Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM86, 2008, 20 Billion ZWR

Slot Comment:

3rd Dollar Banknote AA Prefix $20,000,000,000

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 20 Billion Dollars 2008
Grade: 67 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM86
- Sign. #8
Certification #: 8046946-018
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM86, 2008, 20 Billion ZWR
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

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 really unique and interesting formations.

The back side of the Trillions Series banknotes all feature a pair of images that have some kind of national, cultural or economic significance to Zimbabwe. These images are different on each denomination though some of the images seem to have been used more than once on different denominations throughout the series.

The 20 Billion dollar banknote shows and image of the Great Zimbabwe ruins and an image of a Zimbabwe Aloe in a valley complex of the Great Zimbabwe ruins. The Zimbabwe Aloe (aloe excelsa) is usually about 3 meters (10 feet) tall but can reach up to 5-6 meters (up to 20 feet). Many of the plants can be found amongst the Great Zimbabwe ruins but it grows in a relatively small part of Africa, mostly confined to Zimbabwe and the nation of South Africa. Depictions of the Great Zimbabwe ruins are seen as far back as the 1st dollar, with ZIM8. However, this appears to be artwork introduced with the 3rd dollar series and it was a heavily used fixture of the series. It appears on ZIM69 (100 ZWR) ZIM77 (1 Million ZWR) ZIM78 (10 Million ZWR), ZIM79 (50 Million ZWR), ZIM87 (50 Billion ZWR), and ZIM88 (10 Trillion ZWR). The Zimbabwe Aloe image also appears on ZIM69 (100 ZWR), ZIM76 (500 000 ZWR), and ZIM83 (1 Billion ZWR). The 100 dollar and 20 Billion dollar banknotes (ZIM69 and 86) use the same images, but the positions of the images are reversed, and the banknotes use different colors.

This note is one of five that my wife and I ordered together as my 3rd anniversary present from her. This note will always have a special place in my heart and in the set because of the story associated with it. She'd found my wish list on BankNoteWorld, which listed a PMG graded P-86 note on it. She didn't know about the PMG grading or the significance of that and got confused (She was pregnant and had "preggo-brain" as she calls it) and she both an ungraded 20 TRILLION (P-89) note instead, and I already had a P-89. She had been so excited and impressed with herself and she was so disappointed when she realized the mistake. We returned that P-89 though and then I got the chance to snap up this one and several other notes for the Zimbabwe set right after BankNoteWorld did a pretty significant, across-the-board reduction on the prices of their graded Zimbabwe notes. That was what helped get me back into building a Zimbabwe note set again. I would end up getting a lot of notes from them that year though because they did a ton of 50% off Zimbabwe notes sales that year - again, I think because they had a lot of old inventory that they got too much of during the boom in this series and they were just looking to dump the inventory. It was a little sad for me when those sales finally stopped in late 2019 because I got a lot of notes at a good price that way! Building this MASSIVE collection would have taken a lot longer and been a lot harder without that lucky break at a time when I didn't have much money to throw at it.

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