Big Money Make Mistakes?
Entry posted by Fenntucky Mike ·
For me, part of the fun of collecting world notes is trying to find information, sorting though it and then trying to put the pieces together....
Like most collectors (if you don't have this you should think about getting a copy) I have and use the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (Modern Issues 1961 - Present), I'm currently working off of the 25th edition. The SCWPM assigns Pick #'s, is THE book for PMG (their go to for modern world notes) and where PMG gest a lot of the information they print on the labels. Having notes that line up with the SCWPM just makes things so much easier when it comes to getting your notes authenticated/graded. But if you think that there is an issue where a note just doesn't line up with the SCWPM, what do you do? You have to try and make your case.
In the SCWPM at the end of the Ukrainian section is a small grouping of notes titled COLLECTOR SERIES, these will have Pick #'s starting with CS. The group is small but it should grow by at least two with the next edition, it currently consists of CS1(1 Hryvnia) and CS2 (100 Karbovantsiv). The CS2 is a no brainer, a commemorative note issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1917 - 1921 Ukrainian revolution, it has a depiction of Pick # 1b on it and PMG has already graded several examples, done deal.
My question is with the first note listed, CS1. The SCWPM description is as follows "1Hryvnia, #103 and 2 Karbovantsiv 1996 Independence coins in a folder". The only problem is that I have never seen a set similar to what they are describing, not that I'm the be all end all on Ukrainian notes but I'm pretty familiar with them and I have not come across a set that fits the description given, either on line or in other references. What I have seen and do have is a 1996 set to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, which consists of a P #108 and a KM #33 in a commemorative folder. See below.
This commemorative set was released in 1996 and there are two variants, one containing the P #108 and the other a P #100 in the exact same folder with the same coin (KM #33). This set is listed in at least three other references and/or catalogs. So, is the SCWPM wrong or is there a commemorative set out there that fits their description? Let's take a look at the SCWPMs description, and the phrase "2 Karbovantsiv 1996 Independence coins". The word "Karbovantsiv" used in the sentence is plural and is used to describe five or more karbovanets (singular), with karbovantsi being used for 2-4 karbovanets. So the use of "Karbovantsiv" with the number "2" is not correct, "Karbovantsi" should have been used with a 2. Was this a typo or omission? Possibly, but I believe it more likely that either they were given bad information, or they missed the word "мільйони" (million/s). located on the reverse below the number 2 and above the word "КАРБОВАНЦІВ" (karbovantsiv). In any event the denomination listed for the coin in the SCWPM appears to be wrong no matter how you slice it. Next let's look at the P #103 that the SCWPM lists as being included with this commemorative set. While both would have been circulating and it is entirely possible that the P #103 was used I find it more plausible that the P #108 was the note used. The second issue P #108, 1 Hryvnia, was the first note printed of the new monetary unit, Hryvnia, at the Banknote Printing and Minting Works in Ukraine and what better way to show your independence by using a note of the newly adopted Hryvnia printed in Ukraine at the BPMW of the NBU. Other issues with the thought of using the P #103 is that the NBU was unhappy with the first series notes due to counterfeiting and the P #103 is physically larger than the P #108, meaning it would be less likely to fit in the holder (I'll get more in depth on that later). With the above mentioned, along with the physical evidence of there being a set containing a P #108 and all other references going against the SCWPM description, I can't help but believe the SCWPM is incorrect with their description.
If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? If the SCWPM is incorrect how do you change it? First of all I'm not really sure that this note deserves it's own Pick # (P #CS1), I find that a little absurd. It's a P #108 in a commemorative folder, does that really deserve a dedicated Pick #, the only way that I could even come close to justifying a dedicated Pick # for this note would be if the serial number prefix was unique to the commemorative set, I don't believe this to be the case. Regardless, let's say I did want to send this note to PMG to have it graded (assuming that they would even entertain that notion), how do I get them to recognize the note as a P #CS1? Well the best I can do is layout my case mentioned above along with a list of other references and images of the actual commemorative set, keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. I've found it extremely difficult to convince PMG/NGC to go against the SCWPM or the SCWC (Standard Catalog of World Coins), in fact I've never been able to do it. Those books are their bibles when it comes to world coins/notes and rightfully so. Further more what about the variety containing the P #100? How does that play into this? Does another Pick # need to be assigned to it? The other option would be to contact the SCWPM and see if they will update the information on this set. They seem pretty open about accepting new info, they even say as much in the book. Only problem is that Krause Publications was sold off with the Standard Catalogs being sold off to Penguin Publishing. Is the SCWPM still a functioning wing of PP, was it shut down, will another edition ever be printed? I think this might be the route I take, reach out to the SCWPM and see if I can get the information updated. I guess my perfect scenario would be an updated description in the SCWPM, new Picks (CS1a and CS1b) and PMG agrees to grade the note as long as it is submitted in OGP. I'm still not sure I'll even bother with it, if I wanted to see one thing done it would be to update the SCWPM. We'll see....we all make mistakes.
Let's talk about the set its self, specifically the version containing the P #108. I feel that there is a strong possibility that the P #108 was a late addition to the set (or they goofed on the holder for the note), I believe it was originally intended to contain the P #100. If you were to closely examine the images you would notice that the left and right margins of the P #108 look very uneven, specifically the left margin (when viewing the front of the note) looks like it is short or cut off, there is a reason for that. The opening that the note is contained in is smaller than the note. The holder is approximately 130 x 67 while the note measures 133 x 66, meaning that the note is 3mm longer than the holder, as a result the note was placed over the opening and "folded" into the holder using the insert half of the holder its self. Conversely, the P #100 measuring in at comfortable 125 x 56 fits in the holder perfectly (left to right anyway). The size of the holder makes it very unlikely that the P #103 (which the SCWP includes in the commemorative set), was ever intended to be used in the commemorative set due to its size (135 x 70). If you were to be looking at acquiring a P #108 from this commemorative set be sure to verify that the left side of the front has a 3mm fold in it.
Note not centered (view of the back of the note) Fold evident, fold to the back of the note Second view of fold from back
Here's the KM #33 included with the set
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