The P-2e (and the P-1d)

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Revenant

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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, including the Series 2 notes.

Zimbabwe started rolling out the Series 2 notes in 1994 and 1995 (and retired the $2 denomination, replacing the P-1 note with a $2 coin). So, between their replacement mid-year of the prior issues with the old watermark and their subsequent replacement with completely new designs, these notes were not in print long.

Pictured below for comparison is my P-2c, from 1983. I don't have a 1994 dated P-2d at this point. We'll see what the future holds there.

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The P-1c is fairly common and cheap, seemingly almost as common and inexpensive as the P-1b, and it’s just a watermark that separates it from the P-1d – which is one of the rarest and most desirable notes in any Zimbabwe note collection. 

I can say that with the P-1c and P-1d because I have seen P-1c notes come up for sale in 67 EPQ and sell for less than $30 in most cases 3 or 4 times now. I have hardly ever seen P-1d notes and they tend to go for more in the $120+ range.

It’s harder to make this argument, for me, from what I’ve seen, with the P-2d and the P-2e because I’ve now seen two P-2e notes sell for $51 or less, but I have not yet seen a P-2d come up for sale.

This makes it difficult in most cases to try to shop for a P-1d or a P-2e on the internet, in raw, ungraded condition, because sellers typically don’t include pictures where they’re holding the note up to a light to show off the watermark and it’s the watermark that makes literally all the difference - the dates and signatures are the same.

From a registry perspective, these notes are interesting in that they are competition drivers that play an outsized role in making sets competitive (or not) in the 1st dollar category. And they seem to be more scarce on the market but their prices aren’t much higher in practice - I’m sure because there aren’t many 1st dollar collectors compared to 3rd dollar collectors and there aren’t all that many 1st dollar collectors that are crazy enough to build full variety sets or to try to hunt down the rare varieties instead of settling for the more common ones - most people probably would not care to pay extra for a P-1d and would rather just get a P-1b. The notes are nearly identical.

A P-2c in 66 EPQ gets 45 points but a P-2e in the same grade gets you 357. I paid about $30 for the P-2c and paid about $51 for the P-2e. More, but not 7 times more.

A P-1b gets 37 points in 66 EPQ but a P-1d gets 584 - which can make it hard to compete in the category if someone else has a P-1d and you don’t.

The point values on these notes seems to be more reflective of their relative rarity and not necessarily their price - and we all know, per NGC/PMG that the scores are not based exclusively on price. But you also can’t draw many conclusions about relative scarceness or desirability because these things are rarely graded in general and the more common varieties are generally not worth enough after grading to justify the grading fees - so their relative numbers in the pop reports are not at all indicative of their relative commonness overall.

This dynamic has made me keen to try to go for some of these rarer varieties when one comes up for sale and the seller is asking something close to a reasonable price. But the problem sometimes becomes that the seller is asking what I do not particularly feel is a reasonable price. And, when the thing sits unsold for months, it suggests to me that the others out there that buy these things also don’t feel like it’s all that good of an ask. But, when you’re dealing with something that only comes up for sale very infrequently - especially already graded in a very hard grade - it can be extremely hard to argue this point with the dealer or get them to come down off those asks. And then the things just sit in inventory for a year or two or three.

 

ZIM2e Front.jpg

ZIM2e Back.jpg

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