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About this journal

A journal 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.

Entries in this journal

 

The need to create distance / distinctions between series: the 3rd and 4th dollars

One of the things I've always found interesting in the Zimbabwe series is that the first notes in the 3rd dollar series (from $1 to $1000) were released on Aug 1 2008 and the 4th dollar notes (from $1 to $500) were released just 5 months later in Jan 2009. But 1 4th dollar was worth 1 TRILLION 3rd dollars. So they couldn't have people confusing the two note series, which were circulating very much at the same time. It would not have been good if there was even a reasonable chance that someone mi

Revenant

Revenant

05/28/2019

 

Variable definitions of "complete"

In a note related to the topic of my last entry, the more time goes on the more I that opinions on what constitutes a "complete" set of Zimbabwe notes seems to vary widely. I was on reddit recently and a user said they had a complete set of the Zimbabwe notes. I was curious so I asked them what they were considering complete. It turned out that the poster had a full set of the 27-note 3rd dollar banknotes series - but nothing beyond that. For a long time there, BanknoteWorld - whi

Revenant

Revenant

05/18/2019

Last Reply:
05/30/2019

 

What to do about the bank issued bearer and traveler's checks...

Ever since I found out about them I've been scratching my head thinking about what to do - if anything - about the bank issued bearer checks and traveler's checks. They have pick numbers assigned to them (P-13 through P-20 and P-24 through P-27). In that sense, it feels like you can't completely ignore them and like they should be part of the collection. At the same time, they were issued by banks, not the RBZ, they could only be used / redeemed once, by the person they had been issued

Revenant

Revenant

05/05/2019

May have to get this framed one day...

May have to get this framed one day...

I got this poster in the mail a while ago. It came in a poster tube on its own. I'm guessing it was a marketing thing and a "thank you for being a customer" type thing. I do like it though. I think I might have to get this framed one of these days to go with my note set. I like the fact that it includes the 1st dollars and the 1980s era coins. I wish it included the 4th dollars and the bond notes - but I guess nothing can be perfect. There's still just too much emphasis on the 3rd doll

Revenant

Revenant

05/01/2019

Tiny Z dollars

Tiny Z dollars

When I first started collecting the Zimbabwean 3rd dollars I thought they were all about the same size regardless of denomination. When I expanded my set to include more of the first dollars I started to notice that this wasn't the case with them. I was shocked the first time I held a P-1 note. Compared to the higher denominations in the series it is tiny. The shot below shows the $2 note over the $20. Then I finally got some low denomination 3rd dollars - P-65 and P-66 - and I r

Revenant

Revenant

04/27/2019

 

There is now a 5th Zimbabwean dollar! The RTGS dollar!

Looks like, while I've been distracted by the birth of my 2nd son, the government of Zimbabwe and the RBZ have been busy. The announcement came on 2/19/2019, one week after my son was born.   On 2/20/2019 the “Zollar” “quasi-currency,” pegged to the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio, represented by the bond coins released in 2014 and bond notes released from 2016-2018, became the official currency of Zimbabwe – called the RTGS dollar. It consisted of the bond notes and electronic money. T

Revenant

Revenant

04/17/2019

These are not money anymore  - and they never will be again

These are not money anymore - and they never will be again

I ran across the following in my continuing research from my Zimbabwe note set. It’s from the FAQ of a website that sells the notes. This made me shake my head, that anyone would still think it’s possible that these things would ever be money / currency again - 10 years after issuance was suspended and 4 years after the official demonization of the 4th dollars. The complete failure of the 2016/2017 bond notes evidences the challenge that Zimbabwe is going to face if they ever

Revenant

Revenant

04/08/2019

A Parade of Elephants

A Parade of Elephants

Call it a "soft launch" since, for the time being, the only notes in it are going to be Zimbabwean notes that are also part of my set of that currency's notes for my hyperinflation themed set, but I've decided I'm going to make a signature set of notes that feature elephants - inspired by my sons. We have a membership to the Houston Zoo and whenever we go or talk about going the animal that Ben usually mentions wanting to go see is the elephants, which he absolutely loves. We also chos

Revenant

Revenant

04/03/2019

The "Zimbabwe Bird" lost weight I guess

The "Zimbabwe Bird" lost weight I guess

I wanted to make my best attempt to photograph and show off a funny feature of the Zimbabwe banknotes. Some of these banknotes have security features on them, like color changing / holographic ink, watermarks and complicated color schemes and had them as far back as the early 1980s or the 1990s, much earlier than I remember the United States introducing these to the "greenback." The 1983 Zimbabwean notes have watermarks but I don't think the US introduced watermarks to our currency until th

Revenant

Revenant

04/01/2019

Sometimes it’s what you don’t see…

Sometimes it’s what you don’t see…

When collecting a series, sometimes the notes / coins / denominations you don’t see are almost as interesting and telling as the ones you do see. I remember a few years ago when I first started looking into and trying to collect the Zimbabwe hyperinflation notes… I found the 100 Trillion note first and very easily. It’s the definitive poster-child of the series after all. I also quickly and easily found the 50 Trillion, 20 Trillion and 10 Trillion notes. Then I tried to search for a 5 Tri

Revenant

Revenant

03/27/2019

 

So PCGS Currency Shutdown... and what of the notes.

I hadn't realized until recently, when Dena / PMG made posts about it, that PCGS Currency had shut down. I also hadn't realized, until I read the announcement on the PCGS Currency page, that PCGS Currency wasn't run / operated by / part of Collector's Universe. If I'm being completely honest, I never really spent any time looking into PCGS currency, so I don't know if my lack of knowledge in that department was from my lack of effort or them not advertising it / publicizing it much. I never boug

Revenant

Revenant

03/22/2019

Last Reply:
08/02/2019

 

Fresh in from Croatia

This just came in the mail today and I just thought it was a little funny - thought I'd share. The vast majority of the coins and notes I buy are from sellers / dealers in the United States. I very rarely buy from international sellers, it's not often I get a package with a customs declaration form, and this one in particular is a first for me - Croatia. The seller is located in the capital city Zagreb, which I did not know was the capital until I looked it up. I ordered the note about

Revenant

Revenant

03/17/2019

Last Reply:
03/20/2019

 

The Shrinking of the First Dollar Set

When the set was introduced around 2016 the Zimbabwean First Dollar Set Category (“1980-2004 Issues, P1-P12, Complete”) included slots for all the sub-types, so instead of a slot for P-4 there were 4 slots for P-4a, P-4b, P-4c, and P-4d. They later went back and reduced the set to just 12 slots – one for each pick #.    I can only assume NGC decided to do this on their own because I don’t think anyone other than myself has ever had a set in this category so it’s hard for me to

Revenant

Revenant

03/13/2019

 

A Commentary on BankNoteWorld’s Zimbabwe Banknote Book

Most of the notes in my Zimbabwe set come to me by way of a couple of different merchants that do a lot of business and have a lot of diverse inventory for the banknotes of that country and many others. One of those two merchants is BankNoteWorld (BNW). One of the interesting things about buying from BNW is the fact that they send a copy of this little book with every order that includes Zimbabwe notes. The book has gone through at least a couple of editions that I’ve seen. The old

Revenant

Revenant

03/06/2019

Passing up 50% complete for the first dollars and third dollars

Passing up 50% complete for the first dollars and third dollars

With a lot of aggressive expanding of my Zimbabwe set (from 11 notes to 25 notes now) I’m up to having my 1st dollars (P-1 through P-12) and 3rd dollars (P-65 through P-91) both over 50% complete. I also have all of sub-sets or sub-categories for the third dollars (the millions, billions, and trillions) at 50-100%. My overall Zimbabwe collection now includes about 25% of the total picks from P-1 to P-98 (P-100 if you include the new $2 and $5 bond notes, which I probably eventually will). N

Revenant

Revenant

02/28/2019

Heaping Insult Upon Injury

Heaping Insult Upon Injury

The hyperinflation that ripped through Zimbabwe in the first decade of this century / millennium was an economic and societal catastrophe. The currency was officially and fully demonetized in 2015 but the nation of Zimbabwe is continuing to try to dig its way out of the devastation caused by the hyperinflation and other disastrous government policies and programs. It is somewhat ironic, and I’m sure more than a little chagrin inducing for the people of that country, to think that the 100 Tr

Revenant

Revenant

02/24/2019

An Interesting (Albeit Frustrating) Confirmation

An Interesting (Albeit Frustrating) Confirmation

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from the coin collecting to build up my Zimbabwe set. The merchant I normally buy from has knocked their prices down recently so I’ve been buying and building the set while the buying is good. I was bidding on a P-95, 4th dollar, 20 dollar note last night and I ended up having to get it go when another bidder took it just a little higher than I was comfortable paying for it at the moment. The fact that the other bidder bid three times and bid it up to tha

Revenant

Revenant

02/20/2019

Picking out the Alternate Anniversary Present

Picking out the Alternate Anniversary Present

Since making the decision to return that ungraded 20 Trillion note my wife and I had said we’d sit down together once we got the refund and pick out what we were going to get instead. We got the refund on Tuesday 01/29. With the nature of being parents being what it is, we didn’t get to sit down together until shortly before bedtime on Friday 2/1, after the Ben was already in bed to pick out the new notes / purchase. I’d been looking at notes / options online for about a week at this p

Revenant

Revenant

02/07/2019

A Great Day for Third Dollar Collectors.

A Great Day for Third Dollar Collectors.

The Zimbabwe sets we all wanted. Well, the ones I wanted anyway. So I'm at my desk today and I get an email from Ali listing a bunch of new Zimbabwe note sets including a bunch of sets for the Third Dollar or the Trillions series. The email said they'd be coming "soon" and I was wondering when exactly that would be, but when I checked the site I saw that the Third Dollar sets were already up! The Bearer Check, Agro Check and other sets aren't out yet but honestly those aren't the ones I was ho

Revenant

Revenant

06/22/2016

 

So then why the first dollars?

Why I had to get the 1983 note too... So, some people that watch my set listings (why would you do that, you creepers... joking) or the Zimbabwe bank note categories might have noticed that I added a registry set for the pre-hyperinflation Zimbabwe dollars and added a couple of $20 notes in there, the 1983 and the 1994. Depending on how curious you are you might have wondered why I added this set and bought these notes when I've been spending all this time talking about wanting the Trillion S

Revenant

Revenant

05/10/2016

 

The joys of scope explosion.

... always getting in a little over my head with eyes that are bigger than my wallet. I'm always amazed by how often it happens that I start with a simple, small idea and goal, and then I come up with this insane idea for a big project that's usually beyond my time and financial resources, and then I settle on another approach that's actually reasonable and achievable. This isn't limited to coin collecting in my life but coin and note collecting are certainly areas where this tendency is expre

Revenant

Revenant

05/02/2016

 

Collecting the Zimbabwe Trillion Series

A recent effort in notes collecting I recently started collecting the Zimbabwe Trillion Series of notes. If most people are like me you might initially think that the Trillions Series refers only to the last 4 notes that are denominated in the trillions of dollars (10, 20, 50, and 100 Trillion dollars). The full series actually includes over 25 notes. The denominations run from 1 dollar to the infamous 100 trillion note. This series ran from 2007 to 2009 and come after the Bearer Cheque Series

Revenant

Revenant

04/22/2016