Australian Banknotes – Cleaning

The investor from time to time will be offered banknotes that have been cleaned, you should be very wary. The majority of those “doctoring” banknotes are not experienced museum specialists; they are people attempting to change a banknote from Very Fine to Extra Fine. More often than not they do more harm to the banknote. There are telling signs, while not an indication of cleaning, justify a more thorough examination. Firstly sometimes the banknote will appear limp, the result of washing. Look for a “glisten” on the banknote, caused by ironing, examine the fibre of the edges, the majority of cases the ironing will have pressed the fibres down in different directions. So called “doctors” will by-pass this by taking a long time to dry the banknote after washing, literally several weeks of slow drying, they will also iron with heavy material between the banknote and iron.

Chemical treating if done in a way not to harm the banknote by professional restorers will leave a distinct smell, as against mustiness, caused by long term storage. If your banknote has passed “the smelling test”, holding the banknote in the palm of your hand to see if it curls, and not unusually “limp”, it does follow this banknote has been “doctored” by an inefficient person.

Pass the banknote through finger and thumb, exerting pressure to feel any ridges over the banknote.

Hold the banknote to the light, repairs can be seen visibly by brown marking on the banknote. Pressing will normally show a faint line. If the banknotes pass these tests it would be fine to purchase.

Finally don’t forget to look for colour and sheen and size on current modern issues, circa 1911 to 1994, always compare the banknote to a similar banknote for colour and size, banknotes can fade due to storage.

Comparing banknotes of a similar type side by side can indicated if your purchase may be been trimmed.

In finishing investing in Australian banknotes is a matter of personal choice. It has been said by some dealers “If you can’t tell a banknote has been cleaned, what does it matter” – it does matter; for professionals can always tell, and it matters to you, as far as the price is concerned.

The Right Note has a strict policy of describing your purchase of Australian banknotes.
The legend for this should be an industry standard, and is a follows.
All information is disclosed on purchase.

St: Stain.
Dr: Dirt.
Rep: Repaired.
TR: Trimmed.
Cl: Cleaned.
Ts: Tears.