High Notes

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Write Me Up For 125

On October 24th the NBU released into circulation 20 Hryven notes dated 2023 with the signature of the current NBU Chairman, Andrii Pyshnyi. The new notes are the third date and signature variety in the current series and will undoubtedly be assigned Pick # A126c. The current 20 Hryven design has also been used on two separate occasions for commemorative issues, once in 2016 and again in 2021, the 2016 notes having different security features but the same artistic design as the others. According


There have been some big-time rarities in Ukrainian notes hitting the auction block recently, almost all specimens, and prices have been through the roof! It's killing me that I can't splurge on one or two of these but unfortunately most are out of my price range. Also, as seems to be the norm unfortunately, I disagree with how some of these notes were labeled and the Pick #'s assigned to them, but that didn't seem to dissuade would-be bidders. Anyway, here are a few of the highlights. Four

I Want Variety In My Society

The NBU released into circulation a new 1000 Hryen note dated 2023 with the signature of the current Governor of the NBU Andriy Pyshnyy. The notes were introduced into circulation on July 20th and will circulate with existing notes of the same denomination. This is the third signature-date variety and including the 2021 commemorative the fourth type overall, it will undoubtedly be assigned Pick # A128c. The 1000 Hryven banknote was first issued on October 25, 2019 in a response to a gradually fa

So Long, Farewell, I've Got To Go...

...as I'm bowing out of these auctions.  Timing was never something that seemed to worked in my favor, neither was luck, but with both being somewhat out of my control I can only sit back and watch as more amazing notes hit the auction block.  Namely, three color trials and a printer's design being auctioned by the same seller who listed the 42 specimens only a few weeks ago. I suppose having a severe case of not wanting to let go, a set discretionary budget, and an acute lack of patience p

How Could An Auction Measure Its True Worth

A group of 42 Ukrainian specimen banknotes graded by PMG were listed individually and put up for auction on ebay last week, all starting at $0.99 and all ending within an hour of each other this afternoon. While listing all of the notes at the same time with auctions starting at $0.99 is fair and honest, I just wonder if the seller is leaving money on the table? These notes were not previously listed on ebay and I have to believe that higher prices could have been achieved for most of the notes

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy [BORING] Days Of Summer

It's been a slow start to the summer so far, granted this is only day 5 , but with the unofficial start being Memorial Day and the year being somewhat slow with NEWPS for me, it's been a real drag so far. I put together a submission to PMG and shipped it off yesterday. The submission consisting of the 1992, 50 & 100 Hryven red-overprint and perforated varieties and a few proofs, or at least I hope they are, I wouldn't be surprised if the proofs came back as QA. Once the 50 & 100 Hryven v

The Paper Money's Whirling By

On April 25, 2023, the NBU released into circulation new 500 Hryven banknotes bearing the signature of the new Governor Andriy Pyshnyi and dated 2023. The release is "part of a planned issuance to ensure the cash circulation of 500 Hryvnia banknotes to replace worn and damaged banknotes," per the NBU. The new note will end up being Pick # 127d, once one is assigned, and will be the 6th issuance of a 500 Hryven note of the new series which began in 2014 with the 100 Hryven banknote. The notes are

I Wanna Tell Ya, Hey, I Think You Oughta Know

The 50 & 100 Hryven banknotes of 1992 (1996) were intended to be part of the first series of Hryvnia banknotes issued by the NBU but neither was released into circulation leaving most collectors with only "specimens" to fight over. Printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBNC), located in Ottawa, Canada, the designs were first drafted by Vasily Lopata and Boris Maksimov in 1991, after which they were altered to make them more "practical" for production by Canadian engraver Yves Baril. Be

My Bankroll Is A Foot Thick....

...NOT!  Even if it was, I'm not sure it would be enough to pick up any of these beauties.  As is the norm, I'm striking out on some really sweet notes but at least I've have had the pleasure of seeing some awesome bills go up for auction. It seems more and more rarities and harder to find notes are coming out of the woodwork and are realizing sky high prices at auction. In addition to the rarities, fancy number notes are receiving more attention, an uncirculated 2007, 200 Hryvnia note with

I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of [Specimens]! (Part 3)

With some grading credits in-hand I sent off a couple of submissions to PMG to help fill out some of my sets, mainly my specimen sets. Since I had the credits, I decided to send in a couple of duplicates, tried for a few upgrades and sent in some notes that are not worth the cost of grading. All-in-all the results were pretty good with no real disappointments or surprises, and PMG updated their Pick #'s to correctly identify all the notes.  The first submission consisted of four notes/certif

Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?

On February 23, 2023 the NBU issued into circulation the commemorative ₴20 banknote "WE WILL NOT FORGET! WE WILL NOT FORGIVE!", Andriy Pyshneyy, Governor of the NBU, presented the new banknote during a press conference earlier in the day. The commemorative note will have a limited run of 300k, all the notes will have prefix ЗС and be dated 2023 with Pyshneyy's signature donning the face. Serial numbers will range from 0000001 to 0300000, with 200k being available in folders and the other 99,900

[Notes] Without A Face (Part 3)

Having compared scans of the notes, as well as images of the notes under UV light, we'll take a look at the notes with backlighting. All four notes display similar qualities. The parquet watermarks are clear with blocks of four lines running diagonally alternating 90 degrees every other block of four and the back ink is clearly visible through the face and appears violet. I don't particularly see anything off about any of the notes when backlit.  Control note. QA note.

[Notes] Without A Face (Part 2)

As previously mentioned in Part 1 we're comparing three different Ukrainian P # 83x notes with one another, hopefully they are authentic, and with a control note. We previously examined scans of the four notes now let's take a look at all of the notes under UV.  The control note displays all the typical UV features that are to be expected, UV security fibers, background on the face and latent imprint to the left of the depiction of Lybid. There are varieties of notes with and without the la

[Notes] Without A Face (Part 1)

On my last submission I mentioned that one note came back as QA "Questionable Authenticity" (1991, 5 Karbovanstiv, Pick # 83x), while not completely shocking I was a little surprised and disappointed. Not so much in that it was not authenticated but that there wasn't a cut and dry decision made, if it had come back as a not genuine, counterfeit or altered note, no problem, but now the note is hanging out in limbo with no clear designation. While the Questionable Authenticity tag does give me a p

Sign On The Dotted Line, It's Gonna Work Out Fine'.

The Forum is back up and working again for me! Yes!  Anyway, there has been some news from Ukraine over the 4-week break. In the past month two new notes were released, with one sporting the signature of the new Governor of the NBU, Andriy Pyshnyy.  On Dec. 12 the NBU put into circulation 100 Hryven notes dated 2022 and bearing the signature of the newly appointed Governor. This was a quick turnaround from appointment, Oct. 7th, to new notes, Dec 12th, I'm sure some U.S. collectors woul

I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of [Specimens]! (Part 2)

I sent off a second submission of specimen notes to PMG and I have to say that the team at PMG did a fantastic job as the notes arrived just prior to hurricane Ian and were sent back shortly after Ian passed. Even though PMG had to shut down due to Ian, the submission was processed well under the stated turnaround time. Amazing job!  Unlike my first submission, in which all the notes straight graded, it seems that I had a few problem notes in my second, one I knew of and two I didn't. In add

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in Specimen Notes

Secret Secret I've Got A Secret (Part 2)

In further researching the subject of Type 1 & 2 notes of the second series control coupons of 1992, 500 Karbovantsiv notes only, and acquiring and examining roughly 75 circulated notes and a dozen uncirculated, in addition to viewing another 100 or so examples online, there appears to be additional identifying markers between the two variants. Whether these markers are due to plate, ink or production variations is not known, by me anyway,  but they have so far held true when used with the o

Times Makin' Changes [To Signatures]

On Oct 4th, 2022 the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Kyrylo Shevchenko, submitted, to Ukrainian President Zelenskyi, his letter of resignation siting health issues.  Shevchenko has headed the country's Central Bank since July 16, 2020 when he was tapped by Zelenskyi and appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. In the past 27 months Ukraine has issued new circulating banknotes in all denominations with his signature, as well as commemorative notes in all denominations of the 30th Ann

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in Signatures

The [Price] Is High But I'm Holdn' On... Part 2

After a 2-3 month stint stretching through the dog-days of summer/numismatics and a tumbling Euro, English Pound, and virtually every other currency, against the USD, there were several auctions being held across the globe in recent weeks with heaps of top notch world notes in them. Most have now come to fruition and with mixed results for me. In the world of Ukrainian banknotes top notch notes, the rarest of the rare, including rare varieties, are still commanding strong prices (surprisingly),

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in Auctions

Damage, Inc.

With the war in Ukraine having entered its six month, and with the taking and retaking of territories within Ukraine, there has been a need by nonmilitary personnel to get out of said areas quickly, as the need arises, sometimes at a moment's notice. That being said, such evacuations mean that there is little time for preparation and items must be left behind and along those lines the NBU has instructed the banks in the warzones to deface/deliberately damage all banknotes in the event of an evac

Secret Secret I've Got A Secret (Part 1)

Not really, but I thought I'd share a few of the lesser-known varieties of Ukrainian Control Coupons from the second series, what I consider the second series (P#88-93, excluding 91A & 91B, issued 1992, '93 & '95), not found in the Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money and draw a few conclusions along the way. Descriptions of the second series from the latest, probably last printed, edition of the SCWPM. 2019, 25th edition, try to ignore the notations I've added many more since this

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in Control Coupons

All You Other [TPG's] Are Just Imitating.

Most of my graded notes are in PMG holders, like 99.9%, but on occasion I will pick up a note from an "off brand" slabber or PCGS, not because there is a great note housed in the holder but for the holder itself.  Buy the note not the holder, not in these instances.   I just find it interesting/funny/weird when I see Ukrainian notes housed in "off-brand" holders and since they are all dirt cheap, I'll pick them up from time to time and add them to my collection.  Some of these act

Fenntucky Mike

Fenntucky Mike in Non PMG Slabs

Here We Go Again

Ever since the forcible annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014 the NBU has banned any currency depicting "illustrated maps, symbols, buildings, monuments, archaeological sites, landmarks, landscapes, or any other objects, situated in the territory of Ukraine occupied by Russia.", and for obvious reasons the NBU has now banned the use of all Russian and Belarusian rubles in Ukraine. This most recent ban took effect on February 24, 2022, the day of the invasion, and was an amendment

I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of [Specimens]!

Well, after a few years of talking about it I finally sent a submission into PMG. I wanted to test the waters first, so I only sent in a batch of 10 specimen notes. Notes that I feel are properly listed in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money with appropriate Pick #'s and accurate descriptions. Some of the notes would fill holes in my PMG registry set, others don't currently have homes in the registry but hopefully PMG will create them when I request some new sets. We'll see.  I didn't have

I've Been Everywhere Man! (Supplemental, Part 2)

I have yet to figure out the reason for the existence of the "black" prefix and serial numbers on some 1,000 Karbovantsiv notes of 1918-21, and as such I've been collecting data on the subject in the form of additional notes with the "black" prefix and serial number variety/error/damage.  Not that I needed a reason to collect more notes.  In my current mania I've managed to acquire several more examples of this phenomenon and I think I'm starting to lean heavily towards the existence of these be