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About this journal

A journal mostly about my collection of Zimbabwe banknotes - the only banknotes I collect for the time being that are interesting enough for me to think people might want to read about it. But there will be periodic discussions of US Small Size Federal Reserve Notes and Silver Certificates and you may start seeing more about Venezuelan Bolivares.

I have a very strong interest in Hyperinflation notes so I'll probably continue to expand into new series of Hyperinflation notes now that my Zimbabwe collection is going to increasingly be at a more mature and static state going forward.

Entries in this journal

The P-72 at last. :)

Today I officially got a P-72 Zimbabwean banknote for my wife for my birthday. I think it actually came right around a month ago but as of today it is officially “mine” and I can list it. Anyway…      It came with a circulated 500,000 note as a tag along.     At a whopping $265 – a very high price tag for this set, making it cost about 1/10th as much as the rest of the 100-note set combined and beating the

Well, let's just call them out on it!

I found a Yahoo Finance article that takes the digital bolivar - newly born less than 2 weeks ago - and throws it right under the bus.   Let's just lay it all out there: So I guess, after a lot of uncertainty and talk and murkiness, it is official. It's not a CBDC. It is not blockchain based. This is like the Long Island Ice Tea company renaming themselves "Long Island Blockchain" to cash in on the hype and get bid up - which actually worked on at least a short term

I think the upgrades will happen over the objections of my practical side

I keep finding myself eye-balling 68EPQ examples of the P-1b, the P-11b and things like that in the sub-$40 range and I think I'm not going to be able to fully talk myself down from upgrading over time even though the practical side of me says I shouldn't. Collecting, ultimately, is not practical. Lol I keep trying to tell myself that 66EPQ notes are perfectly good, gem uncirc examples and rationalizing that the difference between a 68 and a 66 is subtle at best - especially in the hol

A P-29, another step closer?

I was just messing around online and on eBay and I saw that one of my favorite dealers, who has been powering my set's (and my competition's set, and Mike's thrice cursed upstart of a set) towards completion, was listing a 67 EPQ grade copy of the P-29 note. It isn't competition for the 68 EPQ note that someone has in their set (not that I'm much competition for them grade / pointwise these days anyway ) but it's still a great, superb gem copy of the note that was available for sale at a reason

The person on this note...

I finally found a reference that names who the person on the back of the new $50 note is supposed to be... Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana, aka Mbuya Nehandra A female hero of the “Chimurenga,” or what is now called the “First Chimurenga,” which was the war of the native Africans to fight the British South Africa Company in an attempt to stop the colonialization of Rhodesia / Zimbabwe. She was a spirit medium and spirit leader of the Shona. She was captured and executed in 1898. It is beli


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

So, about that "Digital Bolivar" and those notes...

So August was a crazy month with the move and both kids starting new schools and Shandy starting a new job and the cruise. September hit with sickness, covid scares, dead car batteries... So the news of the Digital Bolivar hitting around August 6th was pretty much perfect timed for me to completely miss it. What time I did devote to coin and currency collecting mostly went to obsessing over my Zcoin submission. Yes! The BCV timed the release of this leak to thwart me! I do not overstat

Parent medicine? Alcohol and Retail Therapy?

Today is a day that might lead to retail therapy, but I’m going to try to convince myself to not waste money on a knee-jerk purchase that I’m not going to want in the long term. The leading contender for bad ideas is a New P-114 Venezuela note - the new 1 Million Bolivar note. There's a 67 EPQ on sale for not much money but I know long term I'll want a 68EPQ and it won't cost that much more when one comes up. There is also a lot of strong cheap wine in the house... so there's that.   So, S

Grades back on the P-3s... Already! WOW! ... and other stuff, I guess.

PMG posted my P-3 submission as "shipped" and posted grade results today. Received on 8/3/21 and Shipped on 8/12/21. 9 calendar days, folks. That is a turnaround. A 65 and a 66 are solid, especially for 1st dollar notes and very consistent with my set overall. A 67 or 68 would have been GREAT. A 63 or 64 would have disappointed me. This is kind of a literal shrug.  I looked at it and just nodded a little and was like, "Not bad." The seller I bought them from advertised them a

The questionable future of the "STAMP CANCELLED" designation

When I bought a P-15 note off a dealer a while back it just had "Exceptional Paper Quality," no "Stamp Cancelled" designation. So I was surprised when I submitted my 12 traveller's checks and all 12 got the label. The new P-17 I just got, which has a cert# indicating it was submitted after mine were submitted and graded, does not have the designation. So, I'm really not sure what this means... I'm not sure if they just forgot to include it on this one (which I think

Another P-3 explodes at auction on eBay....

So after a 66 EPQ P-3b went for about $370 last week, today, a 67 EPQ went for a whopping $761 + $10 shipping. That... is... something.   My P-3d and P-3e, which where only acknowledged as received 5 days ago, are already scheduled for grading... So PMG seems to really be on it and I'm hoping to get grades on those by the end of the month maybe. Even if they grade well, they're still a d and an e, so I won't have struck it rich. But at least I'll have some P-3s in my set.

My new P-17, and going deeper down this rabbit hole.

I didn’t get a chance to dig into this as much as I wanted to during the move, so this post has been somewhat “on hold.” In late July I noticed a seller had a P-17 note for sale - a 64 EPQ - starting at $12 + shipping and it popped up in my saved search email. This doesn’t sound like something that would get my attention normally since the two I graded myself got 64 EPQ and 66 EPQ and so I don’t really “need” this, and it doesn’t upgrade my set. HOWEVER! This P-17 was stamped 18 Oct 2004. T

The P-3s

Today I got the email from PMG that they got my submission of a Zimbabwean P-3d and P-3e that I'd bought raw to finally fill that gap in my first dollar set. The d and e aren't as desirable as the a or b but they're still quite nice. However, the day I was getting ready to mail those off to PMG a dealer listed a high grade P-3a and a high grade P-3b for sale starting at a low price on eBay with a 10 day timer / run. I knew I probably wouldn't win because I expected them to go for about $125

The newest Zimbabwean note, the $50, P-105.

In other news, Mike pointed out to me that the $50 note, the P-105, finally dropped after about 6 months of talk. That statue on the note is the statue / monument to the unknown soldier, which is in the National Heroes Acre (which is actually about 57 acres). This is also where the "Eternal Flame of Freedom" / "Eternal Flame of Independence" is - you see that show up in a few different places, including on the old P-3 notes I'm grading soon, the P-99 (&P-101) and the P-97. No

Upgrading my P-93 $5 note.

A couple of nights ago I was able to win a new TOP POP (for now) 67 EPQ P-93 note that can upgrade / replace my 64 EPQ that I got last year as a hole filler just to have the set complete. I spent about $36 all in and decided to this rather than go for a $51 68 EPQ 10 Billion note for now.    At this point I don’t know if it will arrive here or if mail forwarding is going to send it to the new house by the time it’s all said and done. We have 15 days until we move. Given past experience

The VEN 104 is starting to get.... annoying...

I'm starting to get frustrated and impatient for some VEN 104s to pop up in good grades. There's a 65 EPQ and a 66 EPQ that keep getting relisted and going unsold because... no one wants those. Anyway... I'm getting tempted to just snap up that 66 just to fill in the hole in my Soberano set that keeps taunting me but I know that's a mistake. The rest of the set just came together so fast and so easy and now that one gap is taunting me and graded examples of the new 2021 notes still ha

Operation Sunrise and Zombie Dollars

So, apparently "Operation Sunrise" has been used as the name for military operations in WWII and the Vietnam War, but it was also the name given to the RBZs and Zimbabwe's "plan"  in 2005 to bring inflation under control by cutting 3 zeroes off the currency and make the 2nd dollar in the 1st redenomination. I say "plan" because I don't know why they ever thought it would work. But the release of the 2nd Dollar Bearer Checks were the first part of Zimbabwe's "Operation Sunrise." I've always

So… Hard, indefinite, pause on those gas coupons…

So, in asking a question about grouping invoices I found out that the gas coupons would need to go in under “economy special,” and not “modern,” like I’d been thinking and hoping. That ups the cost of grading these from $20 each to $40 each. And… I don’t think it’s worth that for now. It is / was just so much easier for me to justify $20/note for fun and the enjoyment of popping those into that signature set but it is so much harder to justify $40/note. I thought about it. I just can’t talk mys

Choosing a treatment for the Traveller's Checks in "Gradually, Then Suddenly."

I had told myself that I wasn’t going to work on descriptions for the new checks until they got here, but it has been a week since I got the good news on the grades and I’m getting twitchy waiting for them to get here. Maybe with tomorrow’s mail! I really want to see these in their new PMG holders in person! So I’m working on the descriptions! The P-40, P-45, and P-46b all have descriptions up now that are consistent with the approach I’ve used in the 2nd dollar set but how to deal with th

Grades on the Checks!

My grades came back for the 12 Traveler’s Cheques (2 sets of 6) and the 3 Hole-filling 2nd Dollar Bearer Cheques… and I am thrilled!!!! They did significantly better than I’d been allowing myself to hope for. I’d been thinking I’d be extremely happy if Fenntucky Mike was right, and they all came back with grades in the 61-63 range. I was mentally bracing to get a bunch in the AU50-55 range. Instead, I got the following. I’m not a note grader. I don’t at all know how to grade these and

Silver and Gold Foil Fantasies

I mentioned a few months back that I got some of the gold foil replicas of the 100 Trillion note. I’d been thinking at that time that getting some of the silver foils could be fun but that got set aside for a while and I kinda forgot about it. I was on reddit recently and a guy told me that I’d inspired him to get two of the 100 Trillion notes, but, when he told me that he only spent a few dollars on it I told him what he’d probably really bought was a couple of the silver foil replicas - w

Scheduled for Grading!

My notes are now Scheduled for Grading. I is excite.  That is all.   I love the "Emergency Issue" note on the label for many / most of these issues. They're such a bizarre product a bizarre moment in the history of a nation. I'm going to break these out into a special set of emergency issues (P-13 to P-32, or what I have of those) and the gas coupons (when and if I can get them graded), because I really want to put a spotlight on these things, apart from the larger whole

The Venezuela Set is looking solid now!

My P-110 arrived last week and today brought my new P-109 and a new, higher grade P-102 (that is not a star note like the last one). With these, I have mostly rolled out / executed my plan for my Venezuela signature set. I still need to scan the two new notes. I still need P-104 and the new 2021 notes. I have a description written up for P-104 that will go up as soon as I have the notes. But that description focuses on the person and the animals / locals on the not and not on the hist

Wow. PMG is on it!

My submission of checks arrived at PMG last week and I was expecting, based on their response late last week, that the notes probably wouldn't be in the system until the end of this week or early next week. I was shocked when I checked, mostly for a laugh, and saw that they were showing as "Received." This has me freaking out a bit. I'm realizing I might get an answer on these a lot faster than I'd thought. So, where I'd been chill about this and thinking I'd find out eventually and t

... And in today's mail - here is where I become a crazy person.

So today the mail carrier delivered my new Soberanos notes. A new crop of 67 EPQs that will help fill out most of the 2018 notes and start me into 2019 - I think I'll probably move to get the remaining 3 2018/2019 notes soon and then I'll just have the 2021 series. So here is where I'm going to sound like a crazy person.... the seller sent a P-107a. The listing title only said P-107 - it did not list a sub-type. HOWEVER, the picture for the listing showed a P-107b. So... As it happens,