Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM1b, 1983, 2 ZWD

Slot Comment:

1st Dollar Banknote AA Prefix

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 2 Dollars 1983 - Harare
Grade: 66 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM1b
- Wmk: Zimbabwe Bird
- Sign. #2
Certification #: 8047965-086
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM1b, 1983, 2 ZWD
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

Unlike the US, Zimbabwe, at least at first, did not issue $1 banknotes. They had $1 coins. The US has tried to push a $1 coin on the population many times over the years now, but it never works because they keep giving us $1 banknotes.

The hyperinflation of the early-21st century would eventually force them to issue not only $1 notes but also fractional notes because they couldn’t afford to make the coins, but that would not come for another 20 years.

Prior to 1982, the capital city of Zimbabwe was named Salisbury. It grew out of a British outpost named Fort Salisbury, which was named for Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister at the time the city was founded in 1890. The original 1980 issues of the first dollar notes, including the P-1a notes, referenced the original name of the city. Salisbury. Starting in 1983, the new notes, including this P-1b, referenced the name as Harare. The P-1b is signed by Kombo Moyana as the 2nd Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe regular banknotes feature an image of the Chiremba balancing rock formation - three balancing rocks that are in Matobo National Park. The image of the stones was chosen as a metaphor for balancing development and environmental protection following the country’s transition from white-ruled Rhodesia to the majority black ruled Zimbabwe. The Matobo Hills are composed entirely of granite and it makes for some unique and interesting formations.

The back of the note shows a tigerfish and an image of Kariba dam. The Kariba Dam is a double curvature concrete arch dam in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi river basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The dam stands 128 meters (420 feet) tall and 579 meters (1,900 feet) long. The dam forms Lake Kariba which extends for 280 kilometers (170 miles) and holds 185 cubic kilometers (150,000,000 acre-ft) of water. It was designed by Coyne et Bellier and constructed between 1955 and 1959 by Impresit of Italy at a cost of $135,000,000 for the first stage with only the Kariba South power cavern. Final construction and the addition of the Kariba North Power cavern by Mitchell Construction was not completed until 1977 due to largely political problems for a total cost of $480,000,000. During construction, 86 men lost their lives.

The name “tigerfish” can refer to more than one species of fish. The species native to Lake Kariba is Hydrocynus vittatus. They’re prized as game fish and for trophy hunting. Even though they come from different zoological families the Tigerfish is considered the African equivalent of the South American piranha and it seems an apt comparison. The fish are muscular, aggressive, group-hunting predators with interlocking, razor-sharp teeth. They’re the first freshwater fish recorded and confirmed to catch birds in flight. Frankly, they look nasty and unpleasant. The note brags this up by showing the fish jumping from the water with its teeth out.

This note is one of three that my wife and I bought as my valentine's day present in 2019.

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