Certified Obsolete Notes

While rarity tends to trump condition on many obsolete notes as compared to even key date coins, on occasion one can find some obsoletes that are certified such as the two notes shown below from the Planters Bank of Fairfield, SC and the note from the State Bank Of South Carolina.

The $5 note from the State Bank Of South Carolina was certified by PMG (Paper Money Guaranty) whereas the two notes from the Planters Bank of Fairfield, SC were certified by the currency division of PCGS. A lesser known third party currency grading service is CGA (Currency Grading And Authentication) and happen to be the first currency grading service. At present, I have a total of 4 certified notes in my collection and the one I have certified by CGA is a $2 1896 Educational Series Silver Certificate which is still legal tender and therefore not shown.

$5 State Bank, South Carolina (18__)
Sheheen #148
Image Contribution: Handini

$5 Planters Bank Of Fairfield, Winnsboro, South Carolina (1857)
Sheheen #150
Image Contribution: Handini

$10 Planters Bank Of Fairfield, Winnsboro, South Carolina (1853)
Sheheen #151
Image Contribution: Handini

Overall, as far as holders go, it is apparent by these images shown that the PCGS holder is more optically clear than the PMG holder. The CGA holders are also optically clear. Both PCGS and PMG use a rigid "plastic" whereas the CGA holders appear thinner. One nice thing about the CGA holders though,  is that they are a little smaller on both the length and width making them easier to store. The PCGS holders are a little longer than the PMG holders but the PMG holders are a little wider (from top to bottom) than the PCGS holders.

This has always been an issue with both coin and currency holders where there is no standard size used across all grading services. To make matters worse to coin collectors. NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation) likes to modify their aspect ratio ever so frequently so it is difficult to find two seemingly identical holders to couple and stack up nicely. Unlike PCGS where all their holders, since they moved away from the "old rattlers", fit together nicely. NGC needs to fix this issue because as the holders slide against one another they will tend to scratch. I guess that's more money for them when collectors ship their coins back to them to be put into a newer, unscratched holder.

It is a shame that PCGS doesn't make a thick holder identical to their current coin holders with an aspect ratio for currency. PCGS, PMG, and CGA holders are all too thin that I fear they could easily get damaged and put dents in perfectly crisp notes thus ruining their value. Nevertheless, one advantage of the thin holders is being able to display ones collection. After all, what's the point of collecting if you can't show it off to others and talk about their history. Therefore, the PCGS and CGA holders are better at showing off notes since they are more optically clear than the PMG holders. Regardless of this fact, these 3 notes came together in one lot and since I currently have better examples, which are uncertified, of the Planters Bank of Fairfield, I'll definitely get rid of these two and keep the one from the State Bank of South Carolina until I upgrade it to a nicer specimen.


  1. I have the sheheen # 148 state bank of south carolina five dollar note. Can you give me any info at all of it's value or rarity. Thank you.

    1. It is a more common note with a rarity of 2 on the 15 point scale. As far as value goes, it will depend on condition. It can range in value from below $35 to over $100.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...