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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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I wonder if they aren't selling anymore...

A currency dealer I shop with frequently just did a "fall sale" - putting all PCGS Currency graded banknotes on sale for 30%. This has me wondering if the PCGS graded notes haven't been selling since the shutdown and their values really have taken a hit, even on the lower ends of the market - including the market for modern banknotes.

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4th dollar complete! ~90% Overall!

I found someone selling the last 3 notes I needed for the 4th dollar series. One of the notes was a hair lower on grade than I've been wanting to stick to for this set but I decided to go for it, get the three notes as a group, so I could have the set complete. I'll worry about upgrading things later, if I feel like it at the time. I'm now about 92% complete for the hyper inflation set (2nd, 3rd and 4th dollars) and 75% complete for the 1st dollar banknotes. The 1st dollar check series are

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Got my Bond Notes. :)

I suppose I hinted at this in my previous post by posting pictures of both of them but I didn't bring this up because I didn't close / seal the deal on the 2nd one until this morning. Over the weekend, about a week after I lost the auction for that P-100 note the seller offered me a 2nd chance offer on it at my max bid price - which happened to be the initial / starting bid price. This offer, combined with some other things that happened towards the end of those auctions, increases my suspi

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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

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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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

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

A P-44a...

So I tried to add a new P-44 note to my Zimbabwe 2nd dollar set and it said the note wasn't eligible / wasn't allowed in the slot. The slot seems set up to allow a P-44a... P-44a. I've never heard of a P-44a. I can't find any reference in any of my research / shopping / looking around to a P-44a or a P-44b, just P-44. I'm assuming this a / no a thing is the reason why the system / slot is rejecting the note. I'm assuming / hoping this was just a mistake but it's a bit of head scratcher for

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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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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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