Recent Additions and News:
Discussion of such topics as : Grading Services-the Good the Bad and the Ugly.
Dealers. The importance of establishing a good relationship.
Viewing notes in a scan-too much detail; too little?
Internet buying vs Show Attendance
PLUS MANY, MANY MORE.
"Apparent": What does it really mean?
Prior to the appearance of the Grading Services upon the scene relative to Confederate
Treasury Notes, Obsoletes, Scrip and all other manner of items they grade; we frequently utilized an "old saying" when it came to a rare note. That old saying was; "You grade the second one". Obviously, this was applicable to notes which were not easily obtainable and rare. One might only have one chance to acquire a given piece, so a collector acquired the note even though it had issues or problems, as we say. The internet has changed much and has actually increased the number of notes which may be viewed by collectors. The days of actually having to attend a paper/coin show to even view this material is no more. One had to attend a show to view any of the particular notes one might collect. In this day and time, many venues offer high resolution scans of the material they offer for sale, thus eliminating the absolute need for a collector to attend each and every show they can. I still think it is a good idea for collectors to attend shows; as there is no substitute for the opportunity to hold the material in your hands and actually view it in person. Further, relationships with dealers are established and attending a show is a lot of fun.
Back to the use and interpretation of the word "Apparent". This word can mean many, many different things. I have received more than one email from a collector which states that they want no note, no matter what it is, which has the word "Apparent" upon the holder. This is all well and good and I respect that. Such a qualifier would eliminate a Choice Uncirculated CSA T-35 or Indian Princess which happened to have a 1/16 edge split in it. Before taking this approach to graded notes, I strongly suggest that one think about what the above statement means. A graded note can be assigned the word "Apparent" for a myriad of reasons. We must also consider what type of note and how rare it is prior to a proper analysis. A tiny edge split found upon a unique note from Jasper, GA will conjure up the word "Apparent". Does one really expect to locate such a rarity in perfect condition? Many excessively rare notes are indeed miracles of survival, much less without some sort of problem.....large or small. When discussing common to semi common CSA or obsoletes which are not that difficult to acquire, I can readily understand and recommend avoiding problem notes.
Most advanced collectors of a particular series or type are not concerned if a grading service holder bears the word "Apparent" upon a rare piece. Of course, this depends upon why the note was assigned an "Apparent" grade and to what the extent the problems are. Was the note torn in two and glued back together? Does it have large, black stains all over it? Is there a 3/4 inch hole in the note? Is the note covered in rust? Many more dubious problems could be mentioned here. Some notes are very highly sought after by certain collectors even if they bear the above problems. Most collectors avoid them and rightfully so.....depending upon what you collect and how far along you are with your collection.
The entire point of this little post is that far too many notes are not bought simply because the word Apparent appears thereon. The CSA T-11 represents a very good example of what I am attempting to convey. In general, an original T-11 is located in simply terrible condition. The note was heavily utilized in commerce and did not wear well. Most original, non repaired examples are near total rags, limp with corners missing, holed, etc.. There exist T-11's within the top 10 known which reside in grading service holders bearing the word "Apparent". If one is fortunate enough to locate a T-11 with only one or two small edge splits and thereby graded "Apparent", they have located one of the best T-11's extant. I suppose there is always the thought in the collectors mind that there will be a non apparent T-11 come along in time. A collector certainly cannot be faulted for thinking in this manner, as I would be thinking the same...if I didn't know what I do and been at this for over 4 decades. In other words, there exist choice notes which bear the word apparent. I see far too many collectors merely purchasing the number on a grading service holder; rather than the note itself. That is an entirely different subject matter and will be discussed later. The old adage, "Acquire the best note you can afford" has by no means disappeared and remains as viable today as it did one hundred years ago. However; it is extremely important for collectors to be aware that great notes exist which are housed in "Apparent" grading service holders. Just a suggestion; however, look at the note itself when you see the word apparent. Based upon years of experience, do not look at the word "Apparent" and look no further. There is no right or wrong answer to a collector's interpretation and application of the word "Apparent". Obviously, it is up to the individual and rightfully so. If a collector does not want a note bearing an "Apparent" moniker in his or her collection, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. As stated, there are many variables at play in this situation; including what is being collected, a given note's rarity, the degree of impairment and individual tastes. If one collects Southern Merchant scrip from the State of Alabama and has no notes in his or her collection which grade Apparent, that collection will be smaller than it should be, lacking many significant "Apparent" graded pieces upon which the collector passed due to this word. On the other hand, if a collector is endeavoring to put together a complete type set of Confederate Treasury notes, most all "Apparent" notes may be avoided...save for one or two issues. I merely point out that many choice, rare notes exist in "Apparent" grading service holders and are overlooked simply because of a word. In many, many instances, this will be the only way the issue is located...if at all.
Out of time for now; although will come back to this subject later. Remember, I am not referring to common or semi common notes here. Look closely at why the note is assigned an apparent grade. Very few scare to rare notes have survived the last 160 years or more without some sort of edge ding, split or the like. We are not discussing a coin which is comprised of metal, we are discussing paper, which has likely been lying in some box or hot attic for all of these years.
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