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. That’s the same date stamp that was on a 65 EPQ P-17 I lost out on when Bonezdogg sniped me with 2 seconds to go with a bid about 55 cents higher than my max. He won that one for $47 + shipping + tax - maybe tax. I was seriously so mad when I lost out on that by such a narrow margin. I was salty about that for days when what showed up in their set and I knew who'd beat me.
While I already have one in that grade and one in a higher grade, I wanted and still wanted that note for the date stamp. So, I decided to watch it… but then I noticed the seller had a 65 EPQ P-17 starting at $20. So, I watched both. I decided I’d try for one or both depending on how things were looking.
The notes were ending at about 3 AM Monday so when the 64 EPQ had picked up a bid and the 65 EPQ hadn’t I put in a bid at like 11 PM Sunday night and went to bed. I woke up to see that I’d won the 65 EPQ unopposed for $20 ($27 after s&t) and someone else walked off with the 64 EPQ unopposed for $12 + s&t. I was pretty stoked about this! At the time I lost out on the other one I was frustrated to have lost out on such a desirable date stamp (to me) but I knew I was barely willing to pay want I’d bid and I knew at the time I was better off just sending mine in and seeing what grades I got and I got that confirmed when I got my 66 EPQ. But I still wanted that date stamp! And now I’ve won this one in the same grade for half the price.
Sometimes patience does pay off. The note has made it to the US from the international dealer and should be in-hand in a few more days - the first note the be delivered to the new house.
The nice thing here is one of the notes I graded myself was also stamped on that 18 OCT 2003, that one a P-19:
I also have a P-16, a P-17 (or 2), a P-18 (or 2), and a P-19, all stamped as PAID Inward Clearing by the RBZ on 08 Dec 2003. That’s 4 of 6 notes for a set of Traveller’s checks stamped on that date. This is probably not surprising given that I got all of those from the same seller who probably got a bunch of them from the same person / place, and they just got a bunch from that day / batch. But it still raises interesting possibilities - date sets / sets that have all the dates the same, branch / location / stamp sets where all 6 notes come from the same branch / location with the stamps or sets of the same note from different branches. You could really go nuts digging into this just playing with the stamps and dates.
Also, incidentally, the stamps on for 08 Dec 2003 in the checks below are all upside down.
The same seller had a P-15 in 65 EPQ but I didn’t go for it even though it got no bids, and I could have snapped it up easy - it is the same grade and has the same stamps with the same dates as another P-15 I bought from the same seller. So I feel it adds no value to my collection of these.
I have been checking and watching the pop reports for these and I did see a small uptick in the populations for P-15 and P-17, but just for those 2, not for the others. So, I’m guessing this is the result of this dealer submitting these for resale. This also has me thinking there’s no value in buying raw checks from this dealer because they’re already submitting what they have that seems promising and this also makes me think this dealer doesn’t have any good / promising notes for P-16, P-18, P-19, and P-20. Maybe I’m wrong and they’re just taking their time. However, very interestingly… they got a new 66 EPQ P-17. Mine isn’t the sole finest anymore. But I haven’t seen that one offered for sale… yet.
It's a little funny to me that I'm doing such a deep dive on these but I'm largely ignoring what I thought would be my "next thing" for the Zimbabwe set after my pick-set was done, that being getting more Replacement notes or more non-Replacement notes to compliment my existing Replacement notes. But I just find these / these stamp and date variants oddly interesting and I'm going a bit nuts but I'm enjoying it so much.