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About this journal

A journal mostly about my collection of Zimbabwe banknotes - the only banknotes I collect for the time being that are interesting enough for me to think people might want to read about it. But there will be periodic discussions of US Small Size Federal Reserve Notes and Silver Certificates and you may start seeing more about Venezuelan Bolivares.

I have a very strong interest in Hyperinflation notes so I'll probably continue to expand into new series of Hyperinflation notes now that my Zimbabwe collection is going to increasingly be at a more mature and static state going forward.

Entries in this journal

Okay.... So I may be walking back some of those ideas...

So, I knew going into this and in making my other post that the old Travellers checks are pretty out there and common and available... As long as you don't insist on them being uncanceled / unused... (Geeeze! That is a heck of a lot of money!) But I'm finding that the Cargill Checks (P 13-14 and P 24-27), may just only be available much more rarely and at prices I am just 100% not willing to pay for them, short of me winning the Mega Millions. However, the more

Time to buy some raw notes and do some grading.

So the 2020 PMG Registry awards are in the books and PMG has paid my work / writing another very high compliment: The $500 grading credit that this comes with is going to open up a great opportunity for me get get some notes in my set that I don't often see come up for sale already graded by NGC and get this set more or less "complete." I don't have the financial resources or the facilities to bulk grade notes or to sell a lot of notes that I don't need. I'm also not all that grea

How much more could you want?!?

I was talking to my wife tonight about the fact that, having built a nearly complete pick set from P-1 to P-104, I'm probably going to take a break soon and slow down a lot - move on to other projects for a while. She looks at me and says, "yeah, but how much more could you want at this point?!?" "Well I could work on building out a set of 2003 traveler's checks, get more into replacement notes, specimen notes, fantasy notes... I could branch out into the fuel ration coupons..." S

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

My Fancy Fantasy Gag Gifts Arrived.

I got my gold-foil Zimbabwe 100 Trillion notes in the mail today. I popped them in some top-loaders and they're ready to go in some stockings. My wife likes them, thinks they're neat and thinks they'll be fun to give as gag gifts too. They're stiffer than I had been expecting. The top loaders might not have been necessary but I like having the "notes" in them for presentation and handling. I'll be keeping one for myself / my collection. Ben immediately claimed one for himself. Sam took

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

I think I know where you bought those...

A couple of weeks ago I was watching several 67 EPQ graded notes listed by Noteshobby for the Venezuela Bolivares Soberanos set. I was thinking I might try to buy them in December if they were still available. It would have been a good way to make quick progress on that set for a good price. Then one day they all sold along with several Zimbabwe notes I was watching. Yesterday, a new set of Soberano notes showed up with those notes in 67 EPQ and the same person just made several new Zi

In under the wire: Got the P-77!

Back in early August a P-77 graded by PMG popped up and I got really excited. It would have completed the “Millions” set that PMG featured in an article last year and it would have put me only 1 note away from a complete 3rd dollar set. https://www.pmgnotes.com/news/article/7791/PMG-Registry-News/ Unfortunately, the note went above $80 (after shipping and taxes) and I let it go. I just couldn’t convince myself to bid higher for it. Letting that go was a bitter pill - I wanted that thin

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

Some slightly glorious and magical thinking here:

So I ran across this and couldn't help but laugh. First: They're showing a picture of a 67 EPQ graded note for the listing but they aren't selling PMG graded notes. They're selling a brick of uncirc notes. But don't worry! The picture is for reference only! It isn't meant to deceive the buyer in any way! Second: At this price, for 5,000 notes, that puts the lot at $2,000 per note. Even if they were selling PMG graded notes these notes would go for ~$200 if you were getting a good price

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

One thing I do miss about the NGC side of things as we approach the award cut-offs

So we're about 17 days away from the cut-off for consideration in the 2020 Registry Awards. The ad campaigns so to speak are in full swing - I've gotten the emails, seen the Instagram and Facebook posts. It's hard to miss when you follow their social media and spend time here. Anyway... This has gotten me thinking about how far the Zimbabwe set has come in the last year - something I take a lot of pride in. While my 3rd dollar set has been largely static at 92%, this year I think I've broug

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

How does a Tyrant lose power?

I was not aware of this world event or this tweet at the time (I was busy getting started in a new job at this point in 2017), but three years ago the following tweet was made:   On Nov 19, 2017 Mugabe was told to resign by the 20th or be removed. When he didn't do it they filed for impeachment on the 21st and he resigned that same day. I also wasn't aware of this when I named my set "Gradually, then suddenly," when I re-made and re-started it in 2019. But, when I found it on

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

Finishing up the Bolivares Fuerte and Starting the Soberanos.

Leading up to my birthday a couple of weeks back I became aware of a 100,000 Bolivar Fuerte (VEN-100) note coming up for sale and ending on my birthday. On the big day the note hadn’t got any bids. I showed it to my wife, and she told me to just bid on it and call it an extra birthday present if I won. I bid. I won unopposed and took it for $24.99 after shipping. Normally I don’t know if I would have popped on a 66 EPQ at that price but the VEN-100 is one of the more desirable notes in the

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Revenant in Bolivares Fuertes

The P-1d

I still don’t have a P-3 at the moment and I still have that nagging hole in the set, but I recently won an auction for a P-1d – one of the highest grade examples you can ask for – a 68 EPQ Star. This thing popped up on my radar about three months ago when it and a 68 EPQ (no star) were put up for sale with price tags of $190 (with the star) and $100 (no star). They were up for auction and those were the starting bids. Buying a P-1d was a dream and a goal of mine for over a y

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

My Wife and This Freakin' Note.

So today is my bday and my wife gave me my birthday gift last night. This journal is going to come in two parts: 1) Why it is freaking hilarious and kind of perfect that she got me this. 2) Why I'm actually happy with it this time. So in the long ago days of January 2019 my wife was pregnant with our 2nd child and looking for a way to surprise me with something I'd love for our anniversary. It was a stressful time for us. She was in a high risk pregnancy. There was a ve

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

A 2009 AA Block $1 FRN

Perhaps proving that I have no self-control or perhaps that I just lie to myself a lot, about 30 hours after saying I was going to try to not buy anything for the next 3 weeks I bought something. I was looking around on eBay and saw this. I'd been wanting a $1 FRN note for a while for two reasons: 1) I wanted one for the "Currency of my life" signature set I want to keep working on as time allows and 2) I wanted one for my Zimbabwe signature set. That 2nd one might seem fairly od

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Revenant in Federal Reserve Notes

Deciding the Perfect is the enemy of the good and tomorrow's problem.

I finally finished up the last description I wanted to write for my Venezuelan Bolivar Fuertes set and posted all of the new text to the set. I did most of the writing for these weeks ago but then life came up and my focus shifted back to the Zimbabwe notes again and I never finished them and I wasn't sure they were "just right" yet. I finished the first one and said "good enough" - get them posted and work / polish from there. It had reached the point where it was bothering me to have

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

And... it's Blank on the back.

I just thought I'd share this as a journal now that it's here and I can get higher res images: it was stamped as “PAID” on Oct 26 2004 (which happens to be just a week after my birthday, the year I turned 18). It was also marked as “Zimbank Waste” on “11-10-2004,” which, depending on whether you use US or UK conventions for dates, either October 11th or November 10th of 2004. Even though I’d normally expect them to use the UK convention, I’m tempted to say they used the Ameri

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Bearer Checks

Finally scored some nice wins…

About 2 weeks ago a P-77 came up for auction. This had me super excited because it would have completed my “Millions” set and left me needing only the $10,000, P-72 to complete my 3rd dollar set… but then someone else bid at the end and the price was getting out of hand so I let it go… sadness. Then about a week ago a P-3 came up that would have given me a 100% complete 1st dollar set… and the bidding got so high at the end that I didn’t even bid on it… However, I’ve finally scored som

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

New Set for the Bond Notes and New Notes!!

This probably has made me way way happier than it should, but I am super stoked about this: My new 2020 $10 note should be arriving in the mail early next week and I really can't wait to get it now! This is making me want the $20 super bad - but I'm probably going to have to wait on that because I'm working on other things and if I spend too much this month my wife may injure me.

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

A P-23 and the 15-year labels in the context of the Zimbabwe sets

A couple of weeks ago a pair of P-23 notes came up for sale - a P-23e and a P-23c, ending in that order, a couple of days apart from each other. I have not seen a lot of P-23s come up for sale over the last few years. One of the few I’ve seen offered is one that has a “Pick-Unlisted” label that was graded years ago, so you don’t know from the label what variety you’re getting and the seller wanted $200 for it - which has always and still seems insane for that note. This probably explains wh

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Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

These were on inventory a while I think...

I got the bulk lot of six Venezuelan notes in the mail on Thursday, and, after letting them wait / sit a while I opened them today. This is such a funny group of notes because, the Bolivar Fuertes series has 6 designs where 6 portraits and 6 animals & nature scenes are paired and this same sequence of 6 note designs is repeated twice in the series in the same order. This group of 6 that I bought together has an odd-ball 2 Bolivar notes and not the 500 Bolivar note that would match

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Revenant in Bolivares Fuertes

Branching out to to Bolivares Fuertes

The Venezuelan hyperinflation and the Bolivar / Bolivar Fuerte (“Strong Bolivar”) / Boliver Soberano (“Sovereign Bolivar”) Series got my attention last year while I was heavy into building and shopping my Zimbabwe set. I think they are cool looking notes, I love the animals on the back, and I love the fact that some of them have turtles on them, in addition to being hyperinflation notes / series. I didn’t start collecting them though because I was neck-deep in Zimbabwe, I didn’t have the budget

The P-2e (and the P-1d)

The P-2e is an interesting note (one of a few 1994 issues, along with the P-1d). It is a somewhat rarer variety than the P-2d, but when you look at the two, on the surface, they look pretty much the same. The difference between the P-2d and the P-2e (and the difference between the P-1c and the P-1d) is that the earlier issue uses the first version of the Zimbabwe bird watermark while the later issue uses the newer, second version of the Zimbabwe bird watermark that was used in later issues, incl

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New 2020 $20 too!

I did a bit of reading last night and found out that the new $20 notes were announced at the same time as the $10 notes, but, where the $10 notes went into circulation in late May, the $20 notes weren't supposed to go into circulation until June. This time delay is probably why the $10 notes are starting to hit eBay but the $20s aren't - yet. I figure, assuming they aren't delayed, we'll see the $20s for sale to US collectors by early July. I said in my post about the new $10 notes tha

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1000 Ranked users

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but, sometime just this week I think, the PMG Registry just got up to having 1,000 Ranked Users. There's 1,002 now.

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New 2020 $10 notes for Zimbabwe

Over the weekend I just started seeing these pop up for sale in eBay auctions and new sales / offerings popping up that offer these as part of a 3 note set with the 2 2019 issues, so I'm guessing these are freshly released and they're just now making it out to the dealers. So I guess I might get to see all the designs that were supposed to be released as part of the bond note series afterall. I was really expecting them to tack an extra 0 onto these if they released them and have $100 and $200 n

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A P-11a!

Somewhat to my surprise a PMG-graded P-11a popped up for sale in an eBay auction the other day and I decided to go for it. I say "somewhat" to my surprise because the P-11a, like many / most of these, isn't especially rare but you don't see every variety pop up having already been graded as a high uncirc grade every day. I think this is actually the first PMG-graded 11a I've seen and it's only recently been graded based on the holder. The auction ended at 10:15 PM Sunday night so I sta

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