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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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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