Revenant

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  1. Like
    Revenant reacted to Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, It's a long way to the top, if you wanna (good looking note)   
    I recently read a PMG article titled "Collection Inspiration: Women Writers". In the article a Ukrainian note is referenced, the 200 Hryven banknote, featuring Lesya Ukrainka on the front of the note. In the article a brief description was given about the Poetess and the note, PMG chose to highlight the 2nd series note (good choice) and I thought I would take the opportunity to expand on the evolution of the note itself. 
    After Ukraine declared independence from the USSR in 1991 the two countries remained tethered to one another monetarily. Russian rubles circulated freely in Ukraine and were used in conjunction with the newly released karbovantes coupons (karbovantsi for 2 -4 , karbovantsiv for 5 or more). When circumstances dictated that the two countries sever all monetary ties completely, on November 12 1992, this meant that the coupons were now the sole currency in Ukraine, to be used for all transactions. An exchange rate of ruble to karbovantes was established as 1:1 and the sum of exchange was without limit. This parting of ways lead to massive inflation (up to 11,000%) with the coupons and the need for monetary reform was immediate. The Ukrainian government had been working on a national currency as early as 1991 and the first Hryvnia banknotes were designed and printed by CBNC in 1992 with a second issue in 1994 by TDLR, but finalization of the new currency and distribution wouldn't happen until September 2, 1996 when the hryvnia was officially introduced as Ukraine's national currency, the exchange rate of karbobanets to hryvnia was set at 100,000 : 1. The NBU issued 1,2,5,10, 20, 50 and 100 hryvnia banknotes into circulation, these were the 1st issued notes of hryvnia. The first issue notes were a mix match of printers, artists and designs making the fist issue seem inconsistent. There were two different designs for the 1 hryven released on the same date from two different printers (CBNC in 1992 and NBU in 1994), the 2, 5, 10 & 20 were printed by the CBNC in 1992, the 50 and 100 were printed by TDLR in (estimate) 1994 and are a completely different design from the lower denominations. Both the 50 & 100 are considered 2nd issue notes even though they were released at the same time as the 1st issue notes. The 2nd issue notes are again a mix match of printers and designs the 1, 2, & 20 were printed by the NBU the 5, 10, 50, 100 & 200 were printed by TDLR. The 200 hryven note was issued 5 years after the 2nd series was first issued, again this note was presumably printed in 1994 which would mean these notes were in a vault for 7 years prior to being released. The NBU took over all banknote design and printing in 1997 and has printed all Ukrainian banknotes since.
    So the first hryvnia series not having a 200 Hryven note means that this denomination does not have as many design changes as some of the lower value notes. (Although the 1, 2, 5 & 10 hryvnia banknotes have since been discontinued (starting with the 4th series) and replaced by coins.) Below is the first 200 hryven note, printed in 1994 and issued in 2001, it was replaced in 2007 by the 3rd series note and remained in circulation until Oct 1, 2020 when it ceased to be a means of payment and was no longer accepted as a cash payment in Ukraine. Artistic design wise, it's a good first effort but not very flattering to the subject. The portrait was taken from images of the poetess later in life. The color pattern, portrait and overall design leave much to be desired.

    Here is the 3rd series 200 Hryven note (2nd 200 hryven note), the artists and NBU pretty much knocked it out of the park with this design. This is probably the most popular modern Ukrainian note, design wise, and deservedly so.

    Finally, here is the 4th series (3rd 200 hryven note). Just some small tweaks to the overall design from the 3rd series note to this one. A toned down color palette, sharper portrait and more stylized reverse design are the major changes. 

    The subject matter of the 200 hryven note has remained the same throughout, a portrait of Lesya Ukranika on the front and a depiction of the entrance tower of Lutsk Castle (or Lubart's Castle) in Lutsk where she live for a short time.
    Born Larysa Petrivna Kosach - Kvitka, she was forced to adopt the pseudonym Lesya Ukrainka at the time of here first published poem, as Ukrainian language publications were illegal at that time in the Russian Empire. Because of this many of here Ukrainian language publications were printed in Western Ukraine, which at the time was under Austro-Hungarian rule, and were then smuggled into Kiev for distribution. She was a prolific writer of poems, plays, short stories, and sociopolitical articles and essays. Some of the early inspiration for her early writings came from the works of Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko, both of who are featured on Ukrainian currency, the 100 & 20 Hryven notes respectively. Ukrainka was vocal advocate for freedom of speech, women's rights and an independent Ukrainian state free from Czarist rule. On August 1, 1913 after an almost life long battle with extrapulmonary tuberculosis of the bones she died at a Georgian health resort at the age of 42, four years prior to Ukraine gaining a brief but chaotic independence starting in 1917 until 1920.
    Here is one of her poems titled Contra Spem Spero (Hope Against Hope)
    Thoughts away, you heavy clouds of autumn!
    For now springtime comes, agleam with gold!
    Shall thus in grief and wailing for ill-fortune
    All the tale of my young years be told?

    No, I want to smile through tears and weeping.,
    Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
    Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
    I want to live! You thoughts of grief, away!

    On poor sad fallow land unused to tilling
    I'll sow blossoms, brilliant in hue,
    I'll sow blossoms where the frost lies, chilling,
    I'll pour bitter tears on them as due.

    And those burning tears shall melt, dissolving
    All that mighty crust of ice away.
    Maybe blossoms will come up, unfolding
    Singing springtime too for me, some day.

    Up the flinty steep and craggy mountain
    A weighty ponderous boulder I shall raise,
    And bearing this dread burden, a resounding
    Song I'll sing, a song of joyous praise.

    In the long dark ever-viewless night-time
    Not one instant shall I close my eyes,
    I'll seek ever for the star to guide me,
    She that reigns bright mistress of dark skies.

    Yes, I'll smile, indeed, through tears and weeping
    Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
    Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
    I shall live! You thoughts of grief, away!
    (Translations will vary)
    In addition to the 200 hryven banknote Lesya Ukrainka is also featured on postage stamps, coins and medals of Ukraine, below is the 1,000,000 karbovantsiv NCLT coin.

     
  2. Like
    Revenant reacted to Sheik Sheck for a journal entry, Brown Back Collage   
    I finally completed a type set of BB's.
     
  3. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, How does a Tyrant lose power?   
    I was not aware of this world event or this tweet at the time (I was busy getting started in a new job at this point in 2017), but three years ago the following tweet was made:
     

    On Nov 19, 2017 Mugabe was told to resign by the 20th or be removed. When he didn't do it they filed for impeachment on the 21st and he resigned that same day.
    I also wasn't aware of this when I named my set "Gradually, then suddenly," when I re-made and re-started it in 2019. But, when I found it online about a week ago, I couldn't help but save it and want to talk about it. It was just a little too perfect given what I named my Zimbabwe set (and I really do swear that I didn't know about this at the time. I learned about the quote when watching Prozac Nation and it stuck with me from there. It is on my bucket list to read "The Sun Also Rises" I guess).
    In somewhat unrelated news I won the following two notes last week:


    I was pretty thrilled to get the P-30 without much fight. Another P-30 in 68 EPQ sold in late August with a 67 EPQ selling the week after that and I didn't bid on or win either because I just couldn't justify spending that much at the time (my budget wasn't big enough) and I decided the P-15 and some other notes I bought were more important to me / the set. This time I passed on a P-15 (in 67 EPQ this time) to get this P-30. Someone else did bid on and take that P-15 in 67 EPQ for $50 + shipping. It probably wasn't a bad / unreasonable price to get that check in such a high grade but I just couldn't convince myself it was worth that. That, and, having the P-15 that I have, I think the P-30 was now the right choice to move the bigger set forward.
    Having won that, I put in a bid on the 2020 $20 and FINALLY won one at a price I was happy with. I was so sure I'd get one a few weeks back and I lost it at the last minute when it was going for $34+. Since I was able to combine shipping on this won with the P-30 the incremental cost to me was only $30. Finally, a good note and grade at a price I was more happy with. My 2019-2020 set may ultimately go through a complete / near complete upgrade cycle just for the joy of giving Mike a run for his money but for now I'm really happy to have a complete set. Although, having everything else in 67 now, I really regret snapping up that $5 bond note in 66 EPQ. It was / is a solid enough grade but now it just looks like the slouch / loser of the set.
    These were shipped / the shipping label was created today. I'm going to cross my fingers that they get here in less than 3 weeks and I can add them to my set before the 4th of December. It would just be really nice to have them in place before the cut-off.
  4. Like
    Revenant reacted to Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, Why don't you read the book? (Here I'll show you)   
    When I first started collecting Ukrainian banknotes, three or four years ago, the first purchase I made was the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (Modern). hereafter Krause. This book gave me the general information I was looking for, what did some of the notes look like, how many different notes are there, etc.. This basic info gave me an idea of #1 did I like the notes (are they interesting and attractive to me), #2 how much was this going to cost (how many different issues and how rare), #3 how long will it take and will I be able to obtain most of the notes (availability). I then used the information in Krause and cross referenced to online sources like eBay and a few different auction sites to verify availability and cost. Once I had answered these questions to my satisfaction I went out and made my first Ukrainian banknote purchase and then my second, third and so on. Once I was about three months in I thought "I still need more information" on these notes especially the pre 91' issues, so I went out and found a few more references to add to my collection (Make no mistake about it, a book about banknotes that you collect IS part of your collection.). As I collect these notes the process continues, get a few notes, get a new reference. I have absolutely spent more time reading (and writing) about these notes than I have spent looking at them, at least 10 to 1 probably way more than that. Which makes me wonder what I enjoy more studying/reading about these notes or actually owning them (A Journal for another time perhaps?). At any rate, the trigger for this entry was that I bought another reference this morning (and I'm still kind of annoyed about the "mushroom" watermark thing), the 2010 NBU Banknotes and Coins of Ukraine for the year 2010. Hopefully this entry will give any new collectors an idea of what they could be getting into and if there are any current or new Ukrainian collectors out there, I consider all of these "must haves" for your collection. PMG if you don't have any of these you may want to add them to your library, just saying. 
    Krause: Good for general information, a good first purchase.

    Wonderful book, in English. Includes Ukraine along with several Eastern Bloc countries. Full color pictures.

    A great "pocket book" it's small (8"x6"x1/2") so it's easy to carry around. Cyrillic with English captions. Full color pictures.

    The most thorough book on Ukrainian banknotes there is, lists every known banknote printed including issues specific to banks and territories including during periods of occupation. All text is in Cyrillic but if you can learn a few key words (or use google translate or similar software) you'll be all set. Full color pictures.

    The NBU issued catalogs of all coins and banknotes produced in a said year (they stopped in 2013 I think). These are great with descriptions and numbers direct from the NBU. Cyrillic and English, full color.


    This is a downloadable .pdf, it covers the modern issues. Not a bad issue, if you wanted to skip Krause and go with this you'd be alright (has Pick #'s for reference). Full color.

    Downloadable .pdf's from the NBU. The NBU issued a new catalog in 2019, (for the first time is several years) FREE, and downloadable in English. Full Color.

    Finally the NBU website is an invaluable source of information for modern notes, including detailed security descriptions, the website has Ukrainian and English versions. I probably have a few more but I'd have to look for them. I tend to have these books scattered about, as I reference them so much.
    Here's another, Banknotes and Coins of Ukraine, Cyrillic so bring your translator. 

  5. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, My Wife and This Freakin' Note.   
    So today is my bday and my wife gave me my birthday gift last night.

    This journal is going to come in two parts:
    1) Why it is freaking hilarious and kind of perfect that she got me this.
    2) Why I'm actually happy with it this time.
    So in the long ago days of January 2019 my wife was pregnant with our 2nd child and looking for a way to surprise me with something I'd love for our anniversary. It was a stressful time for us. She was in a high risk pregnancy. There was a very real risk that she'd die and that this could be the 4th and final anniversary together. So she goes on a website and sees my wishlist and buys me a 20T note. Thing is... I didn't have a 20T note on my list. I had a 20 BILLION note on my list, but who can blame her with all fhe freakin zeros, right? That note was also ungraded and it just didn't do anything for me with my already graded 65 EPQ. I felt bad at the time because she tried so hard and she was so pleased with herself but I couldn't hide my confusion when I got it. But we laughed it off, we got to return it, I bought a (much cheaper) graded 67 EPQ 20 Billion note for my set and even one or two other notes with the difference. Her getting me that note reignited my interest in this set after it had lain dormant for years after I was laid off in 2016 and that present became the launching point for what has been a 1.5 year obsession with building out this set. I've said before that building this set was a big part of how I dealt with the stress and anxiety of Sam's birth...
    And here it is again. She didn't even remember it / that it was the same note. That fact was lost in the fog of the craziness of that. It was just too funny.
    So here's why I'm happy with it this time (in addition to it just being hilarious).
    1) This note actually was on my wishlist because that old 65 EPQ was kind of an under-performer in my 3rd dollar set and I'd been thinking that the 20 Trillion would be a priority for upgrade if I ever started upgrading. This 3-point move up is pretty fantastic for what is one of the more important notes in the 3rd dollar series. Since it was a present and since I don't see myself wanting to drop big cash for a 69 EPQ I see this one staying in the set long term now.
    2) This note is in a new-gen holder and doesn't have the darker tinted plastic that the old one is in. The new note, while it isn't a "low serial number," is much lower than the old one (184955 vs 298832). The low serial (and the fact that it is a 12 year old note in a new holder in pristine condition) has me thinking that this note spent the last decade in an unbroken bundle / brick and someone must have broken a brick to cherry-pick for some gradable examples.

  6. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Ali E. for a journal entry, Deciding the Perfect is the enemy of the good and tomorrow's problem.   
    I finally finished up the last description I wanted to write for my Venezuelan Bolivar Fuertes set and posted all of the new text to the set.
    I did most of the writing for these weeks ago but then life came up and my focus shifted back to the Zimbabwe notes again and I never finished them and I wasn't sure they were "just right" yet.
    I finished the first one and said "good enough" - get them posted and work / polish from there. It had reached the point where it was bothering me to have all of that 80-90% finished work sitting on a Word file while the set sat bare. So now its up!
    Also: My wife apparently ordered my birthday present yesterday. She was trying to keep it quiet but then Ben saw her and wanted to "help" and gave it away in a big way.
    I'm thinking there's at least 1 Zimbabwe note that makes up part of the present. I guess we'll see.
    Given this, I'm trying to commit to making no coin or note purchases until she gives me my present in 3 weeks / 22 days and I know what that is and can proceed in that knowledge - but there is one big / important Zimbabwe note that I'm seriously thinking about just biting the bullet on because of what it would mean for the set, even though part of me does think I might be overpaying for it just a little. I'm increasingly feeling like it might be worth overpaying for. I guess we'll see how it all comes out.
  7. Like
    Revenant reacted to Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, You need more, more, more (Stuff)   
    "It was a dark and stormy night" Not really but it was pretty crappy out so I decided it was a good time to sort through the pile of cr*p (why does crappy show in the Journal but not cr*p, need to work on their censoring) on my desk. In doing so I realized it was a pile of supplemental material that I had saved, news articles, pictures, notes I made, etc. Towards the bottom of the pile was a group of "banknotes" (?), oh yeah, I remember these. It was a set of  commemorative "fantasy" banknotes that I picked up online about a year ago to go with my Ukrainian banknote set. It's a set of seven notes, printed in 2016 on behalf of the Ukrainian numismatic magazine Numismatics & Faleristics (Phaleristics), in an effort to raise funds to support the periodical. The fantasy issue is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Vernadsky Research Base in Antarctica. They were made in the exact size, style and denominations as the 1991 Control Coupons, Picks 81 - 87. The designs on the "Fantasy" notes are appropriate to the subject matter and mimic the original Coupons nicely. On the obverse of the "Fantasy" notes is a penguin, to the left of which is written in Cyrillic (top to bottom) Ukrainian / Antarctica / Coupon / (denomination) / Karbovantsiv / 2016. On the reverse is a depiction of the Ukrainian Antarctic Base along with a depiction of the Antarctic Continent, with the flag of Ukraine marking the location of the base, printed over the depiction of Antarctica is 20 POKIB (20 Years). At the top center is printed ANTARCTIC STATION (in Cyrillic) at the bottom center is VERNADSKY / ACADEMY (in Cyrillic). Each note is printed in color schemes to match the original Coupons and the paper used has "crescent" shaped watermarks when held to a light. 
    These are just a fun set of notes I picked up, notes that I think go well with my Ukrainian set even if they are not legitimate. Items that will never see the light of day in my registry set or probably even in my signature set for that matter, now that I'm thinking about it. Just one of the many items I've accumulated, to aide in research, enhance a collection or just because they're fun.  These notes have been on my mind for the last few weeks as I have read a few different articles on penguin themed coins and I believe I read somewhere that another country issued a "Fantasy" series of penguin notes recently. Anyway, I just thought I'd post these and give them there moment in the sun as they will probably be packed away now for the foreseeable future. Here's the eye candy, enjoy.
    Obverse (Oh yeah, the notes came with a postcard)

     
    Reverse
     
    Crescent watermarks

    Side by side obverse (I like how they matched the pose of the penguin to the figurehead, it's even perched on the bow of a ship, like the figurehead. Cracks me up every time, where's DiCaprio when you need him.)

    Side by side reverse

     
  8. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, New Set for the Bond Notes and New Notes!!   
    This probably has made me way way happier than it should, but I am super stoked about this:

    My new 2020 $10 note should be arriving in the mail early next week and I really can't wait to get it now! This is making me want the $20 super bad - but I'm probably going to have to wait on that because I'm working on other things and if I spend too much this month my wife may injure me.
  9. Like
    Revenant reacted to ddr70 for a journal entry, Rec'd at PMG, the wait begins.   
    I just sent a good chunk of my NBNs to PMG to grade.  The post office sure took it's time, but got my package there in 8 days instead of 4.  PMG listed as received about a week after it arrived in Sarasota.  
    Here's one of the notes awaiting scrutiny.  I can't wait to add it to one of my series of 1882 collections here.  Connellsville, PA The First NB (E)2329 Radar Treasury SN on a $10 1882 VB Fr. 576 Tillman | Morgan SN 9076/T493394 pp F/118.  Love that SN especially on an early value back.
    Chartered 4/8/1876, Liquidated 6/22/1928.  Assumed circulation of 4861, Yough NB of Connellsville which liquidated in 3/3/1913.  Bank officers' signatures are from (Geo W.) Stauffer, Cashier and E.T. Norton stamped in blue ink and remain legible, albeit light, to this day.  For 52 years, 3x10-20 sheets only and only a 193 of them VBs (SN 9001-9193).  Finding the $20 VB to go along with my $10 would be an awesome score!

  10. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, These were on inventory a while I think...   
    I got the bulk lot of six Venezuelan notes in the mail on Thursday, and, after letting them wait / sit a while I opened them today.

    This is such a funny group of notes because, the Bolivar Fuertes series has 6 designs where 6 portraits and 6 animals & nature scenes are paired and this same sequence of 6 note designs is repeated twice in the series in the same order. This group of 6 that I bought together has an odd-ball 2 Bolivar notes and not the 500 Bolivar note that would match up with all the other notes in the sequence from 1,000 to 20,000, so you get all 6 portraits and designs, but in kind of a weird way - with one odd-ball denom from much earlier in the series than the rest of them.

    Unlike a lot of the Zimbabwe notes I've been snapping up lately these were NOT graded recently. Many of those new Zimbabwe notes in my set have 807XXXX- cert numbers and some even have the latest gen labels.
    These Venezuelan notes have cert numbers ranging from 17409XX- to 25066XX- and they're all in the older gen PMG holders. And you can tell because they're in that older polymer that has a lower transmittance and has a kind of blue tint to it.

    I'm really wondering if the seller got these things graded in bulk years ago when the notes where new (circa 2015-2017) and they finally got tired of having them. Maybe these "Medley lot" sales have just been their way of (finally) clearing / dumping old inventory.
    Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. I'm still thrilled to have gotten to fill out this set on the cheap, but it's still a little funny to think about what the "story" of these notes and this set might be.
    The other group of 5 notes I bought during the 4th of July sale arrived in the mail today. I won't open those until Monday or Tuesday probably.
  11. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Fenntucky Mike for a journal entry, Branching out to to Bolivares Fuertes   
    The Venezuelan hyperinflation and the Bolivar / Bolivar Fuerte (“Strong Bolivar”) / Boliver Soberano (“Sovereign Bolivar”) Series got my attention last year while I was heavy into building and shopping my Zimbabwe set. I think they are cool looking notes, I love the animals on the back, and I love the fact that some of them have turtles on them, in addition to being hyperinflation notes / series. I didn’t start collecting them though because I was neck-deep in Zimbabwe, I didn’t have the budget to do both and I’ve long since decided that I’m happier doing 1 thing well than doing 5 in a very random, haphazard way. So, I stuck with Zimbabwe.
    But we are a year down the road now and my Zimbabwe set is a lot stronger and a lot more complete now. Many of the sub-sets in it and the collection overall is about 90% complete now and I am just hitting a point where making further progress is just going to keep getting harder and slower. So, it seems like a good time to consider branching out.
    Last week I noticed a seller I have bought from before was auctioning a set of 6 Bolivar Fuerte notes. There were 6 denominations that would make about a half-complete set of the 13 denominations in that series. The starting price was low, and I knew based on prior eBay sales that the auction might end at about $13-14 a note after shipping for a mix of 66 EPQ, 67 EPQ and 1 68 EPQ notes – not a bad deal.

    I knew that another dealer I have bought from before also had some of these already graded from PMG for good prices and that dealer had a 10% off sale going on this last weekend for the 4th. So, I decided to look at what they had and found that I could get 5 of the other 7 denominations from them in grades of 66 EPQ or 67 EPQ for $14 each - $12.60 after the discount / sale.
    After seeing that I was suddenly very excited! If I could win the auction Sunday night and bought the other 5 on sale, I’d have made an 11 of 13 denom set in just 2 transactions over a weekend for just $140-160.
    I did a little bit of looking and found that buying notes of similar grade one at a time from other dealers on eBay could potentially cost me $30-35 per note and / or would have required a fair bit more time and effort. I am pretty sure I would / will never get a chance to build this set easier or cheaper than this. So, I decided to just go for it!
    I did end up winning the auction for $81 after shipping. That puts the total cost of all 11 notes at $144.95 – or about $13.18 per note on average. It is hard for me to imagine building a graded set of gem / superb gem notes cheaper than that – and 7 of the 11 will be 67 EPQ or higher.
    One thing I very much like about this is that it is NOT another Zimbabwe set. The full Zimbabwe set is just so huge and building that has been such a commitment and such an undertaking – there are over 90 notes in it now. The Venezuelan set is comparatively small. Unless you start chasing varieties (which I am not going to do – for now) there are only 13 Fuerte notes and 11 Soberano notes so far (up to 2019) – 24 notes that’s it! That is smaller than the Zimbabwean 3rd dollar note set (27 notes) or the 2nd dollar bearer check series (28 notes) are individually. (Swiped the image below from an eBay merchant that is selling ungraded sets of the notes).

    This will be a nice chance to research some new people, a new country, and figure out why these animals are significant enough to the country to want to put them on a banknote. I am just getting these Bolivar Fuerte notes for now and I am not going to be venturing into the Bolivar Soberano notes until later.
    It really is scary just how much all of this “rhymes” historically with what happened in Zimbabwe just a few years prior… the first redenomination being 1000:1, the 2nd redenomination being bigger than the first, the changing of just the last letter of the ISO currency code every time… Scary. It is almost as if history repeats itself and people just do not learn.
    My wife accuses me of trying to be the “Hyperinflation King of the Registry.” I disagree with this assertion, but I would have no problem with it if it happened. 😊
  12. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from ddr70 for a journal entry, Branching out to to Bolivares Fuertes   
    The Venezuelan hyperinflation and the Bolivar / Bolivar Fuerte (“Strong Bolivar”) / Boliver Soberano (“Sovereign Bolivar”) Series got my attention last year while I was heavy into building and shopping my Zimbabwe set. I think they are cool looking notes, I love the animals on the back, and I love the fact that some of them have turtles on them, in addition to being hyperinflation notes / series. I didn’t start collecting them though because I was neck-deep in Zimbabwe, I didn’t have the budget to do both and I’ve long since decided that I’m happier doing 1 thing well than doing 5 in a very random, haphazard way. So, I stuck with Zimbabwe.
    But we are a year down the road now and my Zimbabwe set is a lot stronger and a lot more complete now. Many of the sub-sets in it and the collection overall is about 90% complete now and I am just hitting a point where making further progress is just going to keep getting harder and slower. So, it seems like a good time to consider branching out.
    Last week I noticed a seller I have bought from before was auctioning a set of 6 Bolivar Fuerte notes. There were 6 denominations that would make about a half-complete set of the 13 denominations in that series. The starting price was low, and I knew based on prior eBay sales that the auction might end at about $13-14 a note after shipping for a mix of 66 EPQ, 67 EPQ and 1 68 EPQ notes – not a bad deal.

    I knew that another dealer I have bought from before also had some of these already graded from PMG for good prices and that dealer had a 10% off sale going on this last weekend for the 4th. So, I decided to look at what they had and found that I could get 5 of the other 7 denominations from them in grades of 66 EPQ or 67 EPQ for $14 each - $12.60 after the discount / sale.
    After seeing that I was suddenly very excited! If I could win the auction Sunday night and bought the other 5 on sale, I’d have made an 11 of 13 denom set in just 2 transactions over a weekend for just $140-160.
    I did a little bit of looking and found that buying notes of similar grade one at a time from other dealers on eBay could potentially cost me $30-35 per note and / or would have required a fair bit more time and effort. I am pretty sure I would / will never get a chance to build this set easier or cheaper than this. So, I decided to just go for it!
    I did end up winning the auction for $81 after shipping. That puts the total cost of all 11 notes at $144.95 – or about $13.18 per note on average. It is hard for me to imagine building a graded set of gem / superb gem notes cheaper than that – and 7 of the 11 will be 67 EPQ or higher.
    One thing I very much like about this is that it is NOT another Zimbabwe set. The full Zimbabwe set is just so huge and building that has been such a commitment and such an undertaking – there are over 90 notes in it now. The Venezuelan set is comparatively small. Unless you start chasing varieties (which I am not going to do – for now) there are only 13 Fuerte notes and 11 Soberano notes so far (up to 2019) – 24 notes that’s it! That is smaller than the Zimbabwean 3rd dollar note set (27 notes) or the 2nd dollar bearer check series (28 notes) are individually. (Swiped the image below from an eBay merchant that is selling ungraded sets of the notes).

    This will be a nice chance to research some new people, a new country, and figure out why these animals are significant enough to the country to want to put them on a banknote. I am just getting these Bolivar Fuerte notes for now and I am not going to be venturing into the Bolivar Soberano notes until later.
    It really is scary just how much all of this “rhymes” historically with what happened in Zimbabwe just a few years prior… the first redenomination being 1000:1, the 2nd redenomination being bigger than the first, the changing of just the last letter of the ISO currency code every time… Scary. It is almost as if history repeats itself and people just do not learn.
    My wife accuses me of trying to be the “Hyperinflation King of the Registry.” I disagree with this assertion, but I would have no problem with it if it happened. 😊
  13. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from ddr70 for a journal entry, New 2020 $10 notes for Zimbabwe   
    Over the weekend I just started seeing these pop up for sale in eBay auctions and new sales / offerings popping up that offer these as part of a 3 note set with the 2 2019 issues, so I'm guessing these are freshly released and they're just now making it out to the dealers. So I guess I might get to see all the designs that were supposed to be released as part of the bond note series afterall. I was really expecting them to tack an extra 0 onto these if they released them and have $100 and $200 notes instead of $10 (and maybe, later, $20) notes. Even with the official exchange rate the government is trying to peg these at (25:1 with the US dollar) these new notes are worth less than half a US dollar - not much. If you use some of the exchange rates people have been using, these are worth less than a US nickel. They are pretty though, and in some ways this feels like another attempt to make a call back to the 1st dollar series. The Original $10 notes, the P-3, issued starting in 1980, was primarily red, like these notes.

    On another note, I got a P-99 $2 bond note - an actual 2016 Bond note and not a new 2019 banknote - last week. Last night I won an auction for a P-100 $5 bond note, so, once that comes in I'll have both the bond notes for real this time, and both the 2019 issues, and I'll just need to get this new 2020 note (and anything else they come up with this year, like a $20 note if they release it) to stay current on the new issues.
    Other than trying to keep up with the new issues and the new developments I'm still emphasizing going back and building up my 1st dollar set with new varieties as I can get them.
  14. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from ddr70 for a journal entry, Got my Bond Notes. :)   
    I suppose I hinted at this in my previous post by posting pictures of both of them but I didn't bring this up because I didn't close / seal the deal on the 2nd one until this morning.
    Over the weekend, about a week after I lost the auction for that P-100 note the seller offered me a 2nd chance offer on it at my max bid price - which happened to be the initial / starting bid price. This offer, combined with some other things that happened towards the end of those auctions, increases my suspicion that some shill bidding occurred. I went ahead and accepted the offer, because I did want the note and it was a good price for the grade in my opinion (which is the only one that matters in this case). While I do suspect shilling, even if I'm right, it only cost me $2-5 on $150 in purchases so I decided I'm just going to choose to ignore it for the most part.

    In the course of dealing with that I noticed that the seller had listed some P-99 notes for auction as well. The first one was ending today in the early morning so I decided to go for it. Unlike the auctions from a couple of weeks ago I waited and big until close to the end. Curiously, I bid and won unopposed this time... A lesson for the future with this seller, I guess - assuming I choose to give him any more business after this.

    While I suspect shenanigans, I think I got good prices, and picked up Superb Gem graded notes for less than it would have cost me to buy raw and get them graded myself. So I'm going to call it a win.
    I have to laugh at myself just a little 1) for going ahead and getting the P-100 just a week after I "let it go," and 2) because, for a while now, I've been thinking that when I finally got one of the bond notes I would probably get both at the same time or very close together. With a 2 note set, it just feels wrong to only get one / it's too tempting to not get both. The appeal of having the pair - especially as a matched set in grade - is just too strong.
  15. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Sheik Sheck for a journal entry, After 40 years, the Zimbabwe dollar has gone full circle.   
    I read last year that Zimbabwe was going to have ANOTHER new currency coming to replace the RTGS dollar but then life and work got busy and I never really went back to look into the developments.
    I've been making updates to my set(s) lately though and looking into the getting the P-99 and P-100 Bond notes and this got me thinking about the fact that I haven't been seeing or hearing anything about new notes or a new currency even though it's been about 6 months now.
    It seems like they haven't released now physical paper money but they did roll out a "new" currency to replace the RTGS dollar..,. and it's called... The "Zimbabwe dollar," currency code ZWD! Which happens to be the same currency code used by the "1st dollar" that replaced the Rhodesian currency in 1980.
    So, this gives us:
    1st Dollar, ZWD (1980-2006)
    2nd Dollar, ZWN (2006-2008)
    3rd Dollar, ZWR (2008-2009)
    4th Dollar, ZWL (2009)
    Bond Notes - 1:1 USD peg (2016-2019)
    RTGS Dollar, ZWL (2019) … because, I guess just calling it the 5th dollar would just be sad and they even re-used the old currency code...
    Zimbabwe Dollar, ZWD (2019 - Probably DOA)
    Some people clearly just don't know when to give up...
    ZWD, to ZWN, to ZWR, to ZWL, and finally back to ZWD.
    We are full circle - and they still have crazy-high inflation.
    Wow.


  16. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Ali E. for a journal entry, Seeing Zimbabwean notes pop up on TV   
    The other day I was watching "Storage Wars: Northern Treasures" on Netflix, mostly using it as background noise while I took care of feeding the boys breakfast in the morning and keeping everyone happy while Shandy is working on the boys have been feeling under the weather.
    I was temporarily distracted and not really paying attention to the TV when Shandy, who had come down for breakfast, told me to look at the TV. A couple of the "geniuses" on that show had found a bunch of circulated Zimbabwean notes in a mattress in circulated condition and they were going nuts over them. They were getting really excited and I'm just thinking, in that condition, most of the notes are just worth a dollar, maybe two, as a novelty. There's too many of most of those notes in uncirculated condition and even the uncirculated notes are cheap - usually $4-5 each. There's just not much demand in the market for circulated notes because of that.
    Still, kind of interesting and funny to see.
    Shandy picks up on these things now, now that she's had to endure a solid year of me talking and obsessing about them after she made the - perhaps, in retrospect - foolish choice of trying to give me one as an anniversary gift and re-igniting my interest in building the set in January 2019.
  17. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from ddr70 for a journal entry, 4th dollar complete! ~90% Overall!   
    I found someone selling the last 3 notes I needed for the 4th dollar series. One of the notes was a hair lower on grade than I've been wanting to stick to for this set but I decided to go for it, get the three notes as a group, so I could have the set complete. I'll worry about upgrading things later, if I feel like it at the time.
    I'm now about 92% complete for the hyper inflation set (2nd, 3rd and 4th dollars) and 75% complete for the 1st dollar banknotes. The 1st dollar check series are a bit more difficult to deal with but overall the collection has come together quite well and these sets enjoy the #1 rank in the 2nd dollar bearer checks (P-33 to P-60), the 2nd dollar agrochecks (P-61 to P-64), the 3rd dollars (P-65 to P-91), and the 4th dollars (P-92 to P-98).
    I need to get pictures taken of the recent additions to the first and 4th dollars but I'm feeling super proud of how this has come together. I have 71 of the 100 pick #s in my overall collection (including P-13 through P-31, which are not easy to get and may be nearly impossible to get graded). I have more than one variety of the P-1, P-4, and P-48 and several replacement notes. :)





  18. Like
    Revenant got a reaction from Hanzo1260 for a journal entry, A Commentary on BankNoteWorld’s Zimbabwe Banknote Book   
    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.