On my last submission I mentioned that one note came back as QA "Questionable Authenticity" (1991, 5 Karbovanstiv, Pick # 83x), while not completely shocking I was a little surprised and disappointed. Not so much in that it was not authenticated but that there wasn't a cut and dry decision made, if it had come back as a not genuine, counterfeit or altered note, no problem, but now the note is hanging out in limbo with no clear designation. While the Questionable Authenticity tag does give me a path to go down, meaning I need to try and validate the note, there were no additional comments made which means I'm starting off with pretty much what I had prior to submitting the note which is not much. After the note was returned from PMG I did reach out in hopes of there being some graders notes or other information that they may have logged in their system during evaluation/grading, but no such luck there either. So, what's a collector to do? Well Obviously, acquire more examples of the same note of course.
I had actually found another example of this note while the first note was at PMG and as luck would have it I found a third example shortly after the submission was returned, so let's do some side-by-side comparison of the three notes and of the three notes to an authenticated note with face printing. The first four images are scans of the face and back of each note with a black background, #1 is the control note, #2 is the note returned by PMG, #3 is my second example and #4 is the third.
Control note, authenticated by PMG, with face printing. Light blue face, dark blue back variety. (Not currently recognized)
The first note, returned as QA, has some smudging/staining, possibly ink, on the face. The parquet watermark is clearly visible on both sides and the back printing seems authentic. The note has an overall dingier appearance than the other two but not as much as the below scan makes it seem.
The second note, while overall a cleaner example, is very similar in appearance to the first. There is no smudging/staining on the face but beyond that an almost identical note. Some of the color variances in the images are due to variation from scanning, in hand there is not a noticeable color variation on the back printing and the watermarks are just as visible as the first note under normal lighting.
The third note is much the same as the second with no discernable differences between the two.
I think one of the issues with these notes is that for the face printing to be completely missing the sheet would have had to miss two printings. I'm assuming that the back of the note was printed first, followed by the face printing and finally the third printing with UV ink. For these notes to be true errors I would expect that they would have been released into circulation and missing two printings doesn't seem very possible, add to the mix that the notes seem to be normally found in uncirculated condition. It seems more likely that these could have been printer's proofs or scraps.
I can't fit all the images that I would like into one Journal entry so I will be posting two more entries on these notes shortly. The next entry will include images under UV lighting.
If anyone notices any differences in the notes let me know, I'm hoping we can crack this.