On April 5, 2024, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced the introduction of the highly speculated Zimbabwe Gold (ZIG) “structured currency”. This new currency will be backed mainly by gold in addition to other precious metals, and foreign currencies. This move is set to bring forth stability to the region that has been plagued by inflation, price hikes and loss of purchasing power. Over the last year the current Zimbabwe Dollar has been rendered useless due to economic mismanagement and lack of action by the RBZ.

RBZ Governor Showing Off New Zig Banknotes | Source: iHarare

There will be a period of 21 days to transition from the current ZWL to the new ZIG Dollar. The largest denomination ZWL in circulation is the Zimbabwe 100 Dollars, 2020. It obverse features the Chiremba balancing rock formation. The reverse depicts Zimbabwe Great ruins. The banknote contains a watermark that reveals a Zimbabwe bird and an RBZ logo electrotype. The new ZIG banknotes and coins will officially start circulating on April 30, 2024.

Zimbabwe 100 Dollars Banknote, 2020 | Source: Banknote World

The sudden issuance of a new currency brings back memories from 2008 when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe printed some of the largest banknotes ever printed in history. Their largest ever denomination was the Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollars, 2008, AA. One of the largest banknotes ever printed, only behind the Hungarian Pengo. Its obverse side features Chiremba balancing rocks in Epworth, stylized grains and cow in underprint and Zimbabwe bird in OVI. Its reverse side shows Victoria Falls, Cape buffalo and 3-mm gold-to-green OVI stripe with repeating RBZ. There is no security thread or watermark. It features a serial number with an AA prefix.

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollars Banknote, 2008, AA | Source: Banknote World

While the second largest denomination was the Zimbabwe 50 Trillion Dollars, 2008, AA. The green banknote features the Chiremba balancing rocks on its obverse. It also shows stylized grains and a cow in the underprint and a Zimbabwe bird in Optically Variable Ink. The reverse of the note depicts the Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River and an elephant. The note has a 3-mm gold-to-green OVI stripe with a repeating RBZ. It does not have a security thread and watermark.

Zimbabwe 50 Trillion Dollars Banknote, 2008, AA | Source: Banknote World

The New ZIG Banknotes

The new Zimbabwe ZIG banknotes will come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Zig’s. These new banknotes feature a new design in comparison to the ZWL Zimbabwe Dollar. They come in colors such as blue, green, red, purple, and yellow. All of the banknotes feature the same overall design. The obverse side shows the signature 3 Chiremba balancing rocks, with the Zimbabwe bird on the upper left-hand side. The reverse side shows an image of gold ingots being minted. Are you excited for this new release?

Zimbabwe 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 ZIG Banknotes | 2024 | Source: RBZ / X

Sources:

https://www.rbz.co.zw/documents/press/2024/April/PRESS_STATEMENT_6_APRIL_2024.pdf

https://www.rbz.co.zw/documents/press/2024/April/Questions_on_the_Structured_Currency_APRIL_2024.pdf

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/4/5/zimbabwe-introduces-new-gold-backed-currency-to-tackle-inflation

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