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The [Price] Is High But I'm Holdn' On... Part 2

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Fenntucky Mike

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After a 2-3 month stint stretching through the dog-days of summer/numismatics and a tumbling Euro, English Pound, and virtually every other currency, against the USD, there were several auctions being held across the globe in recent weeks with heaps of top notch world notes in them. Most have now come to fruition and with mixed results for me. In the world of Ukrainian banknotes top notch notes, the rarest of the rare, including rare varieties, are still commanding strong prices (surprisingly), having stared inflation, a shrinking economy and global currencies falling against the Dollar, squarely in the face and shrugging them off. Condition rarities also did well but were not as strong when compared to rarer notes and auction location, U.S. or World, did not seem to matter although the selection of notes in auctions held worldwide was much better, which is to be expected. 

Let's start off, shall we. 

This 1 Karbowanez note graded PMG 66 sold for a little over $300! Winner me! :bigsmile: Somewhat rare to find these in that condition, currently there is only one graded higher at 67, it was an upgrade for me and the first auction win I've had in quite some time. The price was strong, and I went over what I was hoping to spend but... (shrug)

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An uber rare 200 Karbowanez specimen was auctioned off a few days later, it had a starting price of $350 with an estimate of between $800-1000. This note is right up my alley and having been saving all my pennies for a while now I took a stab at it but had to sheepishly bow out at $1,300 and then sat back and watched this note skyrocket to a final price of $3,840 with BP. All internet bids on this one. An awesome, awesome note for someone. (worship)

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Next up we have a 500 Karbowanez note, PMG 64 EPQ, that would complete my set of issued Karbowanez notes quite nicely. I've been waiting a long while to pick one of these up, years, and the prices haven't been softening. Recent auction sales have consisted of a PMG 64 EPQ, sold at HA this year for $564, a PMG 66 EPQ went for $750 at HA in 2021, a PMG 63 (no EPQ) sold for $264 at HA in 2020, another PMG 64 (no EPQ) went for $456 at SB in 2021 and a couple different PMG 55 (no EPQ) notes went for €516 and €298 respectively in 2021 & 2022. The paper is a little dark on this one but it's uniform with a small smudge in the upper left margin, but all in all a nice note and since I've been tired of getting stepped on lately, I went full throttle on this and took it for just over €600. Ouch! This was just under my max bid by a few dollars, but it completes my 1942 set of issued notes! I finally finished a set! :whee:Now I just need to save up for a 2 Karbowanez (P50) note, good luck with that. :eyeroll:

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There was also a 500 Karbowanez, PMG 66 EPQ, Top Pop 1/0, note that was for sale in a separate auction held in The Netherlands but the note looked questionable for the grade and the auction house noted "inconsistencies" with the holder, it looks like the holder was damaged somehow and the note with it. There is some darkening in the upper margin and lower corner, and what looks like a crease on the right face margin, back left. No thanks, I'll pass. That note sold for €350.

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Next up for me a 1918, 1000 Hryven banknote in a PMG 58 EPQ holder. Fifty eight is one of those grades where a note can be undervalued or under-graded and there is sometimes good value in AU notes. hm It's a good looking note with slightly rounded corners and not so great centering. Ok, probably not an under graded note here but a decent enough hole filler so I threw a bid down on this note and took it for just over €200. Nice! There was a 64 EPQ that sold for the same price a few months ago that I missed out on but I'll take this as a consolation prize. I didn't have a good feel for what the market price was on graded examples of this note as I watched the 64 EPQ sell, I obviously felt it was high at the time, since graded examples rarely come up for sale, but as it turns out I should have jumped on the 64 EPQ when I had the change but... (shrug)  No regrets though, as this note is an excellent example on its own. ^^

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Next up we have a 1918, 1000 Karbovantsiv note, raw, with GREAT ink, you seldom see these with the ink as vibrant as it is on this note, I have never viewed a note of this type with the blue ink so intact. O.o Typically, the blue background has faded to a light grey, brown, or a barely distinguishable light blue, and to see one with such original ink is amazing! It really makes the floral patterns, rays and background designs pop with the added contrast between the blue and brown color schemes! :golfclap: It's great to see a 100+ year old note as it would have appeared straight off the presses. The note is in AU condition with some staining in a lower corner, slightly rounded corners and a faint corner fold. I ended up taking this note for €114 :o, this was a very strong price for the note in the condition it is in. I'd typically expect this note to sell in the €60 range, but the fabulous ink/color drove the price up. I think. 

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Moving right along, we come to a 1918, 25 Karbovantsiv note, it was in Fine condition with several folds, a few tears, etc.. I took a flier on it at €60 but it ended up going for €114, again, a strong price for a note in this condition. 

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For the next two notes my butt was firmly planted on the sideline, as they were the uber rare (or so it is believed, although I have documented over 20 individual notes so far hm) and highly coveted unissued 2 Karbowanez banknotes, one raw and one graded PMG 53. The PMG graded note was the better looking of the two, even though it had been previously passed on at The New York Sale back on 1/13/2021, held by Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers, it was raw at that time, but I digress. In the end the raw note sold for €3720 and bidding for the PMG graded note is up to $900 (includes BP) with 12 days to go until close. This is the THIRD 2 Karbowanez banknote, the PMG 53, to be sold by HA this year. UPDATE: the PMG note sold for $2040 at HA on 10/20/2022.

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There were also several additional Ukrainian specimens that drew strong prices, a 1918, 2 Hryven specimen in excellent condition sold for €2881. I graciously bowed out at €1000.:pullhair:

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A front and back pair, set, of 1000 Karbovantsiv uniface specimens which went for. €3910, with me, again, making a speedy exit from the bidding. This is an amazingly strong price as a similar specimen set, graded PMG 50 (face) & 55 (back), sold in January of this year for $2592. The condition of both specimen sets was similar with the PMG graded notes having been previously mounted but the ungraded notes having a center fold. 

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Finally, a front and back pair, set, of 500 Hryven uniface specimens which went for €3841. Woah! I was a surprised this lot climbed to that level, especially with both notes having been previously mounted and folded in the center.

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Ok, a few more since I'm having great luck with getting a bunch of images into this post!  A couple of 1000 Karbovantsiv notes of 1917, in two separate auctions both P# 1b, one in a PMG 64 EPQ holder and the other a raw AU note with a small tear in the margin. The PMG 64 EPQ note went for €775 and the raw AU €506. A PMG 65 EPQ example sold for $1,380 back in July of this year.

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Raw Pick # 1b.

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As mentioned, rare varieties did extremely well with several pulling in four figure prices, here a few highlights.

A 1918, 10 Hryven prefix В variety sold for €1741.

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A 1918, 2 Hryven prefix Г variety sold for €2820.

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The 1918-21, 1000 Karbovantsiv prefix  with wavy lines of varnish variety realized a sound €457.

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All in all a busy few weeks for Ukrainian banknotes, with many amazing notes finding new homes and some lucky new owners. All the Ukrainian notes pulled strong prices and there were NO deals to be had, anywhere, in any of the half dozen or so auctions comprising around 200+ lots of Ukrainian notes. My hope of acquiring a few notes at reduced prices from some of these auctions because of a strong Dollar and slowing economy was completely crushed. :pullhair: I wonder how many bidders were based in the U.S. vs World locations and how many were dealers? (shrug) I'll post more of my winnings from these auctions in the "Post Your Latest Addition" thread on the Chat Boards as they arrive. (thumbsu

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@Fenntucky Mike Congratulations on picking up some great notes and even completing a year set.:golfclap: Pity that some got away though, hopefully it will not be long before they appear again.

There has also been lots of Quality and rare Latin American notes recently including those appearing over the next few weeks but prices being achieved have been amazing, I have usually been outbid, sometimes massively, but I have managed to pick up a few 'common' notes though which keeps things ticking over :bigsmile: When everything is in Dollars or Euros the low Pound doesn't go very far :(

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On 10/8/2022 at 6:06 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

@Fenntucky Mike Congratulations on picking up some great notes and even completing a year set.:golfclap: Pity that some got away though, hopefully it will not be long before they appear again.

Thank you my friend! Patience is key, the notes that got away will come up for auction again. It's only a matter of time/timing before I acquire some of those awesome notes! :wishluck:

On 10/8/2022 at 6:06 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

There has also been lots of Quality and rare Latin American notes recently including those appearing over the next few weeks but prices being achieved have been amazing, I have usually been outbid, sometimes massively, but I have managed to pick up a few 'common' notes though which keeps things ticking over :bigsmile: When everything is in Dollars or Euros the low Pound doesn't go very far :(

I was watching the Katz auction this morning at work and there were tons of amazing notes going for BIG money. I did manage to pick of a few low end notes in that auction that I didn't post here, some notes with cancellation punch or stamp varieties that I added to my collection, a fancy number note and a forgery done to target collectors. I'll post those later. 

Do you think the strong prices realized in auctions in Europe are due to a strong Dollar, American collectors, coin people getting sick of high prices and shifting to banknotes? I've been reading a thread in a predominately U.S. note forum and they are seeing the same increases in prices across the board, especially in high dollar/rare notes. The common theme/s across most banknote chat boards are the rising prices and will they collapse and when. (shrug)

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On 10/8/2022 at 11:25 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I was watching the Katz auction this morning at work and there were tons of amazing notes going for BIG money. I did manage to pick of a few low end notes in that auction that I didn't post here, some notes with cancellation punch or stamp varieties that I added to my collection, a fancy number note and a forgery done to target collectors. I'll post those later.

I will be watching the Katz auction tomorrow so may pick up a couple if the price is right.

On 10/8/2022 at 11:25 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Do you think the strong prices realized in auctions in Europe are due to a strong Dollar, American collectors, coin people getting sick of high prices and shifting to banknotes? I've been reading a thread in a predominately U.S. note forum and they are seeing the same increases in prices across the board, especially in high dollar/rare notes. The common theme/s across most banknote chat boards are the rising prices and will they collapse and when. (shrug)

The strong dollar is probably playing a part but I think the fact the market seems to have brought out rare notes that have not been seen for a long time is more critical. Graded notes also seem to be achieving a premium and many of the rare notes are being newly graded, and not just those in top grades, but across the whole range.

Given coin and medal prices seem to be still going up after quite a few years it wouldn't surprise me if notes follow this pattern - I knew that years ago I should have collected British Colonial notes alongside the coins xD

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Those are some nice notes you managed to pickup. Like you said they will show back up again though. There have been quite a few rare Czechoslovakia notes that have sold over the past few months, some I hadn't seen sell for a few years and they have been commanding very high prices as well. I still feel like I get a deal every now and again but I don't win too many auctions I compete for, things are going for more than I expect or can afford.

I kind of go for a mix of graded notes, mostly modern notes and most of the older notes I get are upgraded that I will submit eventually xD

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On 10/8/2022 at 6:57 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Graded notes also seem to be achieving a premium and many of the rare notes are being newly graded, and not just those in top grades, but across the whole range.

I had forgot to mention that but yes, I agree! A registry effect and perhaps a broader acceptance of graded notes in Europe? Or Americans finding graded banknotes wherever they can and European auction houses placating/acquiescing? Probably a little of both. I also think that European collectors are WAY more into varieties than U.S. collectors and TPG's think, they may not be on equal ground but the appetite for varieties is there and is not even close to being sated. 

On 10/8/2022 at 6:57 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

The strong dollar is probably playing a part but I think the fact the market seems to have brought out rare notes that have not been seen for a long time is more critical.

I can only wait and see if there is a crash at this point, if prices continue to rise I'm afraid that the truly rare notes will always be just out of reach. :frown:

Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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On 10/9/2022 at 12:17 AM, VE Coins said:

Those are some nice notes you managed to pickup. Like you said they will show back up again though. There have been quite a few rare Czechoslovakia notes that have sold over the past few months, some I hadn't seen sell for a few years and they have been commanding very high prices as well. I still feel like I get a deal every now and again but I don't win too many auctions I compete for, things are going for more than I expect or can afford.

Thanks!

I've been keeping an eye on some of those Czech notes over the past few weeks and have been drooling on my computer screen. There are some real beauties out there, hope you get to add more than a few to your collection. (thumbsu

On 10/9/2022 at 12:17 AM, VE Coins said:

I kind of go for a mix of graded notes, mostly modern notes and most of the older notes I get are upgraded that I will submit eventually xD

That is pretty much the strategy I go with as well. The moderns I can usually just wait and pick up what I want, in the grade I want, as they come out. Saves me the hassle and expense of trying to get a high grade modern note, it's just a better way to go if you're patient. Most of the older notes don't live in TPG holders and the ones that do are way expensive, raw is definitely the better way to go on those for the most part. Just sent off a second submission about a month ago now, just waiting for the results now. 

Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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On 10/9/2022 at 2:05 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I had forgot to mention that but yes, I agree! A registry effect and perhaps a broader acceptance of graded notes in Europe? Or Americans finding graded banknotes wherever they can and European auction houses placating/acquiescing? Probably a little of both. I also think that European collectors are WAY more into varieties than U.S. collectors and TPG's think, they may not be on equal ground but the appetite for varieties is there and is not even close to being sated.

I don't think it is a Registry effect at all given the number of participants, although this may be the case for some selected modern issues, I think, like world coins, it is now normal to buy things unseen and from all over the place and grading gives a bit of comfort to the buyer in terms of the state of the note - actual identification of the note is a different matter though xD

I didn't get the my top picks I was after at Katz, I didn't get the 70 that I thought may be possible at a different auction either and funds I was trying to release for the upcoming sale at Heritage are delayed. :(

Plenty of others to choose from though and I even managed to complete a Set - all 5 notes!:bigsmile:

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UPDATE:

The 2 Karbowanez graded 53 by PMG sold for $2040 at HA yesterday. The same note was offered raw in Jan of 2021 with an opening bid of $2500, it was passed on at that time.

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