Unpopular opinion: circulated bills are funner than unc

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by hotwheelsearl, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Cheap B-Tard

    It seems like most collectors strictly collect only unc examples, or, the highest grade possible.

    But, I find very little interest in 66PPQ bills, and would much rather prefer a strong XF.

    Why? UNC bills have no history. They're like remainder bills: they've just sat around in a warehouse or a drawer somewhere and never been used. They're quite uninteresting.

    When you hold a circulated bill, it means something. It's been through stuff. It lived.
    I especially like bills with tasteful writing. I have a 1957 $1 silver cert with, "Good luck, Gram" written in old-fashioned cursive.
    That's really cool. And I like that note a lot better than a crisp, uncirculated bill.
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  3. Aunduril

    Aunduril Well-Known Member

    Interesting theory, I don't mind circulated as long as it is not beat up.
  4. MEC2

    MEC2 Enormous Member

    I like both, indeed circulated currency tells a story, especially much older uncirculated currency. A well traveled 1882 $2 Silver Certificate - who knows all what it bought and who owned it? Neat history.

    I like uncirculated holder queens as well but that's more for appreciating the design, versus it's role as, you know, currency...
    Oldhoopster and Aunduril like this.
  5. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    If you want to have a bill with great history; I'd reccomend you get into short snorters. I bought one at my LCS a long time ago (When I was new to numismatics) not knowing what it was, and later found out about all the signatures on it.
    I agree that XF bills can be more fun to collect, but I also like having unc bills to see what they were like as a brand new bill... I guess you could say the same for coinage.
  6. Skippy Topaz

    Skippy Topaz Obsolete

    Reminds me of that scene in "Throw Momma From the Train" when Danny DeVito's character (Owen) shows his coin collection to Billy Crystal and and Crystal tells him they're worthless but then Owen tells him "I got this nickeI in change when my dad took me to the movies" and stuff like that, so all of the coins had some deep personal meaning and we're valuable to him :)

    My collect is a combination of coins and notes like that, as well as really nice collectible examples...

    I find it much more satisfying to find a cool bill ( or coin) in circulation than to just go and buy one.. there's not as much fun in that
    George McClellan likes this.
  7. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    XF is also my favorite grade for notes.
  8. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Innocent bystander

    First, let me address the elephant in the room. “Funner” is not a word because "fun" is a noun, not an adjective. You can't turn a noun into a comparative, unless it has an adjectival form, which this does not. No hating please.

    Next, I mostly agree with @MEC2, with the saying “One mans trash is another mans treasure “ coming to mind. But, hanging on to an older 1993 $100 note in Fine or Very Fine condition just doesn’t make sense to me. Indeed the note has history but unless you know the history, why bother. Circulated notes with known, sentimental history are some of my favorites, but older circulated rando’s don’t particularly appeal to me. Collect what you like, if circulated notes are more fun, then there’s definitely a lot to enjoy.
  9. lettow

    lettow Senior Member

    It is only an elephant if someone makes it one. Merriam-Webster accepts fun as an adjective including its comparative and superlative forms.
  10. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Innocent bystander

    Forgive me @lettow, maybe I should have added an LOL after my statement indicating my lack of any real seriousness.
  11. Legoman1

    Legoman1 Active Member

  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Cheap B-Tard

  13. techwriter

    techwriter Well-Known Member

    Well, I too like circulated notes, especially those with some history; so here's two I have and they have quite a history:
    FRN_1914_$10_H21022555A_Katrina_face.jpg FRN_10dol_1928_F05656464A_Katrina_face.jpg

    Hurricane Katrina survivors !!
    hotwheelsearl and SteveInTampa like this.
  14. JTL

    JTL New Member

    I love old circulated bills in good condition. They have that anachronistic and cool look that makes them seem like the past is still something you can reach out and touch.
    Aunduril likes this.
  15. Aunduril

    Aunduril Well-Known Member

    I love how you used the word anachronistic, I don't hear that word used very much :).
  16. techwriter

    techwriter Well-Known Member

    Yep, my budget director (also known as spouse ) says I'm sort of an anachronism. LOL.
    anachronism: a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.
  17. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Supporter! Supporter

    I don't think there is a right or a wrong way to collect...as long as you are finding joy in it.

    I would say that as a general rule, I always go for the best condition example I can find (this goes for any of my hobbies). But sometimes, even rags are really drawn to you.

    Here is an example from my collection. This is my favorite note in my collection:


    Looking closely, one can probably find just about every issue a piece of paper currency could have in this one note. It's got it all...just look closely.

    But, even with that I cherish this note. The reason is it is a national from my home town of Eugene, Oregon. Last time I checked...there were only 6 known 1902 $10 Plain Back Nationals known to exist from this bank. I will admit...from a condition standpoint this is the worst of the lot...but I'm sure it has been places. I may never see another example, so I cherish it.
  18. notehunter494

    notehunter494 Member

    Sometimes, or more correctly, often, a rag is all you are going to get when it comes to rare notes. A CU example may not exist or may not come to market in a lifetime. So.. The Hunt Goes On!
  19. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Supporter! Supporter

    This is the truth when it comes to Nationals. Sometimes only a couple of a given example are known to exist and that's all there is to it.
  20. MEC2

    MEC2 Enormous Member

    Nothing wrong with that Eugene note. Rarity trumps condition on Nationals, better to have a rough and tumble example, than never have one at all holding out for a nicer condition.
  21. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Supporter! Supporter

    I couldn't agree more. I love that note.
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