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Everything posted by Revenant

  1. 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.
  2. Wow. I had not heard about PCGS Currency shutting down... I'm glad I went with PMG.
  3. 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.
  4. Thanks for the responses / suggestions. Just starting to look at options as my set starts to grow a little more.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The hyperinflation that ripped through Zimbabwe in the first decade of this century / millennium was an economic and societal catastrophe. The currency was officially and fully demonetized in 2015 but the nation of Zimbabwe is continuing to try to dig its way out of the devastation caused by the hyperinflation and other disastrous government policies and programs. It is somewhat ironic, and I’m sure more than a little chagrin inducing for the people of that country, to think that the 100 Trillion dollar note and some of the others in that series have become such a popular novelty item and that the 100 Trillion notes are now worth $100-350 to American collectors. However, I’ve recently come across / learned about something that seemingly adds quite a bit of insult to this injury. Since the genuine notes have become so popular and expensive, not everyone wants to pay that much for them. And, the joys of capitalism being what they are, someone seems to have stepped in to fill that need / void. Some person or company in China has been mass producing these gold colored copies of the 100 Trillion dollar note. They’re plastic and covered in a gold-colored foil - there is no real gold content. They do not have serial numbers. They are not and never were real notes and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has nothing to do with them. They’re on eBay going for $8-10 for lots of 10 of them - so super cheap. I see the gold coloring as mixed blessing. Since they’re gold in color and shiny, where the true 100 Trillion note is mostly blue, no one is ever going to make the mistake of thinking that these are the original 100 Trillion note. There's also a silver version out there that I think does a better job of replicating the look of the original notes but it's basically the same as the gold version in terms of what it is and where it comes from. I think some of the sellers on eBay don’t do a good enough job of emphasizing that these things are from China and not any kind of official issue and that Zimbabwe / the government thereof wasn’t involved in making them, but what can you do there? On the other hand, because the coloring is all wrong, having one of these in hand doesn’t give you a feel for what the original looks like or feels like. I also find the gold color tacky and gawdy to the extreme. There’s just something so peculiar about taking something that became famous for being part of the last gasp of a dying currency, something that is famous for being 100 Trillion Dollars and, yet, somehow, still being too worthless to buy a loaf of bread and making it gold-colored. It’s like the person that made these just fundamentally failed to understand this event and what these things were and what they mean. These things are not a sign of or indicative of affluence or prosperity or opulence, as you would expect with something made golden. They’re associated with a terrible chapter of that nation’s history - a period of deprivation, scarcity, fear, want, hardship and loss. I can’t imagine what a native of the country who lived through that decade would think of these things and I don’t know if they’d laugh or cry.
  11. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from the coin collecting to build up my Zimbabwe set. The merchant I normally buy from has knocked their prices down recently so I’ve been buying and building the set while the buying is good. I was bidding on a P-95, 4th dollar, 20 dollar note last night and I ended up having to get it go when another bidder took it just a little higher than I was comfortable paying for it at the moment. The fact that the other bidder bid three times and bid it up to that level was a confirmation to me that I’m clearly not the only one hunting and building sets of these notes graded by PMG (and I suppose others get PCGS graded notes). It was a bit of a frustrating loss and I don’t know exactly when another one will come up for sale, My regular merchant doesn’t have any that are graded, just ungraded notes and I don’t want to deal with submissions right now. I may go that route eventually and acquire several raw notes and get a paid membership here for submitting them, but right now there are tons of other notes for the set that I need that I can get already graded in good, gem+ grades for low prices so I’m just not willing to go there yet. eBay is running a 6-8% eBay bucks promotion that I want to take advantage of so I’m probably going to go forward with buying some Trillions series (3rd dollar) notes I’ve been eyeing instead since I lost this one. I may pick up another 1st dollar note as part of that. The 1st dollar notes are awesome and tragically ignored and I’m thinking when this is all over that a solid set of 1st dollar notes will be a point of pride and a strength of this set. I’ve joked with my wife that this set may end up being a monument to my stress and coping with this pregnancy and the NICU stay. I’ve been obsessing over it more than a bit as a way of having something to focus on as a bit of escapism and stress relief. Below I've included images of the front and back of my P-12b, just for fun. It's a favorite of mine.
  12. Wow. I would not have expected that, PCGS serving as a market-maker / broker. You'd think they wouldn't want to get involved in it and wouldn't want their employee's time / resources getting sucked up on an activity that doesn't make them money, but I guess the person that said this probably submits a lot of notes and has a lot of purchasing power and they know where their bread is buttered.
  13. Well, buy what you like / what looks good to you and that you're happy with. If grading the currency / note is important to you and the numeric grade assigned is important to you, consider buying your stuff already graded in the grade you want. Your best defense against buying over-graded raw notes from a dealer is going to be learning to grade yourself and buying stuff in person where you can get a good look at it and not rely on someone's photography skills and honesty (or lack thereof). If you can't buy in person then buy from people with a great hassle-free returns policy, but, again, you'll have to know how to grade yourself and stick by that, because you probably won't be able to submit to PMG or PCGS and get them back within most return windows unless you negotiate such terms with the dealer seller (which you might be able to do, but I wouldn't expect many / most to go for it).
  14. I don't see why it would impact the value of the note as long as the bend / damage only impacts areas of the holder where the note isn't and the note hasn't acquired a crease or other damage that it didn't have when it was graded. I could see people not liking the damage to the holder and someone wanting to send it in to be reholdered at some point. It's also possible that if you go to sell the note later the cost of reholdering could get priced into the price the buyer is willing to pay so it could hurt you there. I know I wouldn't be happy to see that and I couldn't blame you for feeling like that. I think an important question for you is, how rare is the note? How hard is it going to be to find another one that's as good or better for a price you're happy with? If it's a valuable note (hundreds of dollars in value) and hard to find another one, I think I'd contact the seller and see if they'll give you a partial refund to cover a future reholdering. If it's a common, low value note, like some of the Zimbabwe notes that I collect that can run in the $15-20 range, I'd probably return it as damaged.
  15. For the following set there are no scores defined for the P-32 note / slot: 2005-2006 Emergency Bearer Checks, P28-P32 For the following set, only star notes are currently allowed for P-94 and the slot needs to be updated to allow for non-replacement / star notes: 2009 Issue, Fourth Dollar, P92-P98
  16. Since making the decision to return that ungraded 20 Trillion note my wife and I had said we’d sit down together once we got the refund and pick out what we were going to get instead. We got the refund on Tuesday 01/29. With the nature of being parents being what it is, we didn’t get to sit down together until shortly before bedtime on Friday 2/1, after the Ben was already in bed to pick out the new notes / purchase. I’d been looking at notes / options online for about a week at this point, so I was able to pull up about 11 options I’d been considering, and we talked about them together. I talked to my wife about each one and she even provided input on which ones we should chose based on which ones she thought were the prettiest. One option had been getting the 50 Billion note, graded by PMG, which would have completed my “Billions Series” set now that I Have the 20 Billion note. That note was being offered for $60 by the merchant so it would have pretty much been a direct item for item swap. My wife was surprised that I wasn’t leaning in that direction just to complete the Billions set, but, for the money, they had other things that were cheaper, looked better, and would contribute more to my overall set right now. I’m not ruling out getting the 50 Billion note later but it’s always been a harder sell for me. I acquired all of the rest of these notes mostly for $20-30. If I actually got that for the price they list it for it’d easily be the most expensive note in the set. Instead, they had several other notes that were graded 66 EPQ or 67 EPQ for S15-16 each. I could get four of those for about the same price as the price of that 50 Billion note and I thought that path could add a lot more to my set overall. So what did I go with? 1: P-12, the 2003, first dollar, 1,000-dollar note 2: P-8, the 1994, first dollar, 50-dollar note 3. P-33, the 1 cent, 2nd dollar note 4. P-71, 3rd dollar, 1000-dollar note Why these four? I was really wanting to get the 1,000-dollar first dollar note. It looks great, it’s the last and highest denomination first dollar issue before they started making the emergency checks. I see it as representing the beginning of the end for the currency. My wife and I also agree that the first dollar notes, in contrast to many of the later issues, are actually quite pretty and intricate in their design. I wasn’t initially going to get the 50-dollar note too, but, again, they’re some of the most attractive notes of the entire series and I do like the look of it. This may or may not lead to trying to get more of the first dollar notes. I wanted the 1 cent note because 1) it would be the first 2nd dollar note I’ve purchased, and 2) it’s just such an odd note. Much like the 100 Trillion note, it’s one of those crazy, freakish things that only happens in a hyperinflation situation. You would never normally see a 1 cent note. This note shows that it’s not always a story of big numbers on notes. There’s a broader selection of oddities and aberrations that occur. The 1,000 -dollar 3rd dollar note (P-71_ was selected because I’d been wanting to get another 3rd dollar note that extended my set back into the lower denominations of that series. Prior to this my lowest denomination in the 3rd dollar set was the 500,000-dollar note. I’d also considered getting the 20-dollar note from the 3rd dollar series. I’d thought the 20-dollar note (P-68) might be a better choice to continue the “trend” or the denomination choice with the 1983 and 1994 first dollar notes I have. $20 is also a significant / prominent denomination in the US. We went with the 1,000-dollar note because the 20 just doesn’t look as nice. The coloring just isn’t as appealing. I think hands down the most enjoyable part of the whole process was sitting down with Shandy and talking about the notes and the history and what I liked about each one and narrowing down the list of ~11 notes to four and ordering those four. (Yup, I totally paid $15 for a 1 cent bank note, but they’re all demonetized anyway so who even cares about face values anyway at this point?) Two of these notes – these already graded notes – were $15 and two were $16. So, the total purchase was $62 – versus the $60 charged for that ungraded 20 trillion note, which I still and will forever think was a rip-off given that other on eBay are offering those things graded by PMG for $40 in some cases. I think the $40 is still a little steep considering the popularity of these things seems to have waned over time, but it’s a lot more reasonable. In many cases these notes can be had ungraded for a couple of bucks from what I can see. The lowest grading fee tier for world bank notes at PMG right now is about $13-15 dollars depending on what kind of bulk submission you’re doing. So the difference in price on a lot of these is just enough to cover the grading fee, if that, over the cost of an ungraded note. But even then, they don’t sell a lot of them at these prices – I’m guessing because I’m one of the small few that sees value in collecting these things as graded notes (and I’m apparently about the only one that feels like participating in the registry with them). I’m okay with that though. I have very specific reasons for why I want what I want with this set. The notes should be arriving in the mail today. This has re-ignited my interest in the set and so I'm probably going to be putting a little more money and a lot more time into this set / project this year to flush out some things that I feel are gaps in my collection.
  17. I see the changes have been made and 12b is added! Thanks! You folks are fast.
  18. The category is currently listed as "1980-2001 Issues, P1-P12, Complete." However, the set includes P-12, the $1,000 note, which is a 2003 issue. So I think the category should be named "1980-2003 Issues, P1-P12, Complete." Also, the slot / scoring for the set only includes scores for P-12a (Large digit SN), so I'm worried that when I get a P-12b (Small digit SN) I ordered in later this week it's not going to be accepted in the set. Thanks for the help and for looking into this.
  19. I'm experiencing problems with note descriptions and pictures disappearing on me as I'm trying to build up some PMG registry sets. For example: I'm making changes to the slots / slot descriptions in my signature set. A couple of notes that I have assigned to this set have note descriptions and photos. I save the changes to the slots and, when I get taken to the page for making changes to the Notes, all of my photos and note descriptions have been blanked, even if I made no changes to those slots in the prior screen. In one of my competitive sets, I made a change to a note that had a note description and photos. The new description saved, but the pictures disappeared (this was on my 100 Trillion note). I've switched to saving all of my descriptions to a word file for now to avoid losses that I can't fix with copy / paste, but if I can't make this stop happening it's going to be really hard to build out the set. Especially since I tend to get hit with errors if I try to upload too many pictures at the same time. Thanks for any help you can provide on this.
  20. Revenant

    Another collage

    I like the idea, but, maybe it's just my computer, I actually can't zoom in enough on it to see all the details in the notes.
  21. The Zimbabwe sets we all wanted. Well, the ones I wanted anyway. So I'm at my desk today and I get an email from Ali listing a bunch of new Zimbabwe note sets including a bunch of sets for the Third Dollar or the Trillions series. The email said they'd be coming "soon" and I was wondering when exactly that would be, but when I checked the site I saw that the Third Dollar sets were already up! The Bearer Check, Agro Check and other sets aren't out yet but honestly those aren't the ones I was hoping for anyway - I'm not collecting those series - yet. The funny thing was that I just made a signature set for these yesterday because I wanted an internet accessible way of tracking what I had - I came dangerously close a couple of times to buying a 10 billion dollar note I already had - I thought I just had the 1 billion dollar note. I'd scanned all the notes in for the signature set and so now I have all my pictures up. I'm loving that there's a full set for the 1 dollar note through the 100 Trillion note and a set for just for the 4 notes denominated in the trillions. I can actually have a 100% complete set of those! Never thought that would happen with a banknote set. I'm only about 33% on the full set. I think the best part of all of this is that just yesterday my wife gave me a 66EPQ 500,000 Dollar note as a belated Father's Day present (got held up in the mail). Now I just need to get the 20 billion and the 50 billion to finish the top 10 denominations See more journals by Revenant
  22. The Zimbabwe sets we all wanted. Well, the ones I wanted anyway. So I'm at my desk today and I get an email from Ali listing a bunch of new Zimbabwe note sets including a bunch of sets for the Third Dollar or the Trillions series. The email said they'd be coming "soon" and I was wondering when exactly that would be, but when I checked the site I saw that the Third Dollar sets were already up! The Bearer Check, Agro Check and other sets aren't out yet but honestly those aren't the ones I was hoping for anyway - I'm not collecting those series - yet. The funny thing was that I just made a signature set for these yesterday because I wanted an internet accessible way of tracking what I had - I came dangerously close a couple of times to buying a 10 billion dollar note I already had - I thought I just had the 1 billion dollar note. I'd scanned all the notes in for the signature set and so now I have all my pictures up. I'm loving that there's a full set for the 1 dollar note through the 100 Trillion note and a set for just for the 4 notes denominated in the trillions. I can actually have a 100% complete set of those! Never thought that would happen with a banknote set. I'm only about 33% on the full set. I think the best part of all of this is that just yesterday my wife gave me a 66EPQ 500,000 Dollar note as a belated Father's Day present (got held up in the mail). Now I just need to get the 20 billion and the 50 billion to finish the top 10 denominations To see old comments for this Journal entry, click here. New comments can be added below.
  23. Revenant

    Grade 70 EPQ

    Well, a quick eBay search shows 3 70EPQ and 1 70PPQ notes, all from 1989 or later and all foreign. Doesn't answer your question but I thought it might be interesting.
  24. You should've given negative and stuck to your guns. He clearly went out of his way to make it look nicer than it really was. Now there's less chance that the next person will have fair warning.
  25. Why I had to get the 1983 note too... So, some people that watch my set listings (why would you do that, you creepers... joking) or the Zimbabwe bank note categories might have noticed that I added a registry set for the pre-hyperinflation Zimbabwe dollars and added a couple of $20 notes in there, the 1983 and the 1994. Depending on how curious you are you might have wondered why I added this set and bought these notes when I've been spending all this time talking about wanting the Trillion Series. Well... even if you didn't check or notice any of those things I want to talk about it anyway so I'm going to. I guess the honest answer is that I saw them being offered for sale by the same merchant I've been buying all the other Zimbabwe notes from and I wanted them because I thought they'd go well with the Trillion series notes in a complimentary way. Digging a little deeper though... I was really surprised in reading and learning about the history of the Zimbabwe dollar to find that, when it was introduced in 1980 to replace the Rhodeisan dollar, it was initially worth MORE than a US dollar. The initial conversion rate was Z$1:US$1.47. Granted, it was probably overvalued based on fundamentals at the time it was introduced and almost immediately it started coming down fast, but it's interesting to note that this currency that was hyper-inflated to death in just 29 years started out worth more than the world reserve currency, and realizing that interesting fact made me want some notes from that period as part of this "narrative-in-the-form-of-notes" that I'm wanting to build for a discussion I hope to have with my son in 10 or so years that he'll probably have zero interest in listening to. Doesn't matter -- I'll glue him to the chair if I have to... It happens that, from what I've been able to read/find, 1983 was the year that the US$ and the Z$ had a 1:1 exchange rate (albeit briefly) and 1997 was the year the exchange rate hit 10:1 -- a 90% loss of value in just 14 years, with the hyperinflationary period still 9 years away. Sadly they don't have 1997 dated bills but they did have the 1994 bills and 1983's so I got what I could. ? The key to getting the 1983 and 1994 notes ended up being patience. When I first saw them offer for sale they were listing for $70 each. I wanted the notes but that was just more than I was really happy paying for them. Apparently I wasn't alone in that feeling because they must not have been selling. The merchant dropped the price on them to $40 each. At that point I was willing to buy them. I can't attest as to whether or not that was a "good" price, but this was the only person I knew of that was selling these notes PMG graded, I wanted them, and I was finally okay with that price.