Finally scored some nice wins…

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Revenant

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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 some wins that I’m very happy about and I was able to do it because I didn’t blow all of my budget and then some on those other notes.

The first win came about 3 days ago. It is a P-21d in 67 EPQ. This gives me a complete pick set (but not a variety set) of the 3 note, 2003 bearer check series (P-21 to P-23). I’ll see when I get it entered but I think this also might just barely give me the lead in the category (by about 10 points) and give me the #1 spot for a while. Should be fun to digitally poke jeyanth7 with a stick like that. Lol

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The 2nd win came this morning and this is the one I am really happy about - and paradoxically it’s probably one of the most homely looking “notes” in the whole series - and calling it a “note” is really generous because this thing is a check. It is not a reusable, transferable, “check” with an expiration date like the “bearer checks” and “agro checks.” It is a literal, bank-issued, single use, canceled check.

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I was very excited when this popped up. When I’d asked about these previously PMG had indicated that they weren’t currently grading these and so I’d been thinking it’d be impossible to ever have these properly represented in my signature set. But this check is clearly recently graded and indicates that they’ve changed their mind and they’re willing to certify these now. I’d removed the empty slots for these from my signature set because I thought the were unfillable. I’m not going to add slots back for all of them for now. Rather, I’m going to include this as a representative piece for now and see what develops over time. On the competitive side, depending on what happens in the next few weeks, when I add this one to my set it might be the only one of these listed in the registry and anchoring a #1 ranked set or one note.

I had been hoping to snag that P-15 for $25 unopposed - much like I won the P-21d without anyone bidding against me, but I had to fend off a sniper that bid on it with 3 seconds left on the clock. I’d been hoping to go for a 68 EPQ P-30 note tonight but I’ve decided I’m going to have to let that one go - it’s just not in the collecting budget at the moment. I’ll need to convince myself to wait a week or two before I buy anything else. That is a bit of a bummer because the P-30, with the P-21, would give me a complete denomination set of the 1st dollar bearer checks, but there is a 67 EPQ that will end in about 9 days and I may go for that instead - still a good note in a good grade while mostly honoring my agreed collecting budget.

I've also decided for now that I'm not going to have slots for all three $50,000 issues in the 1st dollar bearer check series (P-28 to P-30) for now and I'll just add more slots as I get them. I'm pretty happy with and I think the set will feel reasonably complete if I get a P-28, P-29, or a P-30 (most likely a P-30) and I don't necessarily feel like driving myself nuts getting all three in the near term. 

While I still have some holes I'd like to fill as I'm able, it's getting harder, and I feel like the signature set and the collection overall is getting to a pretty mature state, where it feels pretty complete and new purchases are likely to start slowing down drastically soon. But... I've been wrong about that before.

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Just thought I'd use some screen caps to show how I'm restructuring the signature set for now. The P-15 and P-21d are going to drop into adjacent slots once they arrive.

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I am very happy with how my 1st dollar collection has improved and shaped up in the last 6 months. It feels awesome.

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Nice to see that P15 ended up with you and not at a bad price either (I think).

I was board so I did a little research into the stamps on your P15, and it looks like it was endorsed and paid out at the Chisipite Branch located at 2 Hind House in a Shopping Center on the north side of Harare. The endorsement stamp is a little unique from stamps on other Travellers Cheques in that it has those two arches in the center and the ink mark above from the stamp pad, possibly unique to the person who stamped it. I've been looking around and have only seen one other Cheque (another P15) with that stamp used out of a few hundred I viewed. Kind of fun to think about if the stamp used and branch where it was cashed are rare, not that it really means anything or increases value.

I'll be interested to see the back of it when you post it, more often than not the back will be endorsed with signatures, addresses, phone numbers, typing from when it was ran through the register and/or stamped, but the other Cheque cashed at this branch (that I've seen) had no other markings on the reverse, which would make it slightly out of the norm in general for this series.

Great note, I like it. 

Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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I'm not sure what "ZIMBANK WASTE" is referring to on the stamp. Hmmmm, It's dated before the "PAID" stamp, might have to look around later.

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11 hours ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

Nice to see that P15 ended up with you and not at a bad price either (I think).

Yup. I'll be honest in that I'd gotten my hopes up that I could walk away with it for $25 + tax + shipping when it went into the final minute with no other bids and I was a bit disappointed when it spiked from $24.89 to $37.77, but I wanted it and I was prepared to go higher if that had been needed to get it. It just adds something to the overall set I've built that I've wanted for a while. This is only the 2nd one of these checks that I've noticed come up for sale that was PMG graded. The other one was a P-18 graded as a 63 that came up at a time when I just couldn't justify bidding on it.

11 hours ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

I was board so I did a little research into the stamps on your P15, and it looks like it was endorsed and paid out at the Chisipite Branch located at 2 Hind House in a Shopping Center on the north side of Harare. The endorsement stamp is a little unique from stamps on other Travellers Cheques in that it has those two arches in the center and the ink mark above from the stamp pad, possibly unique to the person who stamped it. I've been looking around and have only seen one other Cheque (another P15) with that stamp used out of a few hundred I viewed. Kind of fun to think about if the stamp used and branch where it was cashed are rare, not that it really means anything or increases value.

Well, at this point you've definitely looked into this aspect of it and these notes than I have. I may steal some of this for later. :) I understand the appeal that some have of getting the ones that weren't redeemed / canceled and which are very clean looking as a result, but I also think that the stamps and such add a lot to the story and the context of what it is, as you just pointed out.

I'll be looking forward to having it in hand myself, checking out the stamps more and looking at the back. Sadly, knowing this seller, it'll be close to two weeks before I have it and it'll have to sit unopened for 3 days in our quarantine pile - I have to follow the rule too if I want the 4 year old to respect it! The new $10 note hit the mailbox today, a little early, so that can come out on Tuesday. That'll help tide me over.

 

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10 hours ago, Revenant said:

I'd gotten my hopes up that I could walk away with it for $25 + tax + shipping

That's what I thought was going to happen, there was no activity on that note.

10 hours ago, Revenant said:

Well, at this point you've definitely looked into this aspect of it and these notes than I have. I may steal some of this for later. :)

All yours, might want to double check the info. People weren't exactly lining up by my desk in school to see what my answers were. lol

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On 8/22/2020 at 9:56 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I'll be interested to see the back of it when you post it, more often than not the back will be endorsed with signatures, addresses, phone numbers, typing from when it was ran through the register and/or stamped, but the other Cheque cashed at this branch (that I've seen) had no other markings on the reverse, which would make it slightly out of the norm in general for this series.

Great note, I like it. 

It arrived in the mail today. I have to follow my own rules and not open it for three days but I'm getting closer to having it anyway! lol

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When I’d asked about these previously PMG had indicated that they weren’t currently grading these

This has me wondering.... Do you think PMG will start grading the Cargill Checks and the gas coupons?

I assuming that PMG was not grading these at some point as well, similar to the Traveller's Cheques, since there are no registry sets listed.

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On 8/29/2020 at 11:34 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

This has me wondering.... Do you think PMG will start grading the Cargill Checks and the gas coupons?

I assuming that PMG was not grading these at some point as well, similar to the Traveller's Cheques, since there are no registry sets listed.

I  think they have graded the Cargill checks before and, if they are grading the Traveller's checks again, they'll probably grade those now. The gas coupons??? I don't know... I don't know if they were ever grading thsoe.

 

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10 hours ago, Revenant said:

The gas coupons??? I don't know... I don't know if they were ever grading thsoe.

Hmm, I would think they would if someone sent them in. They were issued by the RBZ so that should make them legit enough and I've seen similar items graded from other countries. PMG likes to make money so I'm sure they'd stick them in a holder if someone felt the need to get one graded. 

Side note: I read a short article in World Coin News and it looks like the life expectancy of the new ZWD will be shorter than predicted. It seems that the government is currently misstepping its way into another economic collapse. Let's see, they shut down the Stock Exchange last month, are paying civil servants in foreign currencies effectively re-dollarizing the economy, banning all mobile wallets/transactions and all the while reassuring people that the ZWD is still legal tender and to exchange all other foreign currency for it (after you just paid me with foreign currency, uhmm NO.). Looks like we can stick a fork in the new ZWD, at least at these denominations. I think they just go back to the USD or ZAR.

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2 hours ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

Hmm, I would think they would if someone sent them in. They were issued by the RBZ so that should make them legit enough and I've seen similar items graded from other countries. PMG likes to make money so I'm sure they'd stick them in a holder if someone felt the need to get one graded. 

I imagine you're probably right, and I may do just that one of these days, but I've had my hands full enough. lol

2 hours ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

Side note: I read a short article in World Coin News and it looks like the life expectancy of the new ZWD will be shorter than predicted. It seems that the government is currently misstepping its way into another economic collapse. Let's see, they shut down the Stock Exchange last month, are paying civil servants in foreign currencies effectively re-dollarizing the economy, banning all mobile wallets/transactions and all the while reassuring people that the ZWD is still legal tender and to exchange all other foreign currency for it (after you just paid me with foreign currency, uhmm NO.). Looks like we can stick a fork in the new ZWD, at least at these denominations. I think they just go back to the USD or ZAR.

I don't really know anyone but the RBZ that really expected the new ZWD to be anything other than basically DOA, especially since it was essentially their 3rd "currency" / "quasi-currency" in the last 4 years and the 2nd in the year 2019 - it was announced only about 6 months after they announced that the Bond Notes - which were supposed to be 1:1 pegged with US dollars - were "converted" to the "RTGS dollar," which was a "ZWL" currency code.

Fiat money is always going to be faith based - which is fine, as long as people trust the government. But there was zero trust / faith in the RBZ (for good reason) and that is just going to get worse every time they fall on their face like this. This new ZWL/ZWD/series of currencies was a goner the minute they abandoned the peg to the US dollar - and trying to re-peg to the USD at a devalued rate wasn't going to do it. The ship had sailed at that point.

There only hope is going to be to peg to something more "real" that they don't control in order to impose the promise of discipline and restraint. Or that was their only hope with the Bond Notes. Now that they've shown how casually they're willing to de-peg I don't even know that that will save them now.

I may have to change my set from "Zimbabwe Dollars Reborn" to 'The "Z" is for "Zombie."'

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On 8/31/2020 at 6:30 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I read a short article in World Coin News and it looks like the life expectancy of the new ZWD will be shorter than predicted.

I can't make journals right now and I'm getting errors when I try to update my note descriptions, but I'm working on a major re-work / update to my New ZWD set to factor in current events (and make note of the Sep 2019 death of Mugabe). I have the following written up in my master Word file and i thought I'd share:

 

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced in mid-May 2020 that new $10 and $20 bank notes would be released at the end of May and the first week of June, respectively. A Boeing 747 arrived in Harare from Leipzig Germany on the morning of May 14th 2020 and unloaded 66 tons of bank notes – think about that! 66 tons of cash! While the RBZ doesn’t disclose who does their printing, it is speculated, based on this, that the Leipzig Branch of Munich’s Giesecke & Devrient is making these notes for the RBZ. An “official request” from the German government compelled the firm to stop making banknotes for Zimbabwe in 2008, but the company has been doing printing for the country since 1965, when it was still Rhodesia. 

 

Inflation (in ZWD) reached 785.55% in May 2020, according to official statistics released by Zimstats.  

 

The government stopped trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) on June 29th in a move geared towards protecting the currency – which was still taking a beating and described as being “in free fall.” The closure lasted for more than a month and trading did not resume until August 3rd.  

 

In late June 2020 the government increased the salaries of civil servants by 50% and gave them a “Covid-19 Allowance of US$75 (I think this is monthly). Yes – the allowance they were paying to these government workers was in US dollars, not local currency. Even if you use the official exchange rates (75 ZWD to US$1), the salary for these workers is only US$40, meaning that this “allowance” is worth more than their salaries. If you use unofficial rates their pay would be much lower in US dollar terms. Government pensioners were to receive a US$30 monthly Covid-19 allowance, tax-free. 

 

Officials have called the measures “transitory” and blamed it all on Covid-19 – not their fault, of course. A member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, Eddie Cross, called the announcement “crazy,” and said he didn’t even think the country had enough US dollars / money in the bank to pay for it. He also called it "retrogressive" as it violated a “dedollarisation” program which was already facing resistance. Prior to this, the country had already started paying mine workers in US dollars and was now expanding this to the largest group of workers in the country. Cross believed this would lead private workers to demand the same. Jonathan Chew of Imara Asset Management Zimbabwe said the current multiple exchange rate system might be able to limp along a while longer but that this would ultimately lead to a “redollarisation” of the economy (a return to using the US dollar as the de facto medium of exchange and currency of the country). 

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2 hours ago, Revenant said:

Prior to this, the country had already started paying mine workers in US dollars

That's where it started for me, where I first read about the new ZWD and how the government/local officials and companies were already undermining it or knew from the get go that it would not last.

Excellent write up ^^ that really puts a bow on it to date. Can't wait to see the rest, even though we all know how this chapter is going to end. I can't look away.

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15 minutes ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

That's where it started for me, where I first read about the new ZWD and how the government/local officials and companies were already undermining it or knew from the get go that it would not last.

Excellent write up ^^ that really puts a bow on it to date. Can't wait to see the rest, even though we all know how this chapter is going to end. I can't look away.

Thanks! I'm glad you like it.

I have write-ups chronicling a lot of this in a way that splits it (the story from 2016 to 2020) between the $2 bond, the $5 bond, the $2, the $5 and the $10. That part is going to be part of the $10 note description. I'm unofficially holding the description for the $20 note open (once I have one to enter) and I expect that section / write-up to discuss the death of the new 2019 ZWD - what a way to spit on the 1st dollars of 1980 to re-use that currency code. SMH. I don't expect any more notes in this series at this point. If they release a $50 / $100 and try to keep this going they're just sticking their heads up their butts and denying the truth. "It's dead, Jim."

Edited by Revenant
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1 hour ago, Revenant said:

"It's dead, Jim."

Damn It Jim! I'm a doctor not an economist! (Probably a true statement being uttered in the halls of the Zimbabwe government.)

Now I'm going to be thinking of scenarios on how the crew of the good ship Enterprise would fix this situation. Go back in time, directly meddle with the history of the planet, defeat a semi-gelatinous beast and mind meld with it, or fall arse backwards onto a pile of USD's hidden under the balancing rocks after destroying them in a phaser fight. All the while schmoozing with the locals, and ahem.....

Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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