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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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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.

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

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

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


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

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



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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

One thing I do miss about the NGC side of things as we approach the award cut-offs

So we're about 17 days away from the cut-off for consideration in the 2020 Registry Awards. The ad campaigns so to speak are in full swing - I've gotten the emails, seen the Instagram and Facebook posts. It's hard to miss when you follow their social media and spend time here. Anyway... This has gotten me thinking about how far the Zimbabwe set has come in the last year - something I take a lot of pride in. While my 3rd dollar set has been largely static at 92%, this year I think I've broug