If you've wondered what a Zimbabwe One Hundred Trillion Dollar Banknote looks like, you have come to the right place. Zimbabwe experienced a period of hyperinflation spanning a few decades that culminated in 2008 with the introduction of the 100,000,000,000,000 banknote. Currency in Zimbabwe was so devalued that you needed a big stack of high denomination bills to buy a loaf of bread! Only a few million copies of the banknote were ever produced up until 2009.
A little history lesson behind the banknote: The Zimbabwe Dollar was established to replace the Rhodesian Dollar and to signify the nation’s independence from the UK in 1980. It was redenominated 3 times until its eventual collapse in 2009 due to hyperinflation caused by the unregulated printing of money, the Land reform program, and involvement in the Second Congo War. Today, Zimbabwe has a multi-currency economic system set in a place where money from around the world has become legal tender.
On the obverse of the 100 Trillion Zimbabwe Dollar we can see the famous Chiremba Balancing rocks from Epworth, a Harare Province. These rocks are said to represent the delicate balance between man and nature. This banknote also has a hidden watermark that displays a complete denomination when held up to a light source.
The letters RBZ repeat along the left side of the banknote and are printed in gold color-shifting ink. Lastly, we can see an underprint of a cow with grains and a color-shifting security ink featuring the country’s official emblem, the Zimbabwe Bird.
The reverse of the banknote features Victoria falls and a cape buffalo. Victoria Falls, or known by the locals as the Smoke that Thunders, was named in honor of Queen Victoria by David Livingstone in the mid-1800’s.
On certain months, the river’s current becomes low enough that visitors can swim near the edge on what has been dubbed “ the Devil’s Pool”.
The cape buffalo is an African bovine that can reach a length of 10 feet, a height of 5 feet, and weigh almost a ton! The cape buffalo is infamous for attacking hunters and reports claim that they kill or injure more hunters than any other animal in Africa.
The Zimbabwean Reserve Bank printed different variants of the 100 Trillion note, each with the same Chiremba balancing rocks on the obverse.
Rare, uncirculated variants of Zimbabwe banknotes still exist. One of these is the radar note whose serial numbers can be read either from the left or right side. Others include the AA series and the ZA Replacement notes.
Due to their popularity and demand, the Zimbabwe dollar is highly susceptible to forgery. Counterfeits were becoming such an issue that in 2017 we dedicated a webpage to bring awareness and a video to illustrate the differences between a real banknote and a forgery.