PMG Designates Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ)
PMG uses the designation Exceptional Paper Quality (EPQ) for notes that, in the opinion of PMG graders, are original. By original, we mean that a note has not been physically, chemically, or materially processed to lend the appearance of a higher grade. PMG graders examine the embossing, inks, and overall integrity of each note to make the determination whether it will qualify for EPQ. Notes exhibiting normal wear-and-tear for their respective grades are eligible; normal wear may include factors affecting grade such as counting marks and folds. Notes receiving the EPQ designation must furthermore be unrestored. A restored note has had non-original material added to bring its appearance to a known or assumed state.
For currency to grade Gem Uncirculated 65 or higher, it must also receive the EPQ designation. No note meeting PMG’s standards for the Gem Uncirculated grade can have had its appearance altered to achieve this grade, and thus the highest grade assigned by PMG without the EPQ designation is Choice Uncirculated 64. The minimum grade for which a note becomes eligible for the EPQ designation is Very Fine 30.
A note receiving the EPQ designation will have the letters ‘EPQ’ appearing to the right of the grade on the PMG label. Prior to mid-November 2006, the words, “Exceptional Paper Quality” appeared on the back of the PMG label to signify this designation. Notes graded prior to this change may be reholdered to receive this new label format for a $5 reholdering fee. This designation was not in regular use prior to November 2005; notes graded before this date may be re-evaluated for EPQ designation for a $10 review fee, including reholder. PMG has never graded a note Gem Uncirculated 65 or higher that will not qualify for the EPQ designation. Therefore all notes graded Gem Uncirculated 65 and above, regardless of their date of certification, will automatically qualify for the EPQ designation, and may be reholdered with for a $10 fee.
The letters "EPQ," appearing just to the right of the grade, stand for "Exceptional Paper Quality." Click on image for enlargement.
The graders' comment, "Exceptional Paper Quality," is reiterated on back of the PMG label. Click on image for enlargement.