Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM4d, 1994, 20 ZWD

Slot Comment:

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 20 Dollars 1994 - Harare
Grade: 66 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM4d
- Wmk: Zimbabwe Bird
- Sign. #3
Certification #: 1539517-101
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM4d, 1994, 20 ZWD
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

The 1994 note (Zim4d) uses the same design as the 1983 note (Zim4c). Not much changes except the date and the name of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

While this note comes only 11 years after the 1983, by the time it was made the Zimbabwe dollar had already lost most of its value against the US dollar and was now trading at about US$0.10 (10 Zimbabwe dollars were worth 1 USD in 1997). That seems like quite a slide down for such a small number of years, and it is, but it must be recognized that this was the period of relative calm and stability - emphasis on “relative” - for the first Zimbabwe dollar. To an audience in the US or Europe in 2018, coming off of years of relatively low 0-2% official inflation rates, 10-20% seems very high. It might seem more believable and less insane to those old enough to remember the US stagflation of the 1970s. However, 20% inflation is almost cute compared to the triple digit inflation rates that were only a few years away at this point, and it got so unfathomably worse from there.

Inflation ticked down to 7.3% in 1998 after being in the range of 10-19% from 1981-1987. Inflation ranged from 14%-40% for most of the 1990s, breaking above 50% in 1999 and exceeding 100% for the first time officially in 2001.

This one note design and denomination was in use for 17 years, only getting replaced with a new $20 design in 1997 (Zim7). Later, the 2nd and 3rd Zimbabwe dollars would be created and die in less than 2 years each.

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 this note depicts an Elephant at Victoria Falls - a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 meters (5,604 feet) and height of 108 meters (354 ft), resulting in the world's largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of Horseshoe Falls. In height and width Victoria Falls is rivalled only by Argentina’s and Brazil's Iguazu Falls.

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