Gradually, Then Suddenly
ZIM11a, 2001, 500 ZWD

Slot Comment:

1st Dollar Banknote AA Prefix

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 500 Dollars 2001
Grade: 67 EPQ
Country: Zimbabwe
Note Number: ZIM11a
- Wmk: Zimbabwe Bird & 500
Certification #: 8071646-061
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: ZIM11a, 2001, 500 ZWD
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

The ZIM11 note followed very shortly after ZIM10 and features the same face value and essentially the same design. ZIM10 and ZIM11a are both 2001 issues. ZIM11b is a 2004 issue. The coloration of the note has been changed. Where the ZIM10 has a lot of bright red the ZIM11’s colors are more subdued with more blue and green throughout. Where this note retains the red, it’s darker and less aggressive in its appearance. The ZIM10 note has a thick vertical stripe of reflective ink as a security feature that is similar to the one on the ZIM12 issue. This is absent on the ZIM11 notes. This 2004 issue is also the only 1st dollar issue to have the signature of Dr Gideon “G.” Gono as the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

In his 1956 work, The Monetary Dynamics of Hyperinflation, Phillip Cagan defined hyperinflation as the month that the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50% and as ending the month when the monthly inflation rate dropped below 50%. Using this definition, the Zimbabwean economy entered hyperinflation in 2003 or 2004. After exceeding 600% briefly in this period, the annualized inflation rate fell back into the low triple digits for a while, but then inflation picked up again and the annualized rate was over 1,000% by 2006. Using Cagan’s definition, one might attempt to argue that this means there were two hyperinflations, a brief one in 2003/2004 and then another, longer, more severe episode starting in 2005 or 2006, but, realistically, it was one event, maybe with a brief pause or hiccup as the process was just starting to take off.

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 the Hwange Thermal Power Station - the biggest power plant in Zimbabwe with an installed capacity of 920 MW. It is owned by the national electricity company, Zeza Holdings. It was built in two stages and consists of four units of 120 MW each and two units of 220 MW each. Construction of Stage 1 commenced in 1973 but was suspended in 1975 due to economic sanctions imposed on Rhodesia. Stage 1's units were commissioned from 1983 to 1986 with Stage 2's units following in 1986/87. The power plant is coal-fired. A 3.5-kilometer conveyor belt brings about 1,750 tons of coal per hour from the nearby Wankie colliery open cast mine. 250,000 tons of coal are stockpiled on site. In more modern times, technical problems due to lacking maintenance have made the plant prone to frequent production stops. In 2009, Namibia's NamPower made agreements to help ZESA to revive the plant’s capacity in exchange for power deliveries. The extensive problems are however continuing and have even led the government to considering a full close-down of the plant. In April 2008, Chadha Power of India secured a contract to refurbish four units at the power plant. In December 2015 China agreed to provide a $1.2 billion loan to add 600 MW of generating capacity to the Hwange station.

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