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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

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

Revenant

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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

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

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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

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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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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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After 40 years, the Zimbabwe dollar has gone full circle.

I read last year that Zimbabwe was going to have ANOTHER new currency coming to replace the RTGS dollar but then life and work got busy and I never really went back to look into the developments. I've been making updates to my set(s) lately though and looking into the getting the P-99 and P-100 Bond notes and this got me thinking about the fact that I haven't been seeing or hearing anything about new notes or a new currency even though it's been about 6 months now. It seems like they h

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

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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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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

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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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

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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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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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