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The joys of scope explosion.

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... always getting in a little over my head with eyes that are bigger than my wallet.


I'm always amazed by how often it happens that I start with a simple, small idea and goal, and then I come up with this insane idea for a big project that's usually beyond my time and financial resources, and then I settle on another approach that's actually reasonable and achievable. This isn't limited to coin collecting in my life but coin and note collecting are certainly areas where this tendency is expressed.


When I first went back to eBay to try to find a Zimbabwe 100 Trillion note I was only looking for one, ungraded, note. When I started looking around though I started seeing and wanting to collect all of them. I also started seeing some PMG graded notes and realizing that there were a lot of PMG graded notes available for not-a-lot of money -- some of them could be had in solid grades for barely more than the cost of grading. So then I was thinking about getting a graded note, and then I started thinking about getting a set of the 4 trillion+ denominated notes... and then I started thinking about getting as many of them as I could in PMG holders for a reasonable price. So the idea just kept on growing...


I wanted the PMG graded notes for the same reason I'd wanted some PMG graded US silver certificates. I like the PMG covers -- especially the way they help protect the note from bending, folding and wear. I like holding and looking at the notes and having them in the holder makes me feel better about it - knowing that I'm not likely to damage the note. These notes aren't made of the best paper in the world from what I can tell so that's going against them to begin with.


Wanting the full set went back to one of my original reasons for wanting the note: I'd always thought something like that would be cool to show a child one day to share that story/bit of history with them. While a single 100 trillion dollar note could be cool, having the whole set and be able to show them the run-up and how quickly it happened would help get the point across better. I think having the whole series would let the notes tell the story, rather than having 1 picture at the back of the book so to speak. By the time I was doing this shopping I knew I was actually going to have a kid soon that I could show these to -- and the prospect of showing all of these things to him, in holder that will keep him from damaging the notes for the most part, really appeals to me.


So, long story short (too late!) I ended up ordering 5 notes from a seller that offered them graded by PMG, mostly in the 65-66 EPQ grade -- none of which were the 100 trillion dollar note I initially went into this looking for! I had more trouble finding the 100 trillion note graded by PMG in a grade I liked for a price I liked. I ultimately won an auction for a 67 EPQ a week or two later.


So far I'm up to having about 8 of the ~27 notes in the series, with all of the trillion+ and most of the billion+ denominations acquired. I'm hoping to get away with ordering 3-5 more of the notes in the set in a couple of weeks if the wife and the budget allow.


It'd be really great to have a complete set in PMG 65-67 EPQ -- probably mostly 66 EPQ. I don't know if I'll pull it off or not. It'll depend on the availability of notes and cash of course. I'd also like to go for a full 4th dollar set. I'm not currently planning to go after the Barer Cheque series but I guess I could change my mind later.


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