$5 Indian Silver Certificate - question about side margins

Hi folks, 

I just joined the SPMC (been collecting coins for 50 years but relatively new to the world of currency). I have a question to see if any members might be able to enlighten me regarding variations in the width of large size silver certificates.  Specifically, I have a $5 Indian Fr.271 in a PMG 65 EPQ holder and I notice that the side margins on the front of the note are slightly narrower than normal.  I measured it against other large size currency and it looks to be about an eighth inch smaller in width, though the height is normal.  I looked at many images of these notes on the web and I notice that the side margins are considerably wider than the top and bottom ones in nearly all cases. On my note, the margins seem to be narrower on the sides than the pictured notes but the top and bottom margins seem similar to them.

The designs looks to be well centered and the margins are even.  Is it possible that this note has been cropped or do normal variations occur as issued from the BEP?  Does it even matter in your view?  Just trying to determine whether I have an altered note and whether it might be a problem if I ever decide to sell.

Thanks for any information you might be able to share!

Your note should be 3 1/8 inches by 7.4218 inches. The margins will vary in size. Your note may have been trimmed before it was graded. A picture would show more of what you are saying. A picture of the reverse would be helpful as well.

Hi David, 

I've attached the obverse image here. Thanks for your response and I hope it will be of use. I'll post the reverse in a separate entry because I can't figure out how to add an additional image, despite the posting tip at the top of the forum listing.

The note measures exactly 3-1/8 inches in height, but the width is only 7-9/32 inches (approx 7.28 inches), which is about .14 inches shorter than your stated dimension.

Is trimming a bad thing necessarily or is it similar to dipping with coins?  That is to say, does it depend on how well it's done as to whether it's acceptable? I know that the grading services will grade obviously dipped coins as long as they're not over dipped and dull and the luster is still attractive.  Can I assume that since PMG has graded this note, then it's acceptable to the majority of paper money folks?



Here's the reverse image of the note in question.  Sorry to have to post it separately.


Your note looks as though it’s within the tolerance for large sized notes. Not all notes are exactly the same identical size. It is possible that it was trimmed. The only way I know is to check the edges with a magnifying glass and see if the edges are razor sharp. Notes of this age will likely not be so sharp. PMG does note such trimming on notes but don’t always detect it. In any event your note is great! I hope my comments have been helpful.

Yes, you’ve been very helpful. It’s good to get advice from more seasoned collectors and I appreciate your taking the time to respond in detail. It also puts me at ease to know that I didn’t make a bad purchase.