Zimbabwean Zombie Dollars

Set Type: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, 2016-Date, P99-Date, Issued Notes
Owner: Revenant
Last Modified: 10/7/2022
Views: 361

Rank: 3
Score: 329
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Set Description:
The Zimbabwe Dollar came back from the dead - and promptly died again!

This is a set of the new bond notes and bank notes issued from 2016-2020. If you look at the descriptions for each of the six notes below you'll get to learn about the rise and fall of the resurrected Zimbabwean national currency - which pretty much died in the crib. It was announced in 2019 - it took them 3 years to be honest and come clean about what they were doing - and the new ZWL and ZWD didn't really make it out of 2020 alive. Depending on the article you look at (and what part of the year it was published in) the new ZWD experienced inflation in the range of 150-800% in 2020. The government and key industries started paying employees in US Dollars even though the government had relatively recently banned transacting in foreign currencies because domestic foreign currency transactions were supposedly bad for the new currency and worsening the inflation problem.

The quote that gave my Zimbabwe signature set its name, “gradually, then suddenly,” comes from "The Sun Also Rises.” When Mike Campbell is asked, "How did you go bankrupt?" He replies, "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." I think when you look at the full history of the Zimbabwe dollars from 1980 to 2009, that perfectly describes how the currency died and how the country went bankrupt.

The quote was also adopted by the 2001 film, “Prozac Nation,” where the protagonist, played by Christina Ricci, uses it to describe how you fall into depression, “gradually, then suddenly.” At the end of the film, she says, “How do you get out of depression? The same way you got in, ‘gradually, then suddenly.'” Again, I feel like there are parallels to what you see in Zimbabwe and this economic depression. Coming out of and recovering from the damage that has been done to the economy and restoring a stable national currency is going to be a slow process that takes a long time. However, if the RBZ does their job right, they might one day achieve a tipping point at which the public begins to accept and adopt a domestic currency again, reforms are implemented, and the national economy really begins to surge and recover again. We’ll see if that happens and how long it takes if it does.

One thing seems clear though - this currency and this attempt did not pan out.

I originally named this set "Zimbabwe Dollars Reborn" around 2018/2019 when it seemed like this new currency might have a chance. I changed the name to "Zimbabwean Zombie Dollars" in 2021 after it had become painfully clear that this new currency was always doomed to be naught but a shuffling corpse.
Slot DescriptionGradeCert NumberScore
2 Dollars 2016 Issue Bond Note P9967 EPQ 8072115-006 41
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5 Dollars 2016 Issue Bond Note P10066 EPQ 8063418-097 37
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2 Dollars 2019 Issue P101 (PUNL2a) 67 EPQ 8070134-015 41
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5 Dollars 2019 Issue P102 (PUNL5a)67 EPQ 8070134-017 41
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10 Dollars 2020 Issue P103 (PUNL10a)67 EPQ 8074009-078 41
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20 Dollars 2020 Issue P104 (PUNL20a) 67 EPQ 8077592-056 41
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50 Dollars 2020 Issue P10566 EPQ 2079260-013 37
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100 Dollars 2020 Issue P10668 EPQ 2091005-039 50
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All Set Notes/Scores

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