Collecting old paper money can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Many of you, like myself, were introduced to the hobby by a parent, relative or friend. My father collected coins and years later I drew from that memory and became an passionate collector of Obsolete bank notes and National Currency.
My hometown note, a 1902 $5 National Bank Note from Cranford, New Jersey.
There are so many ways to collect paper money. Examples include collecting hometown National currency and obsolete banknotes, Confederate currency and large size type notes. Small size notes are very popular and some collectors focus on star replacement notes, block letter sets or World War II emergency note sets. Others collect high grade examples and form registry sets with PCGS currency and PMG currency in which they complete with other collectors and post pictures with a weighted numerical ranking.
The large size currency series lasted from 1865 through 1923 and is arguably the most popular and well collected of all the currency types. The art work is beautiful and they often have nicknames such as the black eagle, chief, bison and battleship just to name a few.
Grading notes is also an important aspect of collecting and this comes with experience. Paper money grades range from 1 being the lowest through 70 which is the highest possible grade. Third party grading companies such as PCGS currency and PMG currency are the finest and widely respected in the hobby. They authenticate, assign a numerical grade and 'slab' the note in a encased holder. The grade of a note does affect the price, in some cases tremendously.
Buying notes from a reputable paper money dealer is a very important and often overlooked factor that needs to be considered. A reputable dealer will offer and no hassle money back guarantee and can provide valuable knowledge when deciding which note to choose. Not all notes are created equal and an expert dealer can tell the difference and help you choose the right note, do not be afraid to ask questions! When it's time to sell or upgrade your note a high quality note will generally bring stronger prices. Americana Currency is a member of the Professional Currency Dealers Association (PCDA), a non-profit organization comprised of the country's top rare currency dealers and numismatic experts.
There is a lot of information to research and things learn about and that is one aspect that makes collecting paper money so enjoyable and generally, in time, profitable! So take some time, look, learn and dive into the wonderful hobby that is loved by so many passionate collectors including yours truly!
Welcome to the hobby and happy collecting!