Submission & processing



Submitting notes for grading to ICG is extremely easy. You don’t need to be a member of any paper money society or collectors club. You can submit your notes directly, and you don’t need to use a professional paper money dealer, although using a preferred dealer might be useful if you have doubts about your notes, the grading process or the shipping of banknotes by mail.


In order to submit notes for grading, you will need to first register on the ICG website. You will need to enter a username and password of your choice and to provide some basic information about you, such as contact email and address. You will then be assigned a client number which you will use in all your future dealings with ICG, whether to submit notes, check the status of your orders or verify already graded notes.


Once properly registered, you are ready to submit your notes. In order to get your order started you will need to open an ICG standard submission form. The submission from will contain your basic information and client number, as well as a detailed description of the notes you will be submitting, including country of issue, denomination and date and serial number among others. There will also be a space for you to make additional comments as needed, such as whether your notes have a special pedigree (perhaps coming from a renowned collection) or anything else you may want us to know. Finally, there will be a box for you to indicate the “declared value” of each of the notes you will be submitting in a given order. Although determining market values can be tricky, we ask you to provide a ballpark realistic estimate which we will use as the basis for the ICG insurance policy when we return the graded and encapsulated notes to you.


The submission form will also include details of the type of service you wish ICG to provide, as well as a breakdown of the ICG fees and payment information which we will need in order to process the order. Once all the information has been filled, you are ready to submit the order to ICG. At this point, your order is pending, as we need to verify that the information is complete and correct before we can process the order. At this time, we might need to ask you for additional information or may have questions about your note descriptions, note identification or declared values. We might on occasion also ask you to provide scans of some of the notes you wish to submit.


Once the ICG client team is satisfied that we have all the information needed to process your order, we will notify you by email and will instruct you to ship the notes in the order to ICG. You are free to use whichever shipping method you wish, although we recommend that you use a service with package tracking to minimize the risk of loss. You may choose to insure the shipment at your discretion. It is important to note that ICG is not responsible for the risk of shipping theft, loss or damage when the notes are in transit to us. It is advisable that you use protective packaging to prevent the notes from being damaged while in transit.



Once the package arrives at the ICG offices, the overall order and each individual note in the order are registered into the ICG system and assigned an order number and you are notified by email that the order is now in process. At this point ICG takes full responsibility for your notes and assumes the risk of loss or damage until the graded and encapsulated notes are back in your hands in accordance with the ICG Service Terms & Conditions.


From the moment we receive your package to the moment your graded notes are returned to you, your notes will be handled by professionals and protected at all times by the ICG security system. Every step of the process, from reception and registration, to grading, encapsulating and return shipping to you will be recorded and supervised by a trained professional. Every time your order or individual notes change status in our system, you will receive a notification of updated status by email.



The actual grading of the notes is the most important aspect of the process at ICG. Once the notes are registered in the system, your order will be handed over to a professional grading expert, who will confirm that the note is properly identified and will inspect each individual note with extreme care. Each note will be inspected for folds and creases, handling marks and general circulation in order to determine its overall grade using the ICG Grading Scale. The ICG grader will use visual inspection together with a magnifying glass and UV lamp to determine whether the note has additional defects such as nicks, tears, holes, pinholes, staple holes, graffiti, etc. ICG graders will pay special attention to whether the notes are fully original or have been treated in any way, such as by pressing, cleaning, washing or otherwise repairing the note. Once the grader is satisfied with a thorough inspection, he will record the overall grade and any possible defects and enter the conclusions into the ICG system. Before the grading is considered final, a senior grading supervisor will verify that the note’s grade conforms to the ICG grading standards and will release the final approval.



Once every note in your order has been satisfactorily graded, we will proceed to encapsulate each of them in our secure facilities. The encapsulation will be supervised by ICG personnel and done by professionals with long experience in dealing with similarly sensitive materials. The encapsulation will be done using safety labels with security features such as holographic printing and a special high-quality, acid-free, inert PET plastic holder. The holders are fully sealed and insulated to avoid any damage to the note and have a patterned sealed edge for additional security.



Once your notes have been graded and encapsulated, they are near the end of their journey with ICG. At this point we will notify you that your order is complete and ready to ship. ICG will package the notes carefully to avoid damage and, unless otherwise instructed, will proceed to ship them over to the address provided on your submission form. You can also arrange for your graded notes to be delivered to you in person at one of the events attended by ICG representatives world-wide. For a full list of upcoming paper money events attended by ICG, click here. For shipping, ICG will use only first-class international courier services or international EMS post and in every shipment will secure a tracking number that will allow you and ICG to track the location of the package at every step. Every package sent by ICG will be fully insured as per the terms of the ICG Insurance policy and the ICG Service Terms & Conditions.