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 the traveller’s checks is a bit more of an open question and I’m weighing options…
Since I only had 1 of these before this (A P-15) that one note had to do the heavy lifting in the signature set with information on that 6-check set and about that particular example.
In the competitive set I split it with the series information in the set description and just the information / discussion on that note in the competitive description for that note. I’m going to continue that practice in the competitive set, but, in the signature set…
I have three options I’m considering…
1) Have the information on the set and that specific note in the description for each of the 6 notes I’ll have in there.
2) Have the information on the set on the P-15 as now but don’t repeat it on the other 5 (P-16 to P-20).
3) Have two P-15s in the signature set, use the first to discuss the set and have the 2nd with a feature about that note P-15 note and have the P-16 to P-20 just talk about those notes.
On a different but related front, I’m considering using the certification numbers for some of the traveler’s checks I wasn’t going to use as place holders to put in some images of the 5 2014 bond coins I’ve sent in for grading. Speaking of which, my 13 Zimbabwe coin submission is official “received” at NGC today, but with current advertised wait times I don’t expect to see those grades or coins until mid to late August, when I’ll be in a new home hopefully! I'll probably have more to say on the coins in the NGC journal soon.
Having gotten these grades back, the question occurs, "Would I do it again?" Or rather do more? Clearly, I'm thrilled that I did these two sets but do I think I'd be willing to hunt more examples of the P-16 and P-18 to chase a full gem uncirc set? ... and I don't know!
If these first two sets had done a little less well - like if I had at least one pick # where the best I had was an AU 55 I think there'd be more of a case for trying again to finish an uncirc. set. But with an example of each in at least 63 EPQ it is harder to have confidence that grading more sets / notes would get me an improved set. I have seen unstamped, clean, examples only get a 63 EPQ.
To make things a step worse, many of the people that sell these things have multiples of each and the pictures / scans always look good, but I think in many cases you’re seeing scans of some of the nicer ones and what you’re seeing might not be what you get. And on top of that many of the prices on these can be surprisingly steep. I got very lucky on these. I found a seller willing to sell a full 6 note set for $30 - $5 each - and pick the nicest examples to send me on top of it. I’ve seen many sellers that want $14-$40 per check or more… and that can get expensive in a hurry! If I knew a place where I could go and look at these in hand and have more confidence in what I was getting it might be easier, but, with buying these raw online, there’s just too much uncertainty.
All in all, I did too well with these for the cost / benefit / risk equation to seem favorable for more. I don’t think that will change unless someone else comes up with a set that can challenge the one I have now. But, if an already graded P-16 or P-18 pop up in a better grade than what I have I may be a bidder!
Of course, if they'd all come back as AU 55 or below with this batch of 12, I wouldn’t be sending anymore after that for a very different reason.
Now that I know the fate on these I need to make myself get on sending in those two P-3 (a "d" and "e" I think) notes and some (probably 7-8) gas coupons. I need to put in a question to PMG though I think and see if those can all be on one invoice or two. I also have a mechanical error I need to send in with them - a P-23f posing as a P-23e. As good as it felt to see "100%" on that 2nd dollar set, I think it's going to feel even better to see 100% on a first dollar set. I don't think I would have ever imagined that when I started this in 2015. I never would have dreamed that I'd build that set to what it is now when I just picked up a few (11) notes for it in Dec 2015 and Jan 2016.
That's all for now. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I has no notes yet.