Zimbabwe is a small African country that serves as a good example of how economic mismanagement can destroy a country. Hyperinflation is a rare phenomenon that’s defined as when inflation rises more than 50% in a single month. Because of this, prices increase so rapidly that people can’t afford to buy goods and services. From 2007 – 2009, hyperinflation in Zimbabwe rose dramatically and it got so high, it hovered at around 79 billion percent, it got so bad that the government stopped tracking it. People would line up with wheelbarrows of cash to pay for basic goods and price changes at supermarkets would change daily. By this point so many people had lost faith in their currency that they started using US dollars instead. Read along to learn about the 5th Generation Zimbabwe Dollar.

Map of Zimbabwe | Source: AS

Zimbabwe’s economic problems began when former leader Robert Mugabe’s land reform policies led to a massive exodus of skilled workers who had been trained by farmers and multinational companies. This included doctors, nurses, engineers, and managers from large-scale commercial farming operations that were handed over to Zimbabweans. The result was a steep decline in productivity on these farms which had previously been highly productive. Another factor was widespread corruption that went unnoticed.

Map of Zimbabwe Inflation 2002 – 2011 | Source: Wikipedia

The currency at the time was the Zimbabwean Dollar. The economy was so poorly managed that every week there would be new record-breaking banknote denominations printed. Denominations first ranged in the thousands, then hundred thousands, then millions, billions and finally TRILLIONS! Yes, you read that correct, Trillion Dollars with 14 zeros. In fact, the largest denomination was the Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollars, followed by 50 Trillion, 20 Trillion and 10 Trillion. They are still the largest denomination banknotes printed in recent times but, if you follow our blog the largest denomination banknote ever printed was from Hungary.

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollars | 2008 | TAP Authenticated | Source: Banknote World

After the period of record hyperinflation, a new Zimbabwe Dollar was introduced for a brief period and there were also foreign currencies used as legal tender but, in 2016 the 5th generation Zimbabwe Dollar was introduced. It was first named a Bond Dollar but, in 2019 it was renamed as the Real Time Gross Settlement Dollar (RTGS dollar). Current denominations range from 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Dollars. Let’s look at a few banknotes from their current 5th Generation Zimbabwe Dollar banknote family.

Zimbabwe 2 Dollars | 2016 | Source: Banknote World

The smallest denomination is the Zimbabwe 2 Dollar banknote which is part of the 2016 Bond Note series. It colored in green and highlights the iconic Chiremba balancing rocks situated in Epworth on the front design along with the Zimbabwe bird on a star as the registration device. The reverse side features the Eternal Flame of Independence monument, the Parliament House in Harare, and the Zimbabwe bird on a star.

Zimbabwe 100 Dollars | 2020 | Source: Banknote World

Now on to the largest denomination which is the Zimbabwe 100 Dollars part of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s 2020 issues. Its colored in yellow and its obverse features the Chiremba balancing rock formation. The reverse depicts Zimbabwe Great ruins. The experience should be a warning to other countries that are experiencing high inflation rates.

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