Zimbabwe’s new bond coins, issued to help stave off a small
change shortage, are now entering the numismatic marketplace.
In early March, dealers began listing the coins at eBay. The 1-, 5-,
10-, and 25-cent coins are necessary in the multi-currency system
Zimbabwe adopted in 2009 after years of rampant inflation. In March
2015, the bank was to begin circulating 50-cent bond coins to meet
Zimbabwe now uses U.S. dollars, South African rand, and European
Union euros, among other currencies. However, a lack of small change
forced customers to accept small items like gum as replecements for
coins in change.
There are an estimated $2.5 million U.S. worth of the coins now in
circulation, according to media reports. The coins are backed by a $50
million bond held by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (hence the name of
The 1-cent through 25-cent bond coins were released beginning on
Dec. 18, 2014.
The coins are denominated in U.S. dollar equivalents.
According to a statement from the Banker’s Association of
Zimbabwe, “The lack of coins in the economy has contributed to the
overpricing of commodities and forced consumers to overspend as a
result of the lack of change.”
Users were initially skeptical of the coins, believing they heralded a
return to the failed Zimbabwean dollar of the 2000s. That, and a
belief that others would not accept them, helped breed resistance to
the new coins after the were initially launched. However, they have
since seen broader acceptance.
Indivudual sets are currently retailing for about $10 to $15 per set on
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