Grading Process

The PCGS Banknote grading process involves several steps to ensure the highest level of service is provided. Each phase of the grading process is performed in accordance with our established procedures to accurately and safely grade each banknote and place them safely into the secure PCGS Banknote holder.


Each package is received, and each banknote is reviewed, itemized, and entered into our grading system to ensure the contents match the information provided by the customer. After verifying the service level and payment, the identifying information is removed from the order and the submission is assigned a generic order number. Finally, all pertinent data is entered from the PCGS Banknote submission form and the banknotes are prepared for the next stage of the grading process.


Each banknote is examined and evaluated by several banknote experts and is evaluated in accordance with the established PCGS Banknote Grading Standards. Each order is distributed to graders based on their particular skills and expertise. While the graders are generally trained to handle banknotes from virtually all eras, they are assigned banknotes based on their strengths. The sheer number of graders assigned to each banknote can also vary depending on the type of banknote submitted. After grades are finalized, they are sent to our Sealing Team to be encapsulated.


Once each banknote is assigned a numerical grade and its details are input into the grading system, the banknote is then secured within a PCGS Banknote holder and labeled with its pertinent information.


Once the banknote is encapsulated in the PCGS Banknote holder, it is then verified by an additional banknote expert to ensure all pertinent information is accurate and matches our records.

An additional quality control checkpoint occurs after the verifier has reviewed the order. Each banknote is matched against the original paperwork. The banknotes and holder are further examined for defects or improper information on the PCGS Banknote label that may have been overlooked in prior stages. Once verified, high-resolution images of both the obverse and reverse of the banknote are taken to display on Cert Verification if the banknote is deemed as gradable.

All final grades will be provided to the customer upon completion of their order. The banknote is then ready to be returned to the client.


After completing the grading process, each banknote is held until proper return shipping is in place. You will be notified via email by PCGS Europe when your order is completed and ready for pick up/shipment. All orders must be paid in full prior to shipment/pick up.

Banknotes that are not suitable for grading:

  • Banknotes deemed to be forgeries or not genuine, of non-historic value.
  • Items that have been deemed by PCGS Banknote experts to be significantly repaired or altered to a degree of unsuitability for encapsulation or grading.
  • Most banknotes issued for reasons other than some form of socioeconomic exchange are not eligible for PCGS Banknote certification.
  • Some checks, satire and advertisement scrip, and stocks are not eligible for certification.
  • Banknote pictures are not eligible for grading.
  • Any item that PCGS Banknote experts deem unsuitable for grading.