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  1. Ugh... you need to learn to not abuse your audience like this. I'm not gonna claim I read all of this- there was some skimming and eye glazing that occurred, but interesting stuff with the competition. At the end of the day, I think it's hard to build most truly great and unique registry sets without doing some of the grading yourself. At some point you're gonna hit some rare or rarely collected or rarely graded thing that you just won't get to buy off inventory for a reasonable price.
  2. That seller is up to 9 sold... Sit on the fence long enough and you might end up getting stuck with that Canadian seller wanting $500 for one.
  3. I probably would too, but it just becomes an issue of do I have the budget / cash when one comes up. Those are hard in the $500-600 range because for about $300-400 I can get a low mint state coin with about 0.1 oz of gold. Like a 10 Mark, a French 10 Franc or an old 1930 10 Bolivar. For 600-700 I can have something like an upgrade to the 10G set, a Dutch 20 Kroner or a Gold 20 Bolivar. And those are literally Gold.
  4. Big Time! Shocked but very happy that she let me get away with it! The fact that it was necessary after all of this is why it was done but it still stung a bit to hit "Confirm" while still remembering that that 68EPQ 20 Trillion note for $99.99 now retails at $65, and the more I get rarer notes at big sums like this and the more I upgrade things the more that set becomes slightly less of a "low budget champion." But I'm pretty sure I'm still less than $3500 into that set, which would still make it a pretty cheap winner. And that's where I'm basically shrugging with the P-13, the P-14 and the P-24 through P-27. When those come up at all people want $300-500 for them raw and in very circulated states. I just don't know that I'll ever be able to go there. I had also once thought it would be great to get a full variety set of the first series (P-1 through P-4). I did that with P-1, but P-4a, P-4b, P-3a, and P-3b are... soul crushing... at the moment. I feel a temptation to nuke my set for spare 3rd dollars for the crime of breaking up my 100% completes.
  5. Today I officially got a P-72 Zimbabwean banknote for my wife for my birthday. I think it actually came right around a month ago but as of today it is officially “mine” and I can list it. Anyway… It came with a circulated 500,000 note as a tag along. At a whopping $265 – a very high price tag for this set, making it cost about 1/10th as much as the rest of the 100-note set combined and beating the next most expensive note by a factor of ~2.5 – this was a bit of a painful one to pull the trigger on but I just had to have this or I don’t think I’d ever be able to feel fully satisfied with the set. This is / feels like a pretty big thing because it finally completes my 3rd dollar banknote set by pick #. This means the list of accomplishments in my Zimbabwean banknote collection (Gradually, then Suddenly) for 2021 includes: First dollar banknote set complete by pick # - I added the P-3 at last. First dollar traveller’s checks complete by pick # x2 sets 2nd dollar bearer checks complete by pick # - I filled in the last 3 holes, one with a top pop I sent in myself. The only thing I think that is arguably missing here is the P-46a sub-type. 3rd dollar banknotes complete by pick# - I have hardly ever seen a 73b, a 74b, or a 76b for sale and I refuse to pay $140 for a grade 15 just to say that I have that variety. A whole bunch of raw gas coupons added and added to the set with a placeholder. The set is complete by pick number from P-1 to P-12, from P-15 to P-23, and from P-32 to P-104. For the first time since I expanded the set to include all the pick numbers there are fewer than 10 holes / gaps in the set. 6 of those holes are the Cargill Bearer checks – I’ll try my best down the road but… those are hard, and I just don’t feel bad about not having them! 2 of those gaps are notes that, as discussed in other entries, I’m not convinced deserve to even have their own pick numbers (P-28 and P-31). And the last hole is a P-105, and… does anyone think I won’t get that as soon as I’m good and ready? Looking at it, seeing that last gap in the middle of that huge, otherwise unbroken, 70+ note block… Feels nice! And I’m a little shocked and in awe. I would not have believed I’d get here in 2019, especially not in just 2.5 years. At this point, my set has more notes and varieties and more images of notes in higher grade / better condition than many of the sites I used to learn about the collection and build mine. I feel really good about reaching this point. REALLY REALLY Good. But every time I hit a milestone like this though the “road ahead” becomes a steeper climb. Lol Last night I also won a new P-46b unopposed. The P-46b in the set is one of the three notes I submitted myself earlier this year, but it disappointed with a 64EPQ. I was happy enough to get to have the 2nd dollar set, but, as I long suspected would be the case, not long after I just graded them myself the dealer I get so many of these notes from started popping up with more 2nd dollar bearer checks in high grade for cheap. They've been listing a lot of things in the range of P-39 to P-49 in 67 and 68 EPQ grades the last couple of weeks. I'm a bit salty over this because I got charged sales tax again this time when I haven't been charged sales tax the last couple of times I've bought from them. That brought the price up to $37.88. If I'd known I'd be hit with tax and pay almost $38 and not $35 I would have just bought the note from them through their site. It's $35 on their site and I won with a $30 bid, but I could have used their 10% discount code, not paid shipping and gotten out for $36.50... At the end of the day, it's $1.38. Not a big deal, but still mildly annoying. I'm getting tired of this on again / off again with this seller and eBay on Sales tax. Between that and the discount code on the site I'm increasingly convinced that I need to just give up on eBay wit this seller as long as that 10% code is on offer. However, as Mike has pointed out, a lot of their better stuff goes to eBay on auction, and doesn't show up on their site until much later, if it shows up at all. So waiting and hoping to see it on the website is a bit of a risk. It's a little funny to me that this post is focused on the two different 10,000 dollar notes in two of the series / sets that have them. There's a total of 5 $10,000 denominations, with P-14 (RARE!), P-17 (Dirty Common), and P-24 (RARE) rounding out the group.
  6. Just so I can find/ remember this later: ISO currency codes: Old Bolivar: VEB Bolivar Fuerte: VEF Bolivar Soberano: VES Bolivar Digital: VED
  7. Agreed. Very curious on how it will look in hand. Simon Bolivar - the Zimbabwe bird of Venezuela. He is on everything now.
  8. This seems to confirm we're getting a coin for the 1 Bolivar Digital.
  9. Be still, my beating heart... The back does look different / new. Five more bank notes to buy....
  10. According to some redditors the first 2 denominations are in the wild but I haven't seen anything yet and I haven't seen the back, just the front. Hoping for at least a new back design. I really want that coin to be a thing so I can buy a bunch and send a couple in with my 2022 Z coin submission.
  11. I found a Yahoo Finance article that takes the digital bolivar - newly born less than 2 weeks ago - and throws it right under the bus. Let's just lay it all out there: So I guess, after a lot of uncertainty and talk and murkiness, it is official. It's not a CBDC. It is not blockchain based. This is like the Long Island Ice Tea company renaming themselves "Long Island Blockchain" to cash in on the hype and get bid up - which actually worked on at least a short term basis for the company I think. How sad... They don't even want to bother printing the notes anymore but they can't go cashless because too much of what little of an economy is left depends on cash transactions. Per the article, just like in Zimbabwe, the 3rd redenomination is more about banking, computers and software than anything else. Also like in Zimbabwe with the 4th dollar (now the 4th Bolivar) it is going to be large irrelevant because the economy is mostly dollarized and using the US dollar and the people are fleeing / rejecting the new currency before it even gets out the gate. So, at this point we're up to three redenominations having removed 3, 5 and 6 zeros respectively. So Venezuela is up to having lopped off 14 zeros in 3 redenominations in about 14 years.. Zimbabwe did 3, 10, and 12 and removed 25 zeros in 3 changes of currency in about 3 years- making the Venezuelan's look like amateurs! Total novices, really. I was pretty against the idea of continuing past P-114 when I thought this was going to have a blockchain component. Given that this is just a new fiat currency with a disingenuous name, I'm a little more inclined to continue with the new Bolivares. This does kind of wreck my "Strength and Sovereignty" name... "Strength and Sovereignty, Blown to Digital Bits?" .
  12. Well, in about 22 days we enter the freeze and slots can't be added until after the cut-off at that point. Personally I don't know how much I care when slots get added. I'm sure it'll happen and when it does they'll buy notes and be beating me a month later. I don't really focus on my Soberano competitive set even to the extent that I have "Operation Sunrise" or "Zombie Dollars." I see "Gradually, Then Suddenly" and "Strength and Sovereignty" as my flagships and I think PMG does too. And I run those shows. Edited to add: I have 2 of 3 new notes now, so soon them getting more aggressive won't matter to me much. Lol
  13. I keep finding myself eye-balling 68EPQ examples of the P-1b, the P-11b and things like that in the sub-$40 range and I think I'm not going to be able to fully talk myself down from upgrading over time even though the practical side of me says I shouldn't. Collecting, ultimately, is not practical. Lol I keep trying to tell myself that 66EPQ notes are perfectly good, gem uncirc examples and rationalizing that the difference between a 68 and a 66 is subtle at best - especially in the holders - and that the 66s are perfectly consistent with the goals I set for the set in 2015... But things have changed since 2015! The 68s aren't $100 anymore. Contrary to what one dealer in Florida has been hyping for 6+ years, most of these have not held up well and people paying top dollar for 68s in 2015 are sitting on steep drops in value now. Which will help serve as a reminder to keep the prices I pay on the lower side and not completely forget practicality. I've paid over $100 a few times now for some specific notes and that may even happen again but I get really reluctant around $50. And I think a slow, gradual upgrade process may be inevitable. I just don't know that I'll be able to fully keep myself from impulse buys over time as I also work on other things and this becomes less of a major focus for me. To my surprise, I even find myself, I think for the first time, considering upgrading my 10G coins - getting MS66s to bump up some of the 65s and make that set just that little bit stronger over time - the 1876 and 1877 are particularly appealing for this. They're common and pop up in MS66 often enough to make it an easy and affordable upgrade if I ever decide to bite the bullet. But those will be harder sells. I suspect those will have to wait until after I get 20 Kroner and Swiss 20F coins that I want for my world gold type set.
  14. Mike and my favorite paper-crack-dealer had this and a 114a 1 Million note ending in auctions at 2AM last night. This one had no bids on it when I went to bed last night at 11PM and so I bid the starting bid and went to sleep. Woke up today to find that I won it for $34.99 all in. The 114a got a sniper late at night and went for $35+shipping. I have 1 main source of competition in this series that seems to have been largely ignoring these, I guess because they don't have competitive set slots yet.