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Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:21 pm
by Mac
Watch out for cleaned banknotes.

People are still bleaching Ploughman notes in an effort to disguise their true condition. So buyer beware out there.
Cleaning reduces the value of notes, and is to be discouraged. Some collectors and dealers would not buy a note that has been cleaned. All respectable dealers and auctioneers mention if a note has been cleaned by listing it as 'Pressed'. Pressed doesn't go anywhere near describing the £1 note below. :cry:

Here are two recent examples of banknote cleaning.
Spot the difference!

The £5 note was offered on ebay in May, 2014.
It appeared again in August, 2014, having been treated with some agent to lighten the mould damage. A nasty fate to befall a previously ok note. Note the artificial flatness of the after picture.

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Cleaned Ploughman fiver.


An even worse job was done on this £1 note! They likely used too much bleach on the mouldy areas.

Offered in June, 2014, as a low grade, but respectable note.
It surfaced again October, 2014. Not really worth more than face value with this mutilation.

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Bleached Ploughman pound.

Watch out for cleaned notes!

Re: Buyer beware

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:22 pm
by Mac
Here's a Lavery £50 note that turned up on ebay in 2009. It reappeared very shortly after being processed.
A pity, as 'Sterling' era fifty Pound notes are scarce. Not scarce enough to be worth much more than face value with this level of cleaning though. One wonders what it was washed with in order to lighten the ink and foxing.


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1957 Lavery fifty Pound note before processing

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Heavily cleaned Lavery 50 pound note

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:48 pm
by Mac
I almost feel sorry for the stupid moron(s) who tried to clean these Ploughman notes, almost. May they suffer financially for their stupidity.
Here's a National Bank £1 Ploughman note that appeared on a well-known online market place recently.

There's a scan of it in the PSS database before it was messed with:
The before pic dates from 13 Sept 2014, the bleached image from 03 Feb 2016.

There is a group of these Ploughman notes, around 15-20 all with mould damage. They turned up in auction in Dublin a few years back. Most are dated 6.5.29, quite a rare date for some of the more common banks. It is an annoying shame that they are being destroyed in this fashion by stupid people.

They fail to sell after they have been bleached.

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Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:50 pm
by Mac
Here we have the latest example of a heavily washed Ploughman note being offered for sale on ebay.

The true condition of the banknote National Bank 01NK 013647, as sold in a whytes auction in April 2016. Grade VG
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The same banknote after it has been heavily washed, and offered on ebay as an EF grade.
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National Bank Ploughman £5 note washed.

Hopefully no one will be caught out by it.
Buyer beware!

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:07 pm
by Mac
Here is a good example of a washed banknote. The white mottling on the surface is due to abrasion, with the ink of the note having been worn away to expose the paper. This is clearest on the portrait. The note is also limp, and sometimes the fibres of the paper will have been disturbed and will be loos on the surface.

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Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:43 pm
by LimerickNomad
That Plough 5 is an amazing note. It looks like a copy more than a real note, such is its sharpness!

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:12 pm
by Mac
A bit of whitening agent used on it perhaps.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:59 am
by ThePloughman
Some of these dweebs whoi clean notes with bleach have got no brains.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:48 pm
by DOC
Here is another example of a heavily cleaned note sold recently on ebay. The original note sold is shown with a large tear and tape mark. The processed note shown below is cleaned and pressed. Amazingly, the tear was not mentioned in the ebay auction description !

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:21 pm
by Mac
That certainly is a heavily enhanced note!
I wonder if the enhancements are by the same person as in the National £5 above.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:10 am
by ThePloughman
Dunno. would someone be fooled by it. Hold it up to the light and you'd see the tear.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:20 pm
by DOC
Yes, the same seller sold both the Munster & Leinster £5 and the National Bank £5 notes. I agree that the tear would be apparent once the note was available for inspection. However, by that time the note would have been purchased and would need to be returned for a refund.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:37 pm
by Mac
Here is avery interesting Ploughman note I spotted on ebay recently. It is interesting in that it has been washed in some solvent which has preferentially removed the ink used to print the date, prefixes and bank title without causing similar damage to the remainder of the note. Date, prefixes and bank title were all printed together after the main printing of the note.

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This note has been recorded in PSS, and was sold in Whytes, Dublin back in May 2017.
£1 note number 43NA 008483, was VG grade before its mutilation.

This is one of the more seriously washed notes I have seen anywhere. The seller is showing either an unusual degree of stupidity in not noticing the degree of destruction on the note, or bold-faced arrogance in offering it at £175 with the following comment "This Note May Have Been Pressed ~ I AM NOT SURE" and thinking that someone is going to buy it.

Whilst it is annoying to see morons destroying valuable and collectible notes, it is amusing to consider the horror of the person who washed the note in some solvent which dissolved parts of it, reducing a decent VG grade to a mutilated note worth around face value.

There are a lot of cretins out there. The trick is to not be one of them.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:09 pm
by ThePloughman
This is the same seller as the National Bank pound above. I hope they are making a loss on the notes they are bleaching.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:51 pm
by Series B notes
Mac, about the "This Note may have been pressed-I AM NOT SURE" listing, I bought the 10 pound from the same seller. Think the artificial sheen in the photos on the 10 pound I bought is due to bleach?

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:56 pm
by Series B notes
It said the same thing on the listing for the 10 pound. Think it was pressed?

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:46 am
by Mac
Series B notes wrote:It said the same thing on the listing for the 10 pound. Think it was pressed?
I haven't seen that £10 note. Want to post a pic.

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:33 pm
by Series B notes
I have included here a link to the eBay listing.

Moderator Edit: Image substituted.
b-series-10-pound-note.jpg
b-series-10-pound-note.jpg (58.46 KiB) Viewed 61 times

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:55 pm
by Series B notes
Reminds me: If the cleaning of a note doesn't mutilate it or dissolve ink, how is the note's value lowered?

Re: Buyer beware of cleaned notes

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:38 pm
by Mac
That £10 in the link looks ok to me. It's just a bad picture, overexposed with highlights blown.

Series B notes wrote:Reminds me: If the cleaning of a note doesn't mutilate it or dissolve ink, how is the note's value lowered?

Cleaning damages banknotes in various ways.
Certain detergents may not be fully washed out. Some harsher cleaning agents, bleach for example can damage the paper structure and lead to further damage down the line. Ironing melts the ink on the surface of the note. Immersion in a liquid removes the sizing (a protective coating on the surface which gives a note a nice glossy look and feel). The act of cleaning a note also damages the surface of the paper-sometimes you will see notes with fibres and threads sticking out, caused by abrasion.
Also, when a wet note drys out the inked and non-inked areas of paper are apt to dry at different rates, causing a rippling effect which is permanent.

A collector's banknote should be natural, as issued and used, and not messed with by others. Cleaning is done in an attempt to disguise the banknote's true appearance and grade, is thus dishonest.

Also, and importantly, dealers will offer a lower price when buying notes if they are cleaned, or simply refuse to buy them at all.