Paper Money

Zimbabwe's bond notes begin to enter circulation

The designs of the $2 and $5 bond notes announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe late last year have been revealed. The purpose of the new notes is to ease the country’s currency crisis after years of hyperinflation caused it to scrap the Zimbabwean dollar. 

The faces of both notes look remarkably similar to the 27-piece $1 to $100 trillion series of 2007–2008, with the famous Chiremba balancing rocks formation in Epworth, a town located about 8 miles from Harare. The back of the 155- by 62-millimeter green $2 bond note shows Parliament House in Harare behind the Eternal Flame from the country’s monument to its independence. The yet-to-be-released purple $5 bond note depicts three grazing giraffes. 

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In total, $10 million worth of the $2 bond notes were released in November at the same time as $2 million worth of $1 bond coins. Another $7 million worth of $2 notes were released on Dec. 7. 

The notes are not really currency, but rather financial instruments issued at par to the U.S. dollar that can be issued only up to an amount of $200 million in U.S. funds. They have no foreign exchange value. They are deposited into U.S. dollar accounts with withdrawals limited to $100 a day and no more than $300 per week. 

The bond notes were printed in secret; where has not been revealed. At least so far, cash shortages remain present in Zimbabwe’s economy. 

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