The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 14, April 8, 2007, Article 28
ON CLEANING PAPER MONEY
Regarding last week's query on cleaning paper money, John and Nancy
Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "The following web page has good information
(close to the bottom of the page) on cleaning or repairing paper money.
Darryl Atchison writes: "Please find below a list of published references
that I am aware of pertaining to banknote preservation and restoration as
well as a few comments on the subject.
1. Curto, J.J. - <>. - The
Numismatist : Vol. 58, no. 6 (June 1945). - (Note that this article
was later off-printed in 1971).
2. Holmes, Walter G. - <>. - Canadian Paper
Money Journal : Vol. 2 (1966). - p. 9, 23
3. Proulx, Claude. - <>. - Canadian Numismatic Journal : Vol. 39, no. 6 (July - Aug.
1994). - p. 288 - 290, ill.
4. Tribolet, Harold W. - <>. - Canadian Paper Money Journal : Vol. 6 (1970). - p. 30 -
33, 49 - 50. - discusses the art of the paper conservator, paper
conservation and restoration. Part 2 CPMJ : Vol. 6, p. 74
5. Coin World published a four-part series on this highly controversial
topic beginning in Sep. 2002 which was intended to blow the lid off of
the practice whereby banknotes were being 'cleaned' / 'restored' and
then subsequently re-presented to the collecting fraternity as 'genuine,
"I remember having a discussion with a few paper money collectors
approximately fifteen years ago in which it was claimed by at least
one individual that the majority of banknotes in the marketplace had
been 'processed' at one time or another. Whether this was purely
speculation or not I can't say but I don't think anyone would have to
look too hard to find examples of processed notes. Think of processing
as the equivalent of dipping coins and the prevalence of the latter
practice for a correlation. No matter how many people say that dipping
is bad for coins the practice continues and various chemical products
are readily and openly available in the numismatic marketplace.
"Finally, John Ford Jr. once claimed that he was so talented at restoring
banknotes that an untrained eye could not detect the restoration... or
words to that effect.
"All in all, I am in the 'don't clean' camp whenever possible. There
are too many nefarious practitioners who later claim that these
cleaned/restored items are in a much higher state of preservation than
is the actual case and it is only the innocent collector who suffers
in the end."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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