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About Revenant

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  1. So I've been trying to build a set of Zimbabwean notes and I've noticed a seller offering one of the new $2 Bond notes that debuted in late 2016. The price is good and they're the only ones I've seen offering the bond notes already graded by PMG. Even though the note is graded by PMG, with all the fakes - including fake encapsulated coins - that have come out of China in recent years it makes me a bit suspicious. At the same time, part of me has a hard time believing someone would go through the effort to fake a $2 Zimbabwean bond note - which sells for about $2 raw - and fake a PMG holder just to sell the thing for $25 + free shipping. It seems like there would be better, lower-hanging fruit out there for people to fake. The seller has good feedback (score over 2000 with 100% positive). It seems like it should be safe enough but part of me can't help but wonder if it is.
  2. I've been working on a PMG signature set and I know some people I know and talk to have been looking at it but the view count stays at 0. Meanwhile, some competitive sets I have that have some of the same notes in them and which were made around the same time are showing a few views each. The only thing I can figure is that the signature set view counter isn't working or is broken / stuck at 0. Not a big deal - it's just something I've noticed.
  3. I hadn't realized until recently, when Dena / PMG made posts about it, that PCGS Currency had shut down. I also hadn't realized, until I read the announcement on the PCGS Currency page, that PCGS Currency wasn't run / operated by / part of Collector's Universe. If I'm being completely honest, I never really spent any time looking into PCGS currency, so I don't know if my lack of knowledge in that department was from my lack of effort or them not advertising it / publicizing it much. I never bought a PCGS currency graded note so it just never came up for me. The thing that's particularly interesting to me about this is, you're not seeing this shutdown reflected in listings in at least some marketplaces - eBay in particular. PCGS Currency graded notes are still being listed with prices / premiums that don't seem to take into account the changed status of these notes and the guarantee they maybe used to have. One listing I can even up even now for an PCGS Currency graded note says nothing about the shutdown / shuttering of the service. Quite the contrary - it just lists some boilerplate, copy/paste language saying: "On 3rd party professional graded notes: we are selling what that company says it is and not what the buyers or sellers opinion of the grade(condition of the note) If you don't know how to grade please contact the grading company or look at their website to understand their grading standards." Anyone that goes to the PGCS Currency page expecting to see information about grading standards is going to be disappointed. Based on NGC's post, I'm sure those with high-end notes graded by PCGS Currency are mostly aware of this shake-up and are doing what they feel they need to do - that is mostly out of my depth anyway. I shop and live in a different part of the market - lower cost modern notes that are graded because I want to have them graded, not because the value of the note justifies the expense of grading them. It's going to be interesting to see the extent to which the closure of PCGS currency will be felt on this lower end portion of the market - will these already fairly low-value notes actually start trading at a discount against similar PMG graded notes? I'm expecting that the notes in these cases will probably stay in the PCGS currency holders and will not be crossed to PMG. Paying to crossover a rare and valuable note makes sense, but, with things like this, like my Zimbabwe notes, most of them didn't make sense to grade in the first place and it really doesn't make sense to pay more money to cross them. The value of the grading with these things is mostly in the holder and the protection that the holder conveys for long term preservation and handling. The PCGS Currency holders satisfy this need, probably to roughly the same extent as the PMG holder would. For what it's worth, I'm really not trying to dump on PMG graded Zimbabwe notes - I really like my set and I've been working hard to build it up. But I'm not unwilling to acknowledge facts and math - most of these notes sell for $3 raw and about $16-25 graded in the range of 66 EPQ to 68 EPQ. So, even if you get a great grade on the note, you're barely going to recover your grading and shipping costs if you try to sell the note later - at least under current market conditions. Maybe that'll change one of these days. Just a bit of an evening ramble I suppose, but I'll stop there for now.
  4. I'm sure. This seller had a great feedback score and seemed great. I was more commenting on the novelty of it from my perspective. I rarely buy from outside of the United States were a US seller has the item just because the shipping costs (to say nothing of time) can be prohibitive - sometimes shipping cost is as much or more than the cost of the item. But this was one case were I was able to get what I wanted in the grade I wanted most easily by going with an international seller.
  5. Fortunately, notes aren't people. When we started putting numbers on people with ink it was a bad time as I recall. It is fun learning the story and the history of each issue and series though. Totally agree there.
  6. What you say is probably true, but, to me, that's just a reason to get something very nice in the 66-68 range and let other people play the speculation game - and that's what it is, speculation. You're just hoping and praying that when you sell there's someone willing to pay what you did or more. With a lower grade, a bigger pop, a lower price and, as a result, a broader collector base and more stability. The other part of the problem with condition rarities is that you're hopong the pop in grade stays very low. If you're talking about a 70 you're talking about a modern note - nothing old is getting that grade. If it's modern, it's likely common, and you never know what someone is going to submit tomorrow. If your pop 1 becomes a pop 2 tomorrow, or your pop 2 becomes a pop 3, 4 or 5, chances are your "value" just tanked. Just another perspective and worth about 2 cents.
  7. 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 2 weeks ago on March 1st and the delivery estimate was between March 11th (which seemed optimistic honestly) and March 19th, so their guess wasn't bad. They were definitely in the range. The note in question was a Zimbabwean P-2c 5 dollar note from 1983. Another very nice addition to my 1st dollar set.
  8. Wow. I had not heard about PCGS Currency shutting down... I'm glad I went with PMG.
  9. 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 believe that someone else (a user / member) asked for or recommended this change. I made my set back in 2016 when they were first introduced to the registry. I went about two years without updating or adding to it after that – fatherhood and unemployment sucking up my time. So I didn’t notice the change in the set / slots until about two months ago when I started paying attention and building up the set again. Honestly, I like the change. It makes the set a lot more approachable and significantly easier to build – which was probably what NGC had in mind when they made the change. Collecting a full set of the pick #s for the first dollars is easy enough but building a set with all the sub-types would be expensive and hard. In particular, the 1980s notes that list the name of the Capital city as Salisbury instead of Harare (they changed the name of the city in 1982) seem hard to find. They just don’t seem to pop up very often. Now, since I just need a P-11 and I don’t have to care about it being a P-11a or P-11b – unless I want to. The set becomes easier to build – and a lot more fun too if I’m being honest. The whole thing just becomes less daunting. This change did hit my set a bit in that I’d bough both a P-4c and a P-4d at a time when they could both be listed in the same competitive registry set together. Now you can’t do that – not with a competitive set. But you can do it with a signature set and that’s exactly what I do these days. That is, after all, the beauty of this place with the signature sets. My P-4c and P-4d are both in my newly re-done and re-imagined signature set. I may yet have more instances in the future where I have more than one sub-type within a single pick. I think getting some things like that has a great potential to add depth to the set and strengthen it, but it’s great in a lot of ways to feel like I don’t have to. Part of the impact of this, at least to me going forward, is that it makes getting a new pick # that I don’t have an example of a lot more appealing than getting, say, a P-5b when I already have a P-5a in a comparable or better grade. I could definitely be interested in one day getting as many of the different sub-types as I can, but I think that will mostly wait until after I’ve acquired what I want and can find of the different pick #s.
  10. Thanks for the responses / suggestions. Just starting to look at options as my set starts to grow a little more.
  11. 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 older one is thinner and doesn’t include images of the notes under UV / black light. The new edition has images of the notes viewed under UV light in order to highlight some of the security features used on notes throughout the 2nd and 3rd dollar issues. Because I’ve ordered from them a number of times since 2015 I’d started developing quite a collection / stockpile of these books and I ultimately sent them a message and told them to stop sending them when they filled my orders - it’s a waste of money and paper. The book is mostly pictures - but they’re full color pictures on good paper, which says a lot about the commitment to quality on a book they’re giving out for free. I know they’re using it to encourage people to buy the whole set and buy more notes from them but I admire the commitment to making it look and feel good. There is one aspect of the book that I can’t help but find disappointing though. There’s only one page of the whole thing that has any meaningful text or which tries to provide a narrative for the notes. That one page talks about the Bearer Checks and the Special Agro Checks of the 2nd dollar as well as the regular banknote issues of the 3rd dollar. The part of it that bugs me is that they talk about these two sets like they’re the entire story - the full set of issues made during the hyperinflation period. That’s really not true though. The P-11b $500 dollar note and the P-12 $1000 note were both in use during what can be considered the very first part of the hyperinflationary period. The Cargill Bearer Checks, the Traveler’s Checks, and the Bearer Check’s that span from P-13 to P-32 are all first dollar issues that are very much part of the hyperinflationary period. The 4th dollars that followed in 2009 are also rightfully part of the group. I know why those issues probably aren’t in the book - the merchant doesn’t have many examples of those series in their inventory. At the end of the day, the book is more of a sales document and they’re not going to spend time and money promoting something that they don’t have in stock to sell. Still, I can’t help but find it frustrating that they’ve omitted these issues and not even spared a couple of sentences to acknowledge their existence. It’s not exactly a definitive text on the Zimbabwe hyperinflation and its banknotes, but, again, I have to acknowledge that it is what it was meant to be, not what I’d like to see in it. While I haven’t done so yet, I’d love to get a copy of Philip Haslam’s “When Money Destroys Nations: How Hyperinflation Ruined Zimbabwe, How Ordinary People Survived and Warnings for Nations that Print Money.” I think that book is going to focus on the nation and the economic narrative of the event and probably not spare much attention for the Banknotes that I’ve been obsessing over, but I still think it’d be an interesting read.
  12. In the event that one can be found that is NOT canceled, are those elligible for grading? I ask because the PMG population report shows graded examples of picks 15 through 20, just not many. Thank you for the answers and the time.
  13. I'm thinking about buying a set or two of canceled Zimbabwean Traveler's Checks from 2003 to go with the set of notes I'm building. While it probably won't happen immediately, my goal would ultimately be to get these graded and put them into my signature and competitive sets. So, before I possibly commit to buying some of these, I wanted to know: 1) Will PMG grade and encapsulate canceled checks? 2) Will the fact that they've been canceled impact the grades they get. Clearly if they've suffered wear and tear that will hit the grade but I'm wondering if having the cancelation stamp itself will impact the grade. Thank you.
  14. Those of you who have significant numbers of larger world bank notes in PMG holders, how do you store them? I'm not really in love with the zippered money bags that PMG offers. I think those would work well for a small number of notes. However, I think when you start talking about a few dozen or more notes in PMG holders I think it would be better to have something like a hard plastic box with a lid, that the notes can stand up in, kind of like those old boxes for index cards, just bigger.
  15. 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). Now that I have the 3rd dollars over 50% my next major challenge is going to be building up the 2nd dollar Bearer Checks and Agro Checks more since those are currently barely represented in the set. Pictures of the new notes have been lagging since the birth of my son but maybe I'll get to catch up soon.