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pursuitofliberty
I need a little help on what I should do, or if this is considered acceptable.

I have a note that I received this week as part of a group of notes purchased through auction. Examination of the note almost assuredly shows a pinhole scar that was worked (mostly) flat. The pictures at PMG show the same issue in the same place, and even a rank newb like me has some ability.

For disclosure, I did noticed something on the scans from the auction company, but they did not seem to be what they are in hand, and given the grade I dismissed it could be that ... so that part's on me.

So, a quick run of questions, sure to stir debate among some of you ... but I could use some feedback.

Is this an acceptable practice by PMG? Is PCGS any better or worse in that regard? 

Beyond that, do I have any recourse with PMG? Should I contact them directly?

Again, this is a PMG CU 63 note with the EPQ designation. I am not showing any more of the note (or the tag) for the moment, but if you look I think you'll see the area in question. Shining a light on/through the area magnifies the situation greatly, where it becomes entirely obvious. I'm not that good with a camera a light and a macro lens to take that picture though.

Thanks for any input!

    
pinhole _ obv.jpg 
pinhole _ rev.jpg
Todd        “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”
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HoneyBadger
Are you absolutely certain that it is a pinhole and not a bump in the paper with a tad bit of missing ink on the front? Not that that would make it any less off putting... (Yeah, I know this is a stretch, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around the EPQ on this one as well.)
FRN Collections Complete - 1928-1934 LGS: $5 [87%] - $10 [37%] - $20 [2%] - $50 [6%] - $100 [0%] - $500 [0%]

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larry510
I once had to return a PMG 66epq note with a pinhole.  In my opinion a pinhole should disqualify EPQ/PPQ in the XF or higher grades   However at the Fine/VF level I know that PCGS Currency would still sometimes award PPQ to notes with a pinhole or two.  But not a CU note.
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pursuitofliberty
HoneyBadger wrote:
Are you absolutely certain that it is a pinhole and not a bump in the paper with a tad bit of missing ink on the front? Not that that would make it any less off putting... (Yeah, I know this is a stretch, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around the EPQ on this one as well.)


Yeah, unfortunately. I'm 99.99% sure. If I am correct, it was a good repair, but with a glass and a good back lighting, I can see what appears to a yellowing area around the from the pin around the area and minor disturbances in the paper. Your comment about a bump in the paper is exactly what I thought it was from the images on line. I may try tonight to take another picture and see if I can get it to show more.

larry510 wrote:
I once had to return a PMG 66epq note with a pinhole.  In my opinion a pinhole should disqualify EPQ/PPQ in the XF or higher grades   However at the Fine/VF level I know that PCGS Currency would still sometimes award PPQ to notes with a pinhole or two.  But not a CU note.


I guess I could accept minor and well hidden pinhole on a AU50 or below. When I read PMG's website, they kind of suggest that as well, and that that doesn't preclude a straight grade. They also suggest that could still be an EPQ note, so ???

However, the problems with that here, to me, are simple; 1. It's only hidden in the design on one side ... the other side, it's in an open field. 2. It's not an AU note, or even a 60 / 61. They graded it as a 63. 

Comparing it to a coin, that would be (again, to me) like a staple scratch in the fields or on a prominent device. Might still be Unc, but it isn't Choice. If it was an AU piece, it would also get netted down (an otherwise outstanding 58 would probably get a 53 grade, causing everyone to really look). Not that I necessarily agree with that type market grading, but I've come to mostly understand it and accept it for what it is.
 
Larry, if you don't mind, either here or PM, could you tell me what steps you took, and how that went for you ... returning your note?

Anyone else wants to comment this weekend, I would appreciate it. Mostly I am trying to learn what is acceptable to expect from graded notes and what is not. I'll figure out what I am going to regarding the note after I weight some options, and any new knowledge I can pick up.
Todd        “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”
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armynova
For some Confederate and obsolete types you might be hard pressed to find a note without a pin hole (when I use this term here I mean near microscopic or tiny natural holes as made) or a bunch in any grade due to the quality of the paper. When you get to 65 or 66 you can avoid pin holes and these rarely have a pin hole, but then again, many of these notes do not exist in those grades. 
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mfontes
From the back view I would agree with honey badger that it appears to be a flaw in the paper, perhaps a bump or ball of material in the paper itself.  If the note is high value then one can understand that a pinhole would be closed.  However, if closing a pinhole would not affect the value then I would not be certain that someone went through the hassle to make the repair.  
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pursuitofliberty
Thank you guys. I have a Fractional in otherwise AU/CU that I bought years ago just because it has a partially repaired pinhole, so I had a reference for such things. But the more I and looked, the more I think I am wrong.

@HoneyBadger got me looking seven ways from Sunday last night. If that was a hole, and it was repaired, the repair would have been almost impossibly expert. And I can not make the light shine through it.

I brought the Fractional home this weekend so I could compare. I can make the light peek through that one.

Then, after reading @mfontes comment this morning, I am now almost certain it must have been a "bump". Why? Because the obvious answer is usually the correct one.

1. Almost impossibly expert repair on a $300. note but leaves a noticeable bump? Not likely.
2. Top-tier grading service misses it even though the reverse disturbance is noticeable? Not likely.
3. Somewhat NEWB buyer thinks he knows what it is, but after asking questions and getting feedback has to question what else could cause the issue, and there are other possibilities? Most likely. 

It must be Door # 3. 

I will look and study it more tonight before it goes to the Bank tomorrow. I can't quite figure out what would cause it, or if the EPQ designation is warranted with that, but, like with coins, I will study more and try to understand the forensics better.

Anyway, I do appreciate the feedback. Thank you all for your help!
Todd        “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”
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Cody71086
PCGS-C would PPQ 64 and under UNC notes with 1 pinhole. How do I know? I questioned it and was told it was fine.
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telephoto1
I don't think this is a repair; as someone else said, if you're going to take the time and hassle to fix something like that you wouldn't leave a bump. After studying the pics I'm thinking paper flaw as printed... I am surprised it's not mentioned on the label though. Oh, and for the record- regarding pinholes, I'm old school. Pinhole= AU58 max grade imo.
Aside to Cody- I'm not surprised by that at all.
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