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Everything posted by Revenant

  1. I think the stuff about the date in the serial number is kind of nonsense. The note itself has nothing to do with the boy scouts and it doesn't link to the boy scouts in any way. While 1961 is a year that Kennedy was president, it's not like 2/6/61 is the date of his inauguration or anything. I don't see anyone with an affinity for boy scouts stuff sharing your interpretation for the serial number. You're just reaching too far.
  2. Not fancy. Just a bill. A very circulated bill.
  3. Nah. Not fancy. Not valuable based on that and condition.
  4. Close but no cigar on the serial. That wouldn't count as fancy. If it was solid 8s or 87888878 you might have had something.
  5. Those are not fancy serial numbers. I don't know much about Canadian currency. Chances are you probably won't increase the value much by grading them but I wouldn't be surprised if they do have some collector's value based on age and condition - but it probably won't be huge if I had to guess.
  6. I wouldn't consider that to be a fancy serial number. So it probably isn't worth much.
  7. 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 to, and they had to be cancelled - so they weren't really currency or banknotes in any way. They were checks. PMG, while they graded a few of these back in the day, says they probably wouldn't grade them currently. So, unless you can get someone to sell you one they have previously graded (and they may not come up for sale), you can't even get graded examples of these, even though there are competitive set categories for them (with no sets because the people that own those graded examples don't list them in the registry). It also isn't lost on me that the poster I showed in my last post shows P-28 through P-32, the later bearer checks, but doesn't show the bank-issued checks. So obviously the dealer that made that poster doesn't really think of them or market them as being part of that larger set either. The other major dealer I go through for most of my Zimbabwe notes also doesn't deal in these bank-issued notes at all from what I can see. So far I've included blank slots in my signature set with notes on the comments, just to acknowledge each group / set of notes with a slot to acknowledge the pick numbers, but I increasingly wonder if I just need to cut them out / allow myself to ignore them. In the context of the larger set, they're just odd. It just feels like they both do and don't belong in the larger set / collection.
  8. 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 dollars (the "Trillions Series") and the 100 Trillion dollar note..
  9. 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 realized that this wasn't exclusive to the 1st dollars. The ZWR had it too, I think the picture below was the $1 note and the $100 note. This was a really cool feature / realization for me. I'd read years ago that some people were pushing to make the different denominations in the US different sizes - it's an access issue for the blind. The argument was that the current bills deny adequate access to the blind and that making the notes different sizes would allow the blind to tell the difference between them without help. After reading that years ago, seeing this was just really neat. I don't really see any difference between the sizes of anything after about $500 or $1000. I can only assume this was because they either couldn't make the notes any bigger (They are quite big), or because they chose to standardize around a size to make it easier to keep cranking out higher denomination notes.
  10. Looks like, while I've been distracted by the birth of my 2nd son, the government of Zimbabwe and the RBZ have been busy. The announcement came on 2/19/2019, one week after my son was born. On 2/20/2019 the “Zollar” “quasi-currency,” pegged to the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio, represented by the bond coins released in 2014 and bond notes released from 2016-2018, became the official currency of Zimbabwe – called the RTGS dollar. It consisted of the bond notes and electronic money. The Bond Notes and electronic money would be converted or merged into the new currency with a 1:1 parity and then they would float against the dollar. The name of the currency would come from the country’s interbank online payment platform – "Real Time Gross Settlement," RTGS. In the days leading up to the announcement the government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) were actively denying claims that they were looking to introduce a new currency. Some local economists called the move a “bold and progressive” step. Others saw the move as a sophisticated plan to take control of the US dollar savings held by the population. Shakespear Hamauswa, a businessman and lecturer, sued the government and called the RTGS a “ponzi currency,” used to “monetize the theft” of the US$ balances of the people accumulated in the last 10 years. Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the major opposition group, said, “The monetary policy statement is a disaster that will erode livelihoods, plunge the nation into darkness and uncertainty.” It’s worth noting that, while the bond notes and RTGS were officially pegged to the US dollar, in the parallel / black market the “real” exchange rate was more like 4 or 5 to one. Almost immediately after the RTGS was introduced the official exchange rate fell to 2.5RTGS:US$1. The “real” exchange rate at that time was closer to 5.75RTGS:US$1.
  11. I guess we're outliers together in that it also drives me up a tree. I just try to ignore it as much as possible. This issue is one of the reasons why, when I make images for the registry, instead of imaging the whole holder and label like some do I crop down to only show the note and I'll use Photoshop to rotate the image a few degrees as needed to get the note as straight / level as possible.
  12. Sorry to hear you're having to deal with that. Best of luck to you and I hope things get better for you soon.
  13. 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 hope to have a national currency again. The issuance of the bond notes should also provide evidence of another fact - if Zimbabwe ever does make a new currency, it will do so with the issuance of a new series of notes. It will NOT do so by making these old notes currency again. It’s just not going to happen. They can’t re-monetize that massive amount of currency that they printed and have any hopes of the new currency succeeding. If they do launch a new currency the last thing they will want is for people to be thinking about the old currency and associating the new one with that terrible episode in the country’s history. The response in the FAQ says it well - these are defunct. These are novelties. These are “quirky collectables.” Even if, by some freak event of cataclysmically bad thinking, they did decide to remonetize these again, they’d probably remonetize the 4th dollar notes, which only run up to $500 - no one is going to become an instant trillionaire from them remonetizing all the 3rd dollars. It just will not happen. Even if they, at some later time, gain more popularity and start to become more valuable and desirable to the collecting community, they’ll only be slightly more valuable collectables. They’re collectables that I happen to enjoy a lot, so I’m going to keep collecting them and building up my set, diving ever further in the rabbit hole with subtleties, nuances and serial numbers… but let’s be real - you’re not going to get rich collecting / hoarding these things.
  14. 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 chose elephants as the theme for Samuel's nursery / bedding (for Ben the theme was turtles). Several of the Zimbabwean notes feature elephants and some of the artwork, like what appears on P-12 and P-98 is quite beautiful IMO. I've also seen / run across some notes from the Congo with some really great elephant artwork. Money is too tight right now for me to actively pursue this beyond maybe just setting up the set / or the bones of it, but this is definitely something I think I want to pursue more fully one of these days when time and finances allow it. The set will be called "A Parade of Elephants," which is the more fanciful name given to a group of elephants ("herd" is just so "blah").
  15. 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 the mid- or late 1990s. One thing that's particularly interesting / funny to me is the "Zimbabwe Bird" watermark that they sued and the fact that it changes between the notes introduced in the 1980s and the notes introduced in the mid-1990s. The water marks on the early notes look like this: At least some of the Zimbabwean coins from this period also feature this bird and it looks like that on the coins. But then in the 1990s, it's like someone grabbed the bird's head and tried to stretch the neck out. All of a sudden the bird looks thinner and that neck just feels strangely long. Personally, I think the first design looked a lot better. That later design just looks a bit odd to me and not nearly as nice.
  16. It doesn't look like your picture is working / posted correctly. I'm assuming from the title that the problem is that the note is crooked in the holder?
  17. Were you talking about PCGS or PCGS Currency? Because apparently PCGS Currency shutdown right around the time you posted this.
  18. 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 Trillion… and a 1 Trillion… and a 500 Billion… and I found nothing. I tried looking for a 100 Billion, and found something, but it was weird looking, and was labeled as a… bearer check? What the… Of course, there are no notes denominated as 100 Billion, 200 billion, 500 Billion, 1 Trillion, or 5 Trillion in the 3rd dollar series. The 100 Billion Bearer Check I found, even though I didn’t know / understand what it was at the time, was part of the 2nd dollar bearer check series, not part of the 3rd dollar series, and so, it was almost completely different from what I was looking for. If you look at the progression of denominations used throughout the rest of the series / history of the Zimbabwean dollars, you’d expect all 5 of those denominations to exist, but none of them do. The only note of those five whose absence seems reasonable at first glance is the $200 Billion, as 20/200 denominations were often skipped in the series. The explanation for this is as simple as it is shocking – the hyperinflation in the country was so severe by November / December 2008, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had to skip all of those and go from 50 Billion straight to 10 Trillion. That 5 note / denomination “gap” in the series is probably the biggest and most notable such oddity in the 100-pick series but it’s hardly the only one. The 3rd dollar series includes no 5,000 dollar note. The series originally maxed out with a $1,000 denomination. When the RBZ chose to start expanding the series to include higher denominations in late September 2008, they announced the $10,000 and $20,000 notes, but no $5,000 note. The 3rd dollar series also includes no $50 note. The 3rd dollar series was rolled out with denominations ranging from $1 to $1,000, but no $50 note, even though the denomination was seen in previous series for the 1st dollar and 2nd dollar. The 3rd dollar series, finally, includes no 5 Million or 20 Million dollar notes. Why these two notes where omitted when the $10 Million, $50 Million and 100 Million notes were announced in early Dec 2008 I don’t know. One of the things that makes the 2nd dollar Bearer Checks and Agro Checks interesting in the context of the larger series is the inclusion of “25” denominations. The 1st dollars, 3rd dollars and 4th dollars all have “20” denominations – like $20, $20,000, $20,000,000. Only the 2nd dollar series has denominations of $250,000, $250 Million, and $25 Billion. The 2nd dollar series, very oddly, has both a $200,000 and $250,000 note. The 2nd dollar does also have a $20 denomination, but I assume this is only because a $25 dollar note would have been just a little too peculiar to have been taken seriously. There is no $200 or $250 note in that series. The king of the oddities may be the $750,000 note of the 2nd dollar bearer check series (ZIM52). This is the only time in the entire 100 note Zimbabwean series that has a “75” fronted denomination. This note makes an interesting partner with the $250,000 (ZIM50) note and $500,000 notes (ZIM51) of the same series. Together they give you a quarter million, half a million, and three quarters of a million dollars for denominations, and this may help explain the inclusion of both a $200,000 and $250,000 note in this series. This is just one of those things about the series that I find interesting and maybe a little strange, and I like to think about it sometimes. The most likely explanations for the skipped notes in most cases is likely the same as the reason for skipping the $100 Billion through $5 Trillion notes in the 3rd dollar series – inflation had already rendered them undesirable before they could even be issued. The budget of the nation may have also played a role. One of the reasons for discontinuing the issuance of the money in 2009 is that the country couldn’t even buy paper / afford to print the notes anymore. Some of these denominations may have been omitted just because the government / RBZ only had so much money for printing new notes and they elected to go for larger denominations to… get more buck for their buck? It’s all a little crazy to think about.
  19. Thank you, Ali! I've sent an email that summarizes this and the other problems I've been having with links to the relevant sets to the email address you provided. I'm actually not getting an error message. The pictures and descriptions are just disappearing / getting blanked out. Sometimes things look fine at first and then days later my pictures are just gone and I have no clue how or why.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.