Pittman Family ZWD, 1st Dollar, Bankotes
1000 DOLLARS 1994-2004 ISSUE P12

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Note Details

Set Details

Note Description: Zimbabwe, Reserve Bank
1000 Dollars 2003 - Wmk: Bird & 1000
Grade: 68 EPQ
Country: ZIM
Note Number: ZIM12a
- Large Digits in S/N
Certification #: 8072194-017  
Owner: Revenant
Sets Competing: Pittman Family ZWD, 1st Dollar, Bankotes  Score: 50
Date Added: 7/3/2020
Research: See PMG's Census Report for this Note

Owner's Description

The P-12a and P-12b are separated by one of the more subtle distinctions you can ask for or find in note varieties. They have the same year and signed by the same governor (Dr LL Tsumba)– issued at the very end of his 10-year tenure. But the P-12a has slightly larger digits used for printing the serial number than the P-12b

The $1,000 note was introduced in 2003, amid inflation of roughly 600%. This was the first $1,000 note issued by Zimbabwe and it was the last note / denomination of banknote released during the life of the 1st dollar. The 2nd dollar would not be announced until 2005 and released until 2006, however, after the release of this note, Zimbabwe stopped making regular banknotes for a time and, instead, released several series of “Emergency Checks” with various denominations. This note would be the last regular banknote released until the unveiling of the first third dollar notes in 2007.

2003, the year this note was released, is also the first year that inflation officially exceeded 200% (even though 2002 came very close at 198.93%) and the inflation rate blew right past that milestone and the 500% milestone in the same year. In Jun 2002 US$1 was equal to $1,000, which would have made this note equal to a US $1 bill. By March 2005, however, US$1 was ZWD$10,000, and by January 2006 US$1 was equal to ZWD$100,000, meaning this note would have been worth 1 US cent.

By 2003, the country's economy had collapsed. It is estimated that up to a fourth of Zimbabwe's 11 million people had fled the country. Three-quarters of the remaining Zimbabweans were living on less than one US dollar a day.

Because of all of this, I see this note, in many ways, as representing the beginning of the end. Arguably, that distinction could also be given to the $50, $100, and $500 notes that preceded this one. However, I feel that, as the last note / denomination of the first dollar on a regular bank note, this note, more than any other is symbolic of the death spiral starting to take hold and pick up speed.

As the hyperinflation took hold the first dollar, the currency of the nation for over twenty years, died. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th dollars rose and fell with increasing speed. The 2nd dollar survived barely 2 years. The 3rd dollar lasted less than 6 months. The 4th was born in February 2009 and then died with a whimper, only about 2 months later, in April of that year, when the government declared that they would "temporarily" suspend the issuance of the national currency. After that, there would be no Zimbabwe dollar for the next ten years.

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 highly unique and interesting formations.

The back of this note shows a group of elephants. While it hosts safaris and allows game hunting in the country, Zimbabwe is actually a great success story for conservation, particularly for elephants. It is believed that in 1900 as few as 4,000 elephants remained in the country and it was feared that the animal would become extinct in the region. Conservation efforts have been so successful that it has become an issue of population management, rather than just conservation. Even with increases in illegal killings in recent years the government controls and limits the population to prevent the elephants from causing habitat changes or other damage. Even with the legal and illegal killing and even with a massive 45,000 elephant cull from 1960 to 1989, the modern population sits at over 80,000, which is more than twice the national target population of 40,000 – which apparently comes from 1908.

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