Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM99a, 2016, US$2; Later RTGS$2

Slot Comment:

Bond Note / RTGS Dollar BF Prefix

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: Zimbabwe, Reserve Bank
2 Dollars
Grade: 67 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM99a
- Wmk: Zimbabwe Bird and RBZ
- Bond
Comment: Exceptional Paper Quality
Certification #: 8072115-006
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM99a, 2016, US$2; Later RTGS$2
Research: Currently not available

Owner's Description

Zimbabwean Bond Notes were a form of banknote released into circulation by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). The notes were stated to not be a currency in themselves. Rather, they were classed as “legal tender near money” and were pegged equally to the United States dollar (USD). The release of these bond notes followed the earlier release of some “bond coins” released in 2014. Some sources call them “quasi-currency,” and they were dubbed the “Zollar.”

The $2 bond notes were first released in November of 2016, backed by a US$200 Million African Export-Import Bank Loan – You have to wonder, who would seriously lend this country money after everything that had happened?

Two months later, in Jan 2017, US$15 Million worth the $5 bond notes were released. The notes were not generally accepted by the Zimbabwean people, who, I suppose, were still very rightfully suspicious of anything the Zimbabwean government tries to call “money.” As a result, plans to release $10 and $20 bond notes were canceled by the RBZ’s governor at the time, John Mangudya (These bond notes were the first issues to bear his signature). The government tried expanding the electronic money supply and issuing Treasury Bills instead. Later, in 2020, new $10 and $20 banknotes were issued that likely use the designs that were originally going to be used for the $10 and $20 bond notes in 2017 – they just do not say “Bond Note.”

By 2018, the former Finance Minister Tendai Biti argued for the demonetization of the Bond Notes as they’d become the subject of arbitrage. The bond notes even became a political issue in Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections with one group calling for their replacement with “real cash.”

Even with the notes being notionally pegged to the US dollar their value still collapsed. As of January 2019, in everyday transactions, people were using exchange rates of $3 in bond notes to US$1. After a few years of negative inflation rates / deflation from roughly 2009 to 2015, year-over-year inflation from mid-2017 to mid-2018 was only roughly 1.0%, when measured in USD anyway – price stability at last!

The bond notes were radically different than the preceding third, and fourth, dollar series and seem more like what you might expect from a modern redesign on the first dollars of the 1980s. More artistry seems to have gone into their design. They use intricate patterns and textures in the artwork. The Chiremba rocks remain on the front of the notes, as always. The $2 bond note uses an updated image of the Freedom flame, which has long appeared on Zimbabwean currency, on the back.

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