High Notes

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Entries in this journal

You're the best! Around! (70 EPQ)

I wasn't planning on a Journal entry today but what the heck, I saw something that just got the juices flowing, mostly jealousy. While wrapping up my morning browsing of eBay I enter my final search "Zimbabwe PMG". Sort, "Time Newly Listed", check. Scroll, scroll, scroll,wait what! Back, back, back, ooooooh! A PMG 2019, 70* EPQ Zimbabwe $2 banknote, sweet. I hadn't seen or noticed this note earlier in the week, as it looks like it was posted several days ago, with a little over a day left in the

You say I'm just a specimen! (Yeah, pretty much)

So how rare is a specimen? Well, if you collect Ukrainian banknotes not very. I've been looking at Ukrainian specimen notes for a while now, over a year, and one of the initial observations was that "wow, there are a lot available". Meaning that they are not hard to find and they are not hard to find a reasonable prices. For the modern issues anyway, 1991 to date. A quick search of ebay, lazily typing in UKRAINE SPECIMEN, nets 281 hits, of which I would say 50-75 are actual banknote specimens, s

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 t

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), 

Who's BAD? (Me?)

Ok, time to fess up. A month or so ago a Ukrainian banknote went up for auction but not just any note a P 125! A note I've been pining over for the last few years and a note whose acquisition has been proving most difficult, so much so that I will have another journal entry about in the near future. A NOTE THAT......OH WAIT A mechanical error. A mislabeled note, the seller had it described as such, interesting.  Now, being the narcissistic panophobic conspiracy theorist that I am, my first t

Which path to take, which pawn to move?

So I'm really torn here. As some may know I've been selling off some of my duplicate coins to acquire funds to purchase a particular banknote (Pick 125, 2011 50 Hryven Commemorative), see Journal entry "Right now! Catch that magic moment, do it right here and now?". I've been wrestling with this since July, I've hit the total needed to get this note probably 3 times and each time something else came up, i.e. a coin or a run of banknotes, etc.. We'll here I am again, I hit the target amount to bu

Where have all the (Ukrainian banknotes) gone.?

Where'd they go? Oooh I know, in Bonezdog registry set! JK  But seriously this is a good problem to have. I keep an eye on the population reports and Ukrainian banknotes have been making big strides. While the pace has slowed in recent weeks I fully expect a large increase in the near future, an expectation such as that wouldn't exist without multiple collectors out there acquiring these graded notes, it's a simple matter of supply and demand. With out the demand it would be just me sending

Where did you come from?

So this was part of another journal entry I was writing but I got completely sidetracked in researching/writing this aspect of the entry and it just doesn't fit or stay within the theme of the original anymore. Viola! A second journal entry.  In 1991 the newly Independent Ukraine was accepting bids to print its new currency the Hryvnia. CBNC (Canadian Bank Note Company), one of the bidders, is based in Ottawa. At the time Canada had a population of just over 27 million, 1 million of which w

Upgrade my system (sets) at least twice a day.

Not really, but....  Most of the Ukrainian notes coming up for auction/sale as of late are duplicates of examples I already have but some would be upgrades for me. So do I take the opportunity to replace a few low grades in my set or not, I'm not so sure right now. There are many factors in a decision to upgrade your collection, as a collector you would of course want the best examples available (that are within your means). I'm definitely not upgrading anything unless it's a 2+ increase in

Under the (UV)light / You see a sight that almost stops your heart. Part 3

Uh oh... The new UV lights arrived earlier this week, I ordered both through Amazon, one a fluorescent UV light from Banknote World the other a LED UV flashlight. Both seem to be of good quality and I would have no problem recommending either one of them, depending on what you are using them for. Buuuut, we're talking banknotes here and one is better than the other, which will bring the question of "whether or not the label for anP82b in PMG holder is accurate" to a close. For reference, I

Under the (UV)light / You see a sight that almost stops your heart. Part 2

The Pick# 82b (with latent imprint) has been stuck in my head for the last few weeks. I don't know, just a feeling that I haven't investigated the note completely enough and some reservations with the capabilities of my equipment. Since I had no other 3 Karbovansti notes to compare it to I went and acquired several for a control group, they are fairly cheap for raw notes. Upon their arrival and inspection they looked as they should, in regards to the latent imprint, under normal lighti

Under the (UV)light / You see a sight that almost stops your heart

A new note arrived the other day, always a joyous event. It was a P 82b, a note that the seller had multiples of, a note that you don't see as often as it's counterpart (82a). As soon as I saw this note I checked the PMG Population Report, five notes graded at 68 and 1 at 65. I don't keep a week by week record of the populations but I do check them out every Tuesday when they are updated and from what I recalled the five 68's are all new meaning they were all submitted together. Sweet, now I'm p

Time To Focus On Banknotes & A New Direction?

With gold continuing its ascent towards $1,800 I had pumped the breaks on any new gold purchases about six months ago, and came to a dead stop in late March. Having just sent in, what will likely be my last submission of gold coins for awhile I was thinking I should take this opportunity to focus more on my banknote collection/collecting goals. Now appears to be an opportune time for me, with an influx of modern Ukrainian banknotes (my current focus) hitting the market at relatively low prices,

The (note) is HIGH but I'm holding on

I've previously mentioned I wasn't planning on upgrading any notes, except for replacing a few AU notes and that I would consider an upgrade for a +2 note. I've been sticking to my guns but it's been much less of a choice to do so as the popularity of Ukrainian notes as increased. PMG graded Ukrainian banknotes have been increasing in popularity, number and price over the past year, with the largest price increases being seen for the higher grade notes. I'll have to go back through my records bu

That's (a)moire. (Close Enough, It's Two Different Languages For Pete's Sake)

Phonetics and countries aside, a moire /mwär/ is a pattern of irregular lines produced by the superposition at a slight angle (or offset spacing) of two sets of closely spaced lines. Moire patterns or moire grids are commonly used on banknotes as anti-scanning (counterfeiting) devices, how effective moires are in helping the layperson identify counterfeits or preventing counterfeiters from producing fake notes is topic for another day. At any rate, this all started with an effort to obtain bette

Sire I have stolen, stolen many times (Maybe?)

I was taking a scroll through the NBU's website this morning and stubbed my index finger on the headline "OFFICIAL DENIAL: The 1,000 Hryvnia Banknote Does Not Depict an Unlicensed Font", well now you have my attention! It appears that the NBU Had a minor controversy in regards to the font used on the new 1,000 UAH banknote released in October of last year. There were questions raised as to origin and use of the font on the reverse of the banknote, specifically the phrase "One Thousand hryvnia"  

Rise up GATHER round / .............. / Burn it up, let's go for BROKE!

Recently, I've been burning up some spare funds I acquired through sales of some duplicates in my coin collections. I've been busy using some of these newly rediscovered monies to focus on gathering up several Ukrainian banknotes for my sets. I have been hitting the banknotes really hard the last two weeks due to several factors eluded to in a previous journal entry (over $1,800 an ounce on 7/8/2020).  It just so happened that several notes popped up for sale that were either perfect matches for

Right now! Catch that magic moment, do it right here and now?

Prior to me starting a Ukrainian banknote registry set, I was well aware of two "stopper" notes in it, Pick# 50 (2 Karbowanez) and Pick #125 (50 Hryvnia). The 2 Karbowanez note I may never own or even get the opportunity to (this note has an interesting story behind it, which I will write about in a future journal), but the 50 Hryvnia I will have an opportunity to acquire at some point and that time could be very soon. The 50 Hryvnia is a manufactured rarity (I hate that), a commemorative bankno

Maybe time is (an empty slot), endlessly mocking.

That empty slot for the P-125, 50 Hryven commemorative is sticking out like a sore thumb now that I have all the slots surrounding it filled.  I've had so many opportunities to purchase this note raw but other things keep popping up, the latest was an Isle of Man half sovereign last week. I have had the funds several times, I know were one is. Why can't I pull the trigger on this note!?  Well, I'm in the same position I was almost a year ago, waiting to accumulate funds to purchase thi

Makes me wonder if it's worth it to (get a good image)? Hell yes!

I spent the last 3 weeks scanning all of my banknotes and updating the images in my registry sets along with reorganizing my database where I have them all cataloged. Whew! The pictures I had taken early on had always bugged me, not taken straight on, dark and just blah. While using scanned images has limitations, especially on the modern notes with their moire patterns, grids and other anticounterfeiting printing techniques that are there to deter scanning. That said I didn't let the presence o

Know when to Walk Away

Well, I can talk about this now that I'm out and the auction is almost over. A seldom seen Ukrainian bank note popped up for auction recently ( A PICK # 50!), it was in a PMG holder and was in good condition. I felt this was a good time (for me) to place a fairly serious bid on the note, I placed a minimum bid on it last week Wednesday, I was outbid by Friday then waited and bid again yesterday. My last bid was over the auction estimate but was not strong enough as I didn't overtake the current

It's not an issue (really it's not)

One of the things that draws me to world banknotes, lesser known and/or collected world banknotes, is that you can find and acquire "rarities" within a series or country and typically at a fraction of the cost for a similar U.S. note or similar heavily collected notes like China. In addition to the accessibility and price points another bonus is the variety or shear volume at times of the types of "rarities" you can acquire, and the volatility present in most newer countries just adds to the div

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 cou

I'm the cream of the crop, I rise to the top!

Well after much foot dragging (and a little prodding), BAM!, I created a set for my Zimbabwe (new dollar) notes today. I must say the air is fresh and crisp up here at the top, (deep breath) ahhhhhh (thumbs firmly hooked onto suspenders *SNAP!*, hands on hips and looking stoically into the distance from atop the Registry.) . I recently purchased the final three notes I needed to complete the set, the $2 & $5 Bond Notes and the new 2020 $20 (say that three times fast). They arrived today, no

I'm a sucker for (Fake Banknotes).

I did it again, actually twice more but I'll just focus on one for now. My love for companion pieces to my Ukrainian banknote collection knows no end. I recently picked up a few more fake or "fantasy" notes, they are in the same vein as my previous acquisition of a commemorative Antarctic set of notes, see my Journal entry "You need more, more, more (Stuff)" for details on those. As with the Antarctic notes these were printed on behalf of the Ukrainian numismatic magazine Numismatics & Faler
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