Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM38, 2006, 5 ZWN

Slot Comment:

2nd Dollar Emergency Bearer Check - AB Prefix

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 5 Dollars 2006 - Wmk: Zimbabwe Bird
Grade: 68 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM38
- Sign. #8
Certification #: 8046919-079
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM38, 2006, 5 ZWN
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

I spend a lot of time and words in these sets on talking about the need to consider the set as a whole and think about the story that the set represents and tells. When you think about it in the context of a book, most people – even most book collectors – wouldn’t have much interest in a single leaf from a book, even a famous or valuable book, unless it was something like the Gutenberg Bible. I think the situation is somewhat similar for many of the lower denomination 2nd dollar and 3rd dollar issues. It’s relatively common to see dealers offering the entire 27-note 3rd dollar series, raw, as a set, or the entire 59-note run of the 2nd and 3rd dollars (from P-33 to P-91) as a set. It is seemingly less common to see merchants trying to market individual note from this run. When they are do, it is usually for a small amount or in bulk quantities. I think this fact supports my view of the set and shows that it is one that other collectors tend to share. These notes are a set. They are best appreciated and understood as a set that tells a story. You are either interested in that story and a fan of the series or you are not – in which case you buy the $100 Trillion note and call it a day or do not collect these notes at all.

I love the story though, and so I bought this note and added it to what may be one of the biggest and most complete sets of PMG graded Zimbabwe notes in existence – it’s certainly the biggest and most complete set in the PMG registry as of the time I’m writing this.

Where the balancing rocks are a major design feature on the front of the banknotes, with the checks of this series they appear only as part of the seal of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

On the back, the bearer checks of this series feature different designs, emphasizing things of national or cultural significance, much like the first dollar banknotes that came before them. In that regard, these bearer checks are a bit of a cross between the bearer checks and the banknotes of the first dollars in terms of design.

These 5 dollar bearer checks (ZIM38) feature an image of torch in Harare (capital city) that represents “The Eternal Flame of Freedom.” This image originally premiered on the 10 dollar note (ZIM3) in the early 1980s. However, that note (ZIM3) is mostly red. This note has a lot green and some cream-like colors. This image also appears on ZIM56 (25 Million ZWN). This torch / monument (which is lit during independence day celebrations in Zimbabwe) didn’t appear again in the 3rd dollar series but made a comeback in the 4th dollar series on the 100 dollar note (ZIM97) – one of the last notes made before the currency was abandoned / suspended for 10 years in 2009.

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