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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

When 91% finally, barely, beats 8%...

Somewhat inspired by ddr70's recent post about lowball sets, I thought I'd share this today, just for a laugh. My new P-5b, P-7 and P-9 notes finally came out of quarantine today and I finally got the certification numbers to add to my set(s). With the addition of these notes, my 91-92% complete set now finally beats Muzzer42's 8% complete set... by a whopping 3 points.   Muzzer has a P-1d note in MS66 EPQ. The P-1d is the rarest and most valuable variety of the P-1 note. It'

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

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Well, that’s … Not a bond note…

The notes I ordered about a week or so ago have arrived and they’re starting to clear our quarantine period so I’m finally getting to take a closer look at what I bought… and the are not 2016 bond notes. The bond notes actually say “Bond Note” and that’s the one modification / omission these 2019 issues make (other than the date) that separates them from the Bond notes. I’m laughing to myself because this is 100% my bad for not noticing. The seller’s listing listed the

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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Some big progress for my 1st dollar set

About 2 weeks ago I decided to bid on a P-6 Zimbabwe note that was PMG graded 68 EPQ. I already had a P-6 in 66 EPQ and I don't normally buy "upgrades," but this was a CD prefix where what I had was a CA prefix so I decided that was justification enough to go for it. The seller took his time in shipping it out but it came in the mail today. We quarantine our mail because of the current situation but hopefully I'll get to snap some photos of my own soon. Seller's photos below: Then, ab

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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

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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

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Seeing Zimbabwean notes pop up on TV

The other day I was watching "Storage Wars: Northern Treasures" on Netflix, mostly using it as background noise while I took care of feeding the boys breakfast in the morning and keeping everyone happy while Shandy is working on the boys have been feeling under the weather. I was temporarily distracted and not really paying attention to the TV when Shandy, who had come down for breakfast, told me to look at the TV. A couple of the "geniuses" on that show had found a bunch of circulated Zimb

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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

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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

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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.

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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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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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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