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Guides

What Is the Best Way to Store Vintage U.S. Paper Money?

The best way to store collectible currency is to slide it into a protective plastic Mylar sleeve and to keep that sleeve stored in a cool, dark place with a steady, controlled temperature. Prior to the advent of plastic sleeves, some collectors stored currency laid flat and tucked within the pages of books, and though this is not necessarily problematic, some damage can occur through this method. The paper inside the book can be acidic, which may deteriorate the quality of the currency. Heavier books can also flatten out original textural details, such as imprints and paper waves.

How Is Collectible Currency Graded?

Collectible currency is graded on a numerical scale from 1 to 70, the upper end signifying perfection and the lower end signifying poor condition. There are also nine official verbal levels of quality, "poor" being the lowest quality and "gem uncirculated" indicating the best possible condition. The intactness of corners and edges, the brilliance of color, sharpness of detail, the thickness of the paper, and the number and severity of wrinkles and folds are all factors in evaluating vintage paper currency.

How Much Larger Is a Large-size Note Compared to Today's Dollar Bill?

Printed from 1863 to 1929, large-sized U.S. currency notes were approximately 3.12 inches tall by 7.4 inches wide. Today, paper currency in the U.S. measures 2.61 inches tall by 6.14 inches wide. Therefore, large-size notes were about half an inch wider and 1.28 inches longer than today's notes.