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The [Price] Is High But I'm Holdin' On.... Still.

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Fenntucky Mike

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It's been a while since I've last talked about the hammer prices of Ukrainian banknotes, and coins for that matter, both continue to command strong prices at auction. This is due to many factors no doubt, such as inflation, individuals still high on the hog with Covid money or generating additional income due to Covid, the war in Ukraine generating interest and sympathy, along with a collector base/demand in general that has been slowly growing, even prior to any of the previous factors already mentioned. As a result of all of this some fantastic notes have come out of hiding along with some collections going up for auction, and now is a fantastic time to see, bid on and sell Ukrainian banknotes. That being said, I've continued to take a beating at auctions but have also come away with some wins. :bigsmile:

Losers: :cry:

A nice 25 Karbovantsiv (37a) without serial number or prefix that went for fifty plus. I was outbid by $1 on that one. :mad:

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A 25 Karbovantsiv (P2a), I went with a $150 snipe bid but got beat. :pullhair:

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I lowballed on this one ($250), and no surprise it went for close to double my bid. Another P# B126b PMG 70 went for very near the same price prior to this one.

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Threw a lowball on this on as well, again it went for more than double my bid of $2,300. A beauty, and EPQ too boot! I thought hard about being more aggressive with my bidding on this one but decided to go a different direction. Whoever got this note did well, this note is better looking than the PMG 64 notes I've seen, and EPQ to boot. :golfclap:

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This one shocked me, I seriously considered selling my collection for about 30 seconds when I saw this result. Over $250 per, with the juice. :whatthe:

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2021, 1000 Hryven PMG 68, went for just shy of two hundo. 

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I could continue with many more examples of Ukrainian notes pulling strong prices but time for the wins. 

Winners:

I did end up winning a P2a later. It went for more than the fist but stayed under $200 and is in much better condition. 

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Instead of the P37a without serial number I won a P 37a with serial number, an uncirculated note and a beauty! Around $150.

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Instead of being more aggressive with the P 50 (2 Karbowanez) I decided to go for a P4 and a P5 ,uniface front, specimen and won both lots. There was very strong bidding for both lots, the total was north of 500 euros, combined, even with the back specimen not being auctioned.

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Finally, I was able to pick up a 2015, 500 Hryven P# 127as. There were two specimens produced for this issue, one with SPECIMEN in English a second with SPECIMEN (ЗРАЗОК) in Ukrainian. The English version is the much tougher of the two to find, last one I saw was in 2019. The seller was asking moon money and it sat for a few weeks, I made an offer for significantly less and they accepted. Should have gone lower. doh! Even though my offer was accepted, I was still on the high side of what this note is probably worth but when you only see a note every 4 years or so you have to make a decision. Just over $300.

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How's everyone else doing at auction? Are prices still rising or have they plateaued? 

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Great notes, congratulations on the ones you did get, I tend to prefer the older ones.:)

One of the reasons I started collecting more notes than coins was that the coin prices were getting beyond silly, almost 3x, or higher, over the last few years. As my original area of interest was British Colonial issues it rapidly became apparent that the cost of many such notes was just as bad :o hence Mexico and Latin America (also less well documented and therefore things to discover, and there are plenty that are affordable).

A key thing I learnt the hard way from collecting coins was you have to grab some of the rarer items when they appear or that might be it for many many years - and then next time you can't afford it (a pattern gold sixpence instantly springs to mind which would now require a re-mortgage xD)

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On 5/16/2022 at 3:21 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

One of the reasons I started collecting more notes than coins was that the coin prices were getting beyond silly, almost 3x, or higher, over the last few years. As my original area of interest was British Colonial issues it rapidly became apparent that the cost of many such notes was just as bad :o hence Mexico and Latin America (also less well documented and therefore things to discover, and there are plenty that are affordable).

One thing is certain and that is graded notes are pulling multiple times their value when compared to their raw counterparts. Around 90% of my banknote purchases over the past year have been raw notes. The prices for modern graded notes are just stupid right now. Prices for rare raw notes are strong right now, but they are more in line with what I would expect. Now the real question is will I send any of mine in for grading? Yes, some day. I actually downloaded a submission form this weekend but am still working out what I want to send. 

On 5/16/2022 at 3:21 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

A key thing I learnt the hard way from collecting coins was you have to grab some of the rarer items when they appear or that might be it for many many years - and then next time you can't afford it (a pattern gold sixpence instantly springs to mind which would now require a re-mortgage xD)

The 2 Karbowanez (P50) note mentioned in the Journal entry comes to mind, for me. A few years ago, 3 I think, an ungraded example went for around $1,700 then another a few months later went unsold at NYINC. Should have bid on those when I had the chance, now I'll have to wait. I tend to think that prices will fall in the near future, as opposed to continually rise. I believe prices could fall back 50% to pre pandemic levels, maybe more. Just my gut feeling.

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On 5/16/2022 at 8:39 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

One thing is certain and that is graded notes are pulling multiple times their value when compared to their raw counterparts. Around 90% of my banknote purchases over the past year have been raw notes. The prices for modern graded notes are just stupid right now. Prices for rare raw notes are strong right now, but they are more in line with what I would expect. Now the real question is will I send any of mine in for grading? Yes, some day. I actually downloaded a submission form this weekend but am still working out what I want to send. 

The 2 Karbowanez (P50) note mentioned in the Journal entry comes to mind, for me. A few years ago, 3 I think, an ungraded example went for around $1,700 then another a few months later went unsold at NYINC. Should have bid on those when I had the chance, now I'll have to wait. I tend to think that prices will fall in the near future, as opposed to continually rise. I believe prices could fall back 50% to pre pandemic levels, maybe more. Just my gut feeling.

Congrats on the wins Mike!! 
 

and a shame about the ones that got away!! Especially the 70*

I was so frustrated about a month back when I was outbid on a 70* note. Which was the first Nicaraguan 70* I had seen available in years!!
Then as luck would have it a Nica collector friend of mine tells me he has a a pair of 70* notes and he would be willing to part with one.

Then luck shines again and another completely different note pops up a few days later and I ended up bagging that one also! 
 

As far as the pricing is concerned fortunately I haven’t seen such noticeable increases in Nicaraguan notes….although there are a few people chasing big dollars for particularly the 1990s graded 20 and 50 Cordobas notes. However I’m yet to see any of these actually sell. However I noticed a huge upswing in prices from 2010-2020.

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On 5/18/2022 at 8:50 AM, Love Collection said:

Congrats on the wins Mike!!

Thanks! I'm pretty stoked about these notes, well any notes I get really. lol

On 5/18/2022 at 8:50 AM, Love Collection said:

a shame about the ones that got away!! Especially the 70*

I'm not too broken up about loosing the 70/s, there have been several posted of other denominations as well, I just have a hard time justifying going over what I bid when there are things like that uniface specimen I can get for the same money or less than what those 70 notes sold for. Congrats on yours though, can't wait to see them in your sets! 

On 5/18/2022 at 8:50 AM, Love Collection said:

As far as the pricing is concerned fortunately I haven’t seen such noticeable increases in Nicaraguan notes….although there are a few people chasing big dollars for particularly the 1990s graded 20 and 50 Cordobas notes. However I’m yet to see any of these actually sell. However I noticed a huge upswing in prices from 2010-2020.

Huh, it's odd that prices rose pre-pandemic and stabilized during. Have you noticed a drop in prices overall or for individual notes?

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On 5/18/2022 at 1:50 PM, Love Collection said:

I was so frustrated about a month back when I was outbid on a 70* note. Which was the first Nicaraguan 70* I had seen available in years!!

Then as luck would have it a Nica collector friend of mine tells me he has a a pair of 70* notes and he would be willing to part with one.

Then luck shines again and another completely different note pops up a few days later and I ended up bagging that one also!

I noticed that there was a Nicaragua 70 P178As at the upcoming World Banknote auction?

I knew putting sets together for Mexico and some of the other Latin America countries would be a real challenge - turns out that was a massive understatement! As such your Nicaragua set is very impressive, particularly with all the detailed information which is fascinating,

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On 5/19/2022 at 7:16 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Thanks! I'm pretty stoked about these notes, well any notes I get really. lol

I'm not too broken up about loosing the 70/s, there have been several posted of other denominations as well, I just have a hard time justifying going over what I bid when there are things like that uniface specimen I can get for the same money or less than what those 70 notes sold for. Congrats on yours though, can't wait to see them in your sets! 

Huh, it's odd that prices rose pre-pandemic and stabilized during. Have you noticed a drop in prices overall or for individual notes?

That’s the way! Yes I’m actually happy that I’m in a position to start acquiring a few more notes also! I haven’t been acquiring too much of late.

And yes I know the feeling when you set a budget for an auction, but I just wanted those perfect notes! I was close with a 69* in the collection but it just wasn’t quite the same! And same here I could have used that money to fill holes with older rarer notes…but I feel like I have joined the 70 club now! 🤩😎

It’s like the below but I’ve been told it’s serial #55 which is cool that it’s a such a low serial #….I had also previously bought some ungraded low serial # notes of this same note inc serial # 7 of the same guy which I’ll have to get it graded one day also! 

I think the issue with the prices was a completely separate issue in Nicaragua itself that had as a result of some political issues which caused the economy to tank in April 2018 onwards….so many local collectors started offloading their collections and there was more supply.

I had the opportunity to purchase beauties but unfortunately I was also not immune to this as I owned a business and property there still. I ended up closing up the business just before Covid hit in 2020 after sustaining heavy losses. And on one of my properties I have had 7 different tenants in the past 4 years and the rent has now halved from what I was receiving pre 2018 which is in stark contrast to what has happened here and no doubt in your part of the world!
 

The exception always is the extremely rare notes which never seem to dip in price. And obviously is not reliant on the local market activity.

I don’t know if you will see a similar phenomenon with Ukraine given what is happening in that part of the world at the moment.

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On 5/20/2022 at 8:35 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

I noticed that there was a Nicaragua 70 P178As at the upcoming World Banknote auction?

I knew putting sets together for Mexico and some of the other Latin America countries would be a real challenge - turns out that was a massive understatement! As such your Nicaragua set is very impressive, particularly with all the detailed information which is fascinating,

Yes thanks I already had that one on my watch list! It will make it a trilogy if I manage to get that one! I’m hoping as it’s a specimen it might not go as high! I do already have that note in 67 so it will be an upgrade!

And thanks a lot I have really tried to focus on completing the Nicaraguan sets to the best of my ability and more recently I’m focusing on higher grades or quality notes I don’t have.

And yes if your putting together a Latin American set that can be a daunting process! are you trying to collect a series from each country or how are you trying to break it down? 

If you need any help or guidance with Nicaragua please don’t hesitate to ask. I know that a lot of the ungraded inflationary Nicaraguan notes can still be picked up for cheap, but there are even some modern 1990s notes that are becoming increasingly hard to find.

I have picked up some other neighbouring Central American countries notes mainly to take advantage of combined shipping! however I know that I’ll probably never be able to fill out complete sets.

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On 5/20/2022 at 6:51 AM, Love Collection said:

And yes I know the feeling when you set a budget for an auction, but I just wanted those perfect notes! I was close with a 69* in the collection but it just wasn’t quite the same! And same here I could have used that money to fill holes with older rarer notes…but I feel like I have joined the 70 club now! 🤩😎

lol You put a smile on my face my friend. One day I'll make it to the 70 club. :wishluck:

On 5/20/2022 at 6:51 AM, Love Collection said:

It’s like the below but I’ve been told it’s serial #55 which is cool that it’s a such a low serial #….I had also previously bought some ungraded low serial # notes of this same note inc serial # 7 of the same guy which I’ll have to get it graded one day also! 

Based on what you've posted and the notes in your sets, you must have one outstanding Fancy S# collection. You could probably start, may be complete, a modern, Fancy # only registry set. Very nice pick ups! :golfclap:There were some solid S# Ukrainian notes recently up for auction, starting price was $300, I was interested but passed as I thought that too high a price. Only one out of the five or six available sold. 

On 5/20/2022 at 6:51 AM, Love Collection said:

I think the issue with the prices was a completely separate issue in Nicaragua itself that had as a result of some political issues which caused the economy to tank in April 2018 onwards….so many local collectors started offloading their collections and there was more supply.

I had the opportunity to purchase beauties but unfortunately I was also not immune to this as I owned a business and property there still. I ended up closing up the business just before Covid hit in 2020 after sustaining heavy losses. And on one of my properties I have had 7 different tenants in the past 4 years and the rent has now halved from what I was receiving pre 2018 which is in stark contrast to what has happened here and no doubt in your part of the world!
 

The exception always is the extremely rare notes which never seem to dip in price. And obviously is not reliant on the local market activity.

I don’t know if you will see a similar phenomenon with Ukraine given what is happening in that part of the world at the moment.

Ah. Ok, that makes sense. I hadn't realized the economic situation in Nicaragua had become so desperate so as to cause a glut of notes to hit the market. I am sad to hear that such a situation has befell the people of Nicaragua, and to hear of the closing of your business. :( You are correct in that my part of the world (Michigan, USA) it has been quite the opposite, but things are starting to turn here and not for the better. Anyway, you are also correct in that there are more Ukrainian notes hitting the market due to the situation there but I tend to think that it has less to do with the hardships people in Ukraine are facing and more to do with advantageous sellers outside of Ukraine.

There are multiple factors fueling the Ukrainian banknote market, there was an overall increase in interest in Ukrainian notes and collectors prior to the invasion, the NBU released 6 new circulating note varieties (signature variety) and 6 commemorative notes just prior to the invasion resulting in a glut of modern notes being graded and Über high grades coming from them, increased interest, and now the war, have shook loose some of the older rare notes, specimens, proofs, errors and fancy number notes. Add to that all the money being thrown around and we have a hot market for Ukrainian notes. As I mentioned above I see this coming to a screeching halt in the near future, then we'll see a bunch of notes trying to be off loaded and sitting out on the market place, people will be taking losses. Especially people who were "investing" in common modern notes. Sorry, I don't mean to paint such a dire picture, hopefully I'm wrong.

Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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On 5/20/2022 at 9:39 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

lol You put a smile on my face my friend. One day I'll make it to the 70 club. :wishluck:

Based on what you've posted and the notes in your sets, you must have one outstanding Fancy S# collection. You could probably start, may be complete, a modern, Fancy # only registry set. Very nice pick ups! :golfclap:There were some solid S# Ukrainian notes recently up for auction, starting price was $300, I was interested but passed as I thought that too high a price. Only one out of the five or six available sold. 

Ah. Ok, that makes sense. I hadn't realized the economic situation in Nicaragua had become so desperate so as to cause a glut of notes to hit the market. I am sad to hear that such a situation has befell the people of Nicaragua, and to hear of the closing of your business. :( You are correct in that my part of the world (Michigan, USA) it has been quite the opposite, but things are starting to turn here and not for the better. Anyway, you are also correct in that there are more Ukrainian notes hitting the market due to the situation there but I tend to think that it has less to do with the hardships people in Ukraine are facing and more to do with advantageous sellers outside of Ukraine.

There are multiple factors fueling the Ukrainian banknote market, there was an overall increase in interest in Ukrainian notes and collectors prior to the invasion, the NBU released 6 new circulating note varieties (signature variety) and 6 commemorative notes just prior to the invasion resulting in a glut of modern notes being graded and Über high grades coming from them, increased interest, and now the war, have shook loose some of the older rare notes, specimens, proofs, errors and fancy number notes. Add to that all the money being thrown around and we have a hot market for Ukrainian notes. As I mentioned above I see this coming to a screeching halt in the near future, then we'll see a bunch of notes trying to be off loaded and sitting out on the market place, people will be taking losses. Especially people who were "investing" in common modern notes. Sorry, I don't mean to paint such a dire picture, hopefully I'm wrong.


How frustrating I lost my response as I got sidetracked!!

haha definitely Mike you need to join the “70 club”

and yes it’s a shame what has happened in Nicaragua, I am hoping at some stage it will bounce back like it did in the 90s.

also like your idea about building some custom sets. I’ll have to get on it and let you know! My Nica friend had also sourced some excellent solid serial #s but he wouldn’t part with them. They are really hard to source in Nicaragua due to generally only having one prefix per issue. So you are limited to a possible max of 9 per note! I’ve add some photos!

I also understand what has happened now with the Ukrainian notes with the additional interest in the new releases and high grades which everyone loves to have as part of the collection! Hope you can take advantage of some of the rarer pieces that come to light!

And well I understand that many people also use high quality notes as investments, but for me it’s about the hobby collecting and hopefully passing on this legacy to my kids. For that reason I’m not afraid of any price drops and I would see that as a great buying opportunity 😁

 

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On 5/20/2022 at 10:44 PM, Love Collection said:

And well I understand that many people also use high quality notes as investments, but for me it’s about the hobby collecting and hopefully passing on this legacy to my kids. For that reason I’m not afraid of any price drops and I would see that as a great buying opportunity 😁

 

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I am 100% with you in that it's all about the notes/hobby and having something unique to pass on to the next generation. The money only matters when I can't afford a note and have to pass. :mad: 

Beautiful notes by the way, I love those solid #'s! :golfclap:

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On 5/20/2022 at 12:10 PM, Love Collection said:

And yes if your putting together a Latin American set that can be a daunting process! are you trying to collect a series from each country or how are you trying to break it down? 

If you need any help or guidance with Nicaragua please don’t hesitate to ask. I know that a lot of the ungraded inflationary Nicaraguan notes can still be picked up for cheap, but there are even some modern 1990s notes that are becoming increasingly hard to find.

I have picked up some other neighbouring Central American countries notes mainly to take advantage of combined shipping! however I know that I’ll probably never be able to fill out complete sets.

Mainly Mexico, and Revolutionary where there are still plenty of gaps in known control letters, serial number ranges etc. I find all the early notes (Specialised catalog) interesting so I seem to have some from various places in Central and South America, although it looks like nothing from Nicaragu at the moment so I may have to do something about that :)

There are lots of short Banco series for these but I have also been looking at a complete run for a few countries - Guatemala seems to be winning at the moment with only >90% of the notes still needed for P6 to current.:roflmao: I wonder if anyone has ever put a complete collection together for any of these countries, I think I read somewhere that the biggest collections ever of Mexican Revolutionary notes are ~60% :whatthe:

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On 5/21/2022 at 10:16 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I am 100% with you in that it's all about the notes/hobby and having something unique to pass on to the next generation. The money only matters when I can't afford a note and have to pass. :mad: 

Beautiful notes by the way, I love those solid #'s! :golfclap:

Yes definitely that’s what it’s all about! I started this hobby as a kid and have been collecting on and off ever since…I have sold and traded a little bit but it’s never been about the investment or making money.

and yes they are awesome notes! Hopefully my friend one day will let me buy one or two of them 😅😂

 

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On 5/22/2022 at 6:48 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Mainly Mexico, and Revolutionary where there are still plenty of gaps in known control letters, serial number ranges etc. I find all the early notes (Specialised catalog) interesting so I seem to have some from various places in Central and South America, although it looks like nothing from Nicaragu at the moment so I may have to do something about that :)

There are lots of short Banco series for these but I have also been looking at a complete run for a few countries - Guatemala seems to be winning at the moment with only >90% of the notes still needed for P6 to current.:roflmao: I wonder if anyone has ever put a complete collection together for any of these countries, I think I read somewhere that the biggest collections ever of Mexican Revolutionary notes are ~60% :whatthe:

Oh that’s really good to hear! Seems like you have your work cut out for you! Especially if you are only 10% through a set! Maybe you should break it down into different years or types to make the goal of completion that little bit easier! 

Nicaragua has very limited specialised issues….and I have seen very few that have come up for sale over the years. I had the opportunity to see the below beauty as it was offered to me about 4 years back but I just wasn’t in a position to part with the cash for it! From what I’m told there is only one other known example at the National Bank museum that is in far worse condition!

Ive been told that there exists collections at least in Nicaragua that span generations, and they have no need or want to sell. I would imagine that such collections exists in other parts of the world such as Mexico also!

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On 5/22/2022 at 6:48 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Mainly Mexico, and Revolutionary where there are still plenty of gaps in known control letters, serial number ranges etc. I find all the early notes (Specialised catalog) interesting so I seem to have some from various places in Central and South America, although it looks like nothing from Nicaragu at the moment so I may have to do something about that :)

There are lots of short Banco series for these but I have also been looking at a complete run for a few countries - Guatemala seems to be winning at the moment with only >90% of the notes still needed for P6 to current.:roflmao: I wonder if anyone has ever put a complete collection together for any of these countries, I think I read somewhere that the biggest collections ever of Mexican Revolutionary notes are ~60% :whatthe:

 

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On 5/22/2022 at 1:34 PM, Love Collection said:

Ive been told that there exists collections at least in Nicaragua that span generations, and they have no need or want to sell. I would imagine that such collections exists in other parts of the world such as Mexico also!

That wouldn't surprise me - it would seem to be a generational undertaking! It is certainly the case for Napoleonic coins and medals housed in old European collections.

On 5/22/2022 at 1:34 PM, Love Collection said:

Nicaragua has very limited specialised issues….and I have seen very few that have come up for sale over the years. I had the opportunity to see the below beauty as it was offered to me about 4 years back but I just wasn’t in a position to part with the cash for it! From what I’m told there is only one other known example at the National Bank museum that is in far worse condition!

Great example, issued notes seem to be a real challenge - I've got the cow though xD

 

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On 5/23/2022 at 1:33 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

That wouldn't surprise me - it would seem to be a generational undertaking! It is certainly the case for Napoleonic coins and medals housed in old European collections.

Great example, issued notes seem to be a real challenge - I've got the cow though xD

 

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Yes I could imagine in Europe there are some real treasures locked away!

ah yes it’s interesting to see notes that had used the stock images available! I have seen quite a few different ones now! 
 

that one is quite unique that apart from the cow the same Columbus portrait was also used on the 1910 pesos issue! 😁

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On 5/19/2022 at 7:16 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Thanks! I'm pretty stoked about these notes, well any notes I get really. lol

I'm not too broken up about loosing the 70/s, there have been several posted of other denominations as well, I just have a hard time justifying going over what I bid when there are things like that uniface specimen I can get for the same money or less than what those 70 notes sold for. Congrats on yours though, can't wait to see them in your sets! 

Huh, it's odd that prices rose pre-pandemic and stabilized during. Have you noticed a drop in prices overall or for individual notes?

Hey Mike,

the first 70* note turned up today safe and sound! 🤩

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On 5/23/2022 at 9:32 AM, Love Collection said:

Hey Mike,

the first 70* note turned up today safe and sound! 🤩

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Excellent! That is a true beauty, love it!

There are a few more Ukrainian 70* notes ending today, one is a stunner but not in the budget at the moment. Congrats to whomever wins this note, it's amazing, and I hope to see it in someone's registry set soon. :golfclap:

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Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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On 5/24/2022 at 1:34 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Excellent! That is a true beauty, love it!

There are a few more Ukrainian 70* notes ending today, one is a stunner but not in the budget at the moment. Congrats to whomever wins this note, it's amazing, and I hope to see it in someone's registry set soon. :golfclap:

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Thanks a lot!!

wow what a note and u$600 with 12 hours to go!! What did it end up selling for?!

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On 5/23/2022 at 6:22 PM, Love Collection said:

wow what a note and u$600 with 12 hours to go!! What did it end up selling for?!

That ended up being the final price, $620.50 with the shipping.

Another 70* Ukrainian "Test" note went for $415.50 with shipping. If remember correctly there was around 2,000 of these printed and they were sold in folders as presentation pieces. 1,200 in Ukrainian language folder, 400 in Russian and 400 in English. Something like that.

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Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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