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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

I can put a fork in this again... (for now?)

After my wife bought all three of the Rhodesian pennies I was looking to maybe get with my collecting money for my birthday () I had some cash available to me, and then I saw a 68EPQ P106 note for Zimbabwe pop up from one of my favorite dealers that I've gotten most of the new notes from this series from. They were listing it for $35+$5 shipping so I decided to try for it. No one else bid and I took it. Unfortunately I can't add it to my signature set right now because it a


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

Shaking my head... $100 bills, gold coins, and the refusal to admit that it's over.

I'm putting this up as what I'm calling my 2022 update to the Zimbabwe set. When I got into this in 2015 I thought it would be done and that I would just get to build the sets and the descriptions and be done. It has been very interesting and an unexpected journey to have this new series that started in 2019 (2016 if you count the bond notes) and having to update and revise to reflect the timeline moving forward, but it's something I've enjoyed following immensely, carrying the set forward.


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

First Note purchase in a while was an impulse upgrade...

So, I saw this thing come up and knew it was higher grade than what I had. I added it to my watch list and then never followed up or look at it. I got a notification last night from eBay that it was ending. It had no bids and a price of $27. The seller - who I buy from often - had a BIN option on it in another listing for $35. Just for fun I put in a $27 bid as the minutes were ticking down. I thought mine was a 66 EPQ but I didn't feel like I had time to check. I won it though! I


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

So, where does "Harare" come from?

So, where does "Harare" come from? My wife got me back on this question recently. I'd been looking for it a little before but could never find it. Looking for this led me to other answers too, as I said in my last post, but I've finally found AN answer. Maybe it's THE answer, or part of it. From what little I've been able to find in things like the Encyclopedia Britannica, there was a Shona chieftain in the late 19th Century called Neharawa. An area was named "Harawa" after him and the


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

Well, I should have known that sooner - that's not just any tower.

For a couple of years now I've been saying this image of a high-rise on the back of three 3rd dollar notes is just a "modern high-rise" and that it was paired with the Great Zimbabwe ruins as some kind of past / future, old / new, "progress while honoring the past dichotomy. And that may be true... but what I didn't know until today is that isn't just any building. That is the Reserve Bank Tower... home of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, finished in 1997. For a long time n


Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

Coming up on 1200.

I posted in mid-June 2020 that we'd hit 1,000 ranked users on the PMG side of the registry. I checked today just for fun and it is at 1,192 - just shy of 1,200.  It would be cool if we could hit 1,200 by Wednesday, but I guess we'll see. 🤷‍♂️ Still, that's a 20% increase in under 18 months.


Revenant in Registry Awards

I think this says a lot about how things have started to turn for Zimbabwean notes...

So I go to the website for one of my favorite banknote dealers - one of the larger Asian dealers for PMG notes... and I see... this. This feels like quite a change from early to mid-2019, when Banknote World was dumping Zimbabwean inventory - PMG graded notes included - in 50% off and 60% off fire sales, seemingly desperate to be rid of it all. And that was after they'd already reduced their base prices on a number of graded Zimbabwe notes! I feel like, in the last year, there ha

"Clearance Sale." Ha! Clearance yourself!

I think it was about a year or so ago that Banknote World announced they were going to start releasing Banknotes with their TAP (Total Authentication Promise or something like that) notes with these blue labels. Up to that point Banknote World had been a very good source for me on PMG-graded notes. But then they had these things and a lot of their marketing started focusing on these and less on PMG and they never got any newer releases in stock as PMG graded notes – they’d stopped sending t


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

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


Revenant in Zimbabwe Banknotes

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


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

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


Revenant in Zimbabwe Notes

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