The state of preservation of banknotes - Moruzzi Numismatica Roma

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The state of preservation of banknotes

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Lo stato di conservazione della cartamoneta

For the collection of paper money the condition or grade of preservation involves at least two important factors.

The first is aesthetic, a worn piece is not as beautiful as an Uncirculated example.

Secondly, there is a substantial difference in market value between used and Uncirculated notes.

It is very important when purchasing paper money that the price reflects the condition or grade of preservation.

Beware of sellers that do not state the condition or grade of preservation.

For any other information the we recommend you consult 'La cartamoneta italiana', volumes I and II, by Ermelindo Giulianini and Guido Crapanzano.

Grading Guide - Terminology and Abbreviations

FDS - Fior di stampa



NEUF, Neuf

BFR, Bankfrisch

Lujo, Sin circular

A perfectly preserved note, never mishandled by the issuing authority, bankteller or collector. The paper is clean and firm, without discoloration, corners are sharp and square, without any evidence of rounding, folding or bending or light handling present. A perfect note will still have its original, natural sheen.

mSPL/SUP migliore di "Splendida" o Superba


About Uncircolated

SPL, Spendid


SC, Sin circular

A virtually perfect note, with some minor handling. It may show very slight evidence of bankcounting folds at a corner or one light fold through the centre, but not both. An AU note can not be creased, a crease being a hard fold which has usually "broken" the surface of the note. The paper must be clean and bright with original sheen and the corners not rounded.

SPL - Splendida


Extremely Fine

SUP, Superbe

VZGL - Vorzüglich

EBC, Excelente buena conservación

A very attractive note, with light handling which may have a maximum of three light folds or one strong crease. The paper should be clean and bright with its original sheen. The corners may show only the slightest evidence of rounding and there may also be the slightest sign of wear where a fold meets the edge.

BB - Bellissima


Very Fine

TTB, Très Très Beau

Sehr Schön

MBC, Muy buena conservación

An attractive note, but with more evidence of handling and wear. It may have several folds both vertically and horizontally. The paper may have minimal dirt, or possible colour smudging, but is still relatively crisp and floppy. There must be no tears into the border area, although the edges do show slight wear. The corners may also show wear but not full rounding.

MB - Molto Bella



TB, Très Beau


BC, Buena conservación

A note which has considerable circulation with many folds, creases and wrinkling. The paper should not be excessively dirty but may have some softness. The edges may show much handling, with minor tears in the border area. The tears should not extend into the design. There will be no central hole because of excessive folding. The colours should clear but not very bright. On or two staple holes are not be considered unusual wear in a Fine F note and overall appearance should still be attractive.

B - Bella



B, Beau

Sehr Gut Erhalten

BR, Regular conservación

A used note, heavily circulated with tiny nicks but still intact with corners worn and rounded, Tears may extend into the design, some discoloration may be present, staining may have occurred, and a small hole may sometimes be seen at the centre from excessive folding. Staple and pinholes are usually present, and the note itself may be quite limp but no pieces should be missing. A note in VG condition may still have an overall not unattractive appearance.

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