Time and money investment,choice of desision what to collect,how to store and grade bank note,exchange with new collector and sending a letter.

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Whether you decided to make hobby or investments in the bank notes,you should invest some money and time before start buying bank notes.

First step should be buying some books about bank notes,catalog,like the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money where you have describred genaral information about bank note,like the year and date (when bank note was issued),name of the guverner of the bank,watermarks,security treats and catalog value.As for the catalog value there is one important tip : mostly contributors of such catalogs are dealers and they will sugest catalog value according their own interest,in many cases unrealistic prices.What they have in stock they will overpriced it,and for those bank notes that are not circulating in market they will make very small value.Thats why you should invest time as well as money.

To find out what would be realistic price you should watch price on auctions to determine price of the bank note.Its not easy,but its not hard too.Just what you need is some time and auction that is popular,like eBay .

After you make such investments next step should be making decision what would you like to collect.Such decision is based primarly on your financial power.Genarally,beginers will try to collect cheapest bank notes,there are houndreds bank notes you can get for 1 $US or less.But after some time they will start to collect more expensive bank notes.Thats why you should make decision what you would like to collect.You can collect bank notes with similar topic/theme (people,animal,buliding,etc),one period,or by the countrys.Most collectors collect their own countrys bank notes,or it's their primarly choice of collecting.

You should think where to store your bank notes.Albums for paper money are best solution,but most expensive one.You have currency holders,with different measurements,and they are note expensive.

One of the most important issues,regardless if you are buying,selling or exchanging bank notes,is to determine condition of bank note.Why is it important to proper grade condition of the bank note?Becouse  condition of the bank note has influence on the value of bank note in reciprocal,lower the grade means lower value.Mistake in proper grading of the bank note,even not big one,can reduce bouth catalog and market value.

To determine bank note you should know several different quality/grading terms:

UNCIRCULATED (UNC)  :  perfect mint bank note,that have never been in circulation,with sharp corners,solid paper and no evidance that note has been used by the bank,in public,or by the seller or collecter.

EXTREMELY FINE (EF or XF)   :  such condition indicates small handling of the bank note,with a maximum of three light folds or one strong crease.Paper has original sheen like Uncirculated.Edges can have slight roundings.

VERY FINE (VF)   :   more vear and handling evidance,but bank note is still without tears and roundings and paper is firm,although paper can have small dirt or some color can be muddy.

FINE (F)  :  many folds,curves or edging shows that bank note was in noticable circulation.Paper is not firm any more,dirt is larger and some tears are present and color is not clear.

VERY GOOD (VG)  :  Very used bank note,but still in one piece.Tears can interfere with design,corners are rounding.Staple and pinholes are present.

GOOD (G)  :  heavily used bank note with many folds,creases,stains,pinholes,dirt,graffiti,weak color,and small part of the bank note is missing.

FAIR (F)  :  well used bank note,many folds,dirt with a large part of the bank note missing.Such grade is rarely in use.

POOR (P)  :  same as FAIR,but with larger missing parts which are taped.

Some collectors/salers use prefix ABOUT (a/A) to describe some minor hadling and mostly for UNCIRCULATED bank notes,as well as for other grades.

To grade bank note,beside knowing this grades,you should know how to look at the bank note.Never inspect bank note under bad light or with the bank note in holder.Place bank note between your eye and light source,than move it in different postions (angles).Do not remove tape,clean,wash dirt or erase graffiti becouse it will reduce quality and the value!

If you want to exchange/sale,a specialy via Internet,you should make a list with bank notes you are offering for exchange/sale.Such list should contains name of the country,denomination,date,quality,additional catalog reference number and the value,quantity.If you are saling then you will establish your own value but try to make it realistic (as described above).One important tip for beginers in exchange : There is unwriten rule regarding exchange.If you make contact first with collector that you would like to exchange he/she will expect you to send first.Than you should ask collector to send you his/her references,a specialy international one (his/her Good Trader List with name and email of collectors he/she had exchanged).If collectors can not offer you such a list, than it is up to you will you procide with trade or not.If collector with no references or just few wants almost all from your list (or large amount of value) be awere,on Interenet there are many people who are not honnest.If you feel trade can be good than try to make some enquire with your friends.Also you can join to some of collectors club and they are many of them in internet,like in Yahoo,and they are free.

Once you make a agrement to trade you should protect bank notes in letter,from foldind or other physical demage.Usualy it is good solution to put bank note in one or more holders,than to tape them to cardboard and then to place them in envelope,careffuly taking care to avoid bank note demage.We recomend Registered Mail as option of sending,costs few dollars extra but it is much secure.During exchange you can obtain communication with collector you are trading with and that will make additional dosage of confidence between collectors.If some problem occurs,like collector didnt send at the agreed time,missing some notes or quality agreed is not the same as recieved,try to work out with collector that made mistake.Do not rush to list them as bad collector.


If you have any question and we are able to answer,we will be glad to do it,feel free to ask.



HAPPY AND SAFE COLLECTING                                            LILA BANK NOTES TEAM.