanghai, China as well as Official Submission Centers in the Netherlands, China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

How do I contact PMG?

PMG can be contacted by mail, telephone or email. For a list of PMG submission locations, click here.

How do I submit to PMG?

CCG Hong Kong Collector members may submit their notes directly. Join today!

Once you are a member, you can schedule an appointment to drop off your submissions at CCG Hong Kong’s office, or you can ship your submissions to CCG Hong Kong.

To schedule an appointment to drop off at the Hong Kong office:

Contact CCG Hong Kong on (+852) 2115 3639 or at Service@PMGnotes.hk. You must schedule an appointment to submit in person.

To arrange a shipment to the Hong Kong office:

The submitter is responsible for selecting the carrier and level of insurance. CCG Hong Kong is not liable for losses or damage to notes in transit. Shipments should be addressed to:

CCG Hong Kong Ltd.
Suite 1208-10, 12/F, Tower 1,
The Gateway, Harbour City,
25 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui,
Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Note: Submissions sent through the mail must be delivered to CCG Hong Kong’s office during normal business hours.

To arrange a shipment from the Hong Kong office:

Fill out the Hong Kong Return Shipping Form, which can be found here. Make sure to:

  • Enter all information requested in the form.
  • Select your own carrier (which requires a completed shipping label) or authorize CCG Hong Kong to arrange shipping by EMS according to the rate table in the form (recommended).
  • Make sure you sign your form.
  • Include the completed form with your submission.

Note: If a Hong Kong Return Shipping Form is not included with a submission, CCG Hong Kong will hold the notes at its office for pick-up.

Payments to CCG Hong Kong are accepted by Visa, Mastercard and electronic transfer.

Many CCG Hong Kong Authorized Dealers also accept submissions from the public.

What is the cost of PMG grading?

PMG’s grading fees are generally based on a note’s fair market value and the submitter’s desired turnaround time. For a comprehensive list of all PMG grading tiers, service tiers, fees and requirements, click here.

Can I send multiple submissions to PMG in the same box?

Yes, you may send multiple submissions to PMG in the same box. You may not, however, send submissions to PMG and another independent affiliate (e.g. PMG or NCS) in the same box.

How do I safely package my notes for shipment to PMG?

To help ensure that your submissions arrive safely at PMG we recommend that you follow these tips:

  • Do not tape or staple sleeves.
  • Do not bundle and tape notes together.
  • Do not tape notes to cardboard.
  • Make sure notes are secured in either a box or envelope, so that there is no room for them to move around potentially getting damaged.
  • Do not tape submissions to the inside of the box or envelope.
  • Please feel free to use bubble wrap or newspaper to protect notes in their mailing container.
  • Be sure to label sleeves with the submission/invoice number and line item.
In addition to knowing your notes will arrive in the same condition as when they left your hands, if you follow these recommendations you can be sure that your notes will be graded and returned without any unexpected delays or fees.

What measures are in place at PMG to ensure the safety of my notes?

PMG headquarters is a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility with two large vaults, a staff of armed guards and more than 150 security cameras. Submissions to PMG are opened under security cameras and each note is immediately assigned a unique identification number that is used to track it throughout every stage of PMG’s grading process. All notes are fully insured while in PMG’s possession and are handled only by trained staff.

What is the PMG grading process?

When a submission is received by PMG it is opened by trained staff under security cameras. Each note is entered into PMG’s proprietary system and assigned a unique identification numbered with a barcode that is used to track the note throughout the PMG grading process. At this stage, the notes are separated from the submission paperwork so that the PMG graders never know the submitter’s identity, which ensures impartiality.

Notes are then transferred to the PMG grading room, where multiple professional graders carefully examine each note. After grading, notes are encapsulated in PMG’s archival-quality holder designed for long-term preservation and protection.

After encapsulation, notes are returned to the PMG grading room for a final inspection.

Finally, the notes are matched up to the original submission form and brought to PMG’s shipping department. Every note is individually counted and checked against the submission paperwork to make certain that no mistakes occurred. Notes are then securely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box and are now ready to be sent back to the submitter.

Can I check the status of my submission online?

Yes! PMG Collector members and PMG Authorized Dealers may login at PMGnotes.com to track the status of their submission. Submitters may also contact PMG Customer Service at Service@PMGnotes.hk or call +852 2115-3639.

Can I cancel or change my order after my submission has been delivered to PMG?

Once your submission has been delivered to PMG, your order cannot be cancelled or changed. PMG has already started working on your submission to perform your requested services. No refunds can be given after a submission has been delivered.

Please note that turnaround times are only estimates and are not guaranteed. For current services and fees as well as turnaround times, click here.

If I remove my collectible from its PMG holder, what should I do with the label?

If you remove your collectible from its PMG holder, you can return the label to PMG so that the collectible is no longer counted in the PMG Registry. This helps to make the PMG Population Report more accurate. Please note that removing a collectible from its PMG holder will void any guarantee provided by the company. If you would like it to be re-encapsulated by PMG, it would need to be submitted for grading as a raw (ungraded) collectible.

PMG Membership

What are the benefits of PMG membership and how do I join?

PMG members receive direct submission privileges to PMG and other Certified Collectibles Group member companies. Certain membership levels also offer grading credits and discounts.

Click here to see all of the PMG member benefits and join.

Can I submit to other Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) companies?

Yes. Your PMG membership entitles you to submit to Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) and Certified Guaranty Company (CGC).

Does the credit I receive with my Premium or Elite PMG membership expire?

Yes. This credit expires one year from the day it was issued.

Now that I have direct submission rights to your grading services, can I submit on behalf of my friends?

No. Your membership is valid for submissions of your collectibles ONLY. You may not submit on behalf of any third party.

Can I transfer my membership credit to a friend to use?

No. The credit is only valid for the member to whom it was issued.

Is my membership refundable?

Because of the benefits received with your membership, a pro-rated refund is not available. However, if you have signed up for auto-renewal of your membership, and decide within 30 days of auto-renewal that you would like to cancel your membership, you may receive a refund of your membership dues by contacting PMG Customer Service at Service@PMGnotes.hk or +852 2115-3639. You may not receive a refund if you have already used a grading credit.

PMG Certification Verification

Why do I need to select the grade along with the PMG certification number?

This is done to prevent people from browsing or “crawling” submissions in the PMG Certification Verification database. We understand that this added step can be a little inconvenient, but it provides significantly greater data security.

Why does it say “No match was found?”

There are several possible reasons no match was found:

  • You entered an invalid certification number. Please double check the certification number and try again.
  • You selected the wrong grade. Please double check the grade and try again.
  • Your note has not yet been shipped by PMG. Only notes that have been shipped can be searched in PMG Certification Verification.
If you still cannot find your note, contact PMG Customer Service.

What does it mean if it says “Contact PMG Customer Service,” “Possible Counterfeit Holder,” “Mechanical Error” or “Deleted?”

  • Contact PMG Customer Service — If you see this alert, contact PMG Customer Service. There are a variety of reasons why “Contact PMG Customer Service” may be displayed.
  • Possible Counterfeit Holder — If you see this alert, it means that PMG has seen a counterfeit or tampered holder that uses this certification number. Contact PMG Customer Service if you see this alert.
  • Mechanical Error — If you see this alert, it means that the label has a mechanical (typographical) error. This note should be returned to PMG so that the label can be corrected. For more information and submission instructions, contact PMG Customer Service.
  • Deleted — If you see this alert, it generally means that the note was removed from the PMG Population Report. Notes are occasionally deleted in error, however, so if you see this alert but own the note, please email pictures of the front and back of the holder to service@PMGnotes.com.