Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM33, 2006, 0.01 ZWN

Slot Comment:

2nd Dollar Emergency Bearer Check - AA Prefix $0.01 [Fractional Note]

View Image Gallery >


Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 1 Cent 2006 - Wmk: Zimbabwe Bird
Grade: 66 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM33
- Sign. #8
Certification #: 8046910-076
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM33, 2006, 0.01 ZWN
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

In October 2005 the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that a redenomination would occur. In August 2006, with increasingly severe hyperinflation, the government took off 3 "zeroes" or decimal places on the currency and introduced the "second Zimbabwean dollar," (currency code: ZWN).

There were no regular bank notes issued for the 2nd dollar, only emergency traveler's checks, Bearer's checks and Agro-checks. The 2nd dollar had an extremely short life and the third dollar was announced almost immediately.

I think, when most people think of fractional banknotes, they think of Civil War era US issues. Fractional issues tend to only occur during very unusual, economically unsettled times. In the Civil War there was a lot of coin hoarding because of inflation. The Confederate States experience another of history’s great hyperinflations.

These fractional notes are rather odd to look at. They’re extremely plain. The notes themselves even acknowledge in a way that they should be coins. That, in any normal time, these denominations would be coin. The reverse of these notes shows a circle with the denomination in the middle - a design feature acknowledging an awkward truth about these notes. Where the balancing rocks are a major design feature on the front of the banknotes, with the checks of this series they appear only as part of the seal of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Much like the 100 Trillion note, it’s one of those crazy, freakish things that only happens in a hyperinflation situation. You would never normally see a 1 cent note. This note shows that it’s not always a story of big numbers on notes. There’s a broader selection of oddities and aberrations that occur.

In August 2006, when the 2nd Dollar released, it already took ZWN$650 to equal US$1. Only 23 years after it had parity with the US dollar, it would have taken ZWD$650,000 to equal US$1 when the first dollar was retired / discontinued. By February 2007, when the third dollar was announced, US$1 was equal to ZWN$7,500. By July 2008, when the third dollar began to replace the 2nd dollar, US$1 was equal to ZWN$758,530,000,000. It is a testament to the increasing severity of the hyperinflation that the 2nd redenomination occurred less than 2 years after the first (the first currency lasted 26 years, 13 times as long), but, where the first redenomination removed only three zeroes, the second removed ten.

This note is one of five that my wife and I ordered together as my 3rd anniversary present from her.

To follow or send a message to this user,
please log in