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Shaking my head... $100 bills, gold coins, and the refusal to admit that it's over.

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Revenant

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I'm putting this up as what I'm calling my 2022 update to the Zimbabwe set. When I got into this in 2015 I thought it would be done and that I would just get to build the sets and the descriptions and be done. It has been very interesting and an unexpected journey to have this new series that started in 2019 (2016 if you count the bond notes) and having to update and revise to reflect the timeline moving forward, but it's something I've enjoyed following immensely, carrying the set forward.

The timing of this update is spurred partially by my wife buying me a graded example of the $50 (P-105) note for the series as part of my father's day present and also the announcement the RBZ made last week. My last major update to this set was in May 2021, a couple of months before the $50 note was released, so my $20 note description still said I thought the $20 note would be the last of the series. So an update was needed.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced in early April 2022 that they would be releasing a new $100 bill. At the time, inflation was running about 6-7% a month and about 66-72% a year. The RBZ committee at the time talked about how it needed to “remain focused on inflation reduction” while also pointing to rising global inflation and the Russia-Ukraine conflict – which had started only about 1.5 months prior at the time.  

Zimbabwe_RBZ_100_dollar_front.thumb.jpg.eafed6f760b7a83c5f5c49ab9c8f2d36.jpg

Zimbabwe_RBZ_100_dollar_back.thumb.jpg.bf7b92b3832599fcb735a66d1091a882.jpg

The design of this note will look familiar to those familiar with Zimbabwean money. The front of the note is more or less identical to the other notes in the series with the exception of the color and the denomination and even the color seems very similar to the $50 note that immediately precedes it in the series. The reverse of the note features the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, which have not been featured previously in this series but they have been featured on the national coins and currency over and over again dating back to 1980 with the $1 coin. I think the first appearance of the ruins on a note was on the $50 bill of the 2nd series of the 1st dollar (P-8), which was released in 1994. 

Every time the ruins are introduced or featured in a new series of notes it is done with new artwork but the artwork always seems to focus on this one structure or feature of the ruins. I think this new design is notable also for the prominent placement of the milkwood tree. I bring up the old $1 coin from 1980 in part because, of all the prior artwork, this new note most reminds me of that old $1 coin. 

By Jun 2022, just two months after this note was released, annual inflation had spiked from 72% to 192%. 

Forever behind the curve with this series, the RBZ once again released a new note that could not even buy a loaf of bread when it was released. For all the jokes that got made about the $100 Trillion dollar note (P-91) at the time of its release, that bill was worth about $2 officially at release and could buy bread – and if you sold it to tourists at the airport for more than it was actually worth you could get a loaf of bread or maybe two. But these notes, at release, didn’t even buy you bread. 

Just two to three months after this note was released, in June and July 2022, you have some developments that are perhaps the most damning inditements of this new currency, the surest signs that this experiment in restarting a national currency has failed, and that this series may actually, finally, be close to an end. 

In June 2022, the country announced that the US Dollar and other foreign currencies would once again be legal tender in the country and would remain so for at least the next 5 years. This is an official return to the multi-currency system that reigned from 2009-2019 and which was brought to an end by the government outlawing domestic use of foreign currencies and the forced conversion of bank balances to the new dollar in 2019. This comes less than three years after the RBZ stated repeatedly in October 2019 that there was absolutely zero chance that they would return to the multi-currency system. 

One month after that, in July 2022 - last week -the country announced that they would start issuing gold coins later that month that could be purchased for the value of the coins + production cost and used in domestic transactions or kept as an inflation hedge.  

Actual gold coins, struck possibly even for circulation. Can you even believe it? If it happens I think that might be one of if not the first time that gold coins have circulated in nearly 100 years.

I'm looking for pictures.... I wonder what they'll look like.... I need one of these things. Like Seriously. I'm going to have to get one.

But... they're still supporting this zombie currency. It's dead. The people have rejected it. They've brought the multi-currency system back and they think they'll get to just take it away again in 5 years?

 

Edited to add:

My wife's father's day present to me also included 2 other notes.

One is a 65 EPQ graded P-18 that Noteshobby had listed recently. I showed her the check / linked her to it (and the P-105, and the Congo note) recently when she was looking for ideas for a present for me because she considers me hard to shop for. lol This 65 EPQ example is better than the 63EPQ and 64EPQ I'd gotten graded last year. So it upgrades my "best possible set" of these checks but I'm not actually putting it in a competitive set with my other "best" checks. I'm putting it in my incomplete set that contains the now 3 of these things that I've bought from elsewhere. I just like the idea of those other two sets being entirely self-graded too much to introduce a pre-graded, bought note into them and ruining those -001 to -006 runs I worked so hard to make. I don't need to fight currently to have the highest ranked set of these so I like the style of keeping those other two sets "pure." But this note is now with all the others in the signature set I made to highlight these specifically. 

ZIM18 65EPQ Front.jpg

ZIM18 65EPQ Back.jpg

The Congo note goes towards my elephant note set - which I may get more seriously off the ground one day. I'll have to do some research for this one ... one day... as I have time.

CON98a 68EPQ Front.jpg

CON98a 68EPQ Back.jpg

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Yeah, I read about that gold coin somewhere the other week, they had a picture of a coin but it was probably a stock image of some sort of bullion. If I can find the article I'll let you know. (thumbsu 

I have one piece of Zim bullion, a commemorative token of the opening of the gold refinery. Wonder if they'll rehash this design? 

image.thumb.jpeg.33cdc6eed453201d3ce2a12c24766ae8.jpeg

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Actual gold coins, struck possibly even for circulation. Can you even believe it?

Not really but we are talking about Zimbabwe so who knows. (shrug)

I think they pretty much had to release the $50 & $100 notes. They probably had them printed at the same time as the rest of this series and since they were laying around why not release them. There was pretty much zero chance that inflation was going to reduce or stabilize to a manageable range, what a waste. This series is over. In five years they might try again but I doubt it.

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On 7/11/2022 at 1:16 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Yeah, I read about that gold coin somewhere the other week, they had a picture of a coin but it was probably a stock image of some sort of bullion. If I can find the article I'll let you know. (thumbsu 

Thanks, I'd like to see that if it's a real picture. If they really are going to be releasing these in 2 weeks as they claim they have to have them struck by now, so they certainly know what they'll look like and have examples to show off so it wouldn't surprise me if the images are out there. I just need to find them.

I am sure that either the rocks or the bird will feature prominently on the new coins. The only thing that gives me a little doubt on this is the Bond Coins - which are very tokenized and do not feature the national imagery and symbolism that were on the other coins. If you look at the photos in my Zimbabwe coin set, that Zimbabwe bird side of your bullion issue is almost the same as the obverse of those older coins.

 

On 7/11/2022 at 1:16 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I think they pretty much had to release the $50 & $100 notes. They probably had them printed at the same time as the rest of this series and since they were laying around why not release them.

Yeah. After you said this I went back and checked and the $100 notes are dated 2020 too. So they probably just sat on them for 2 years while they just got worth less and less and then got worthless. 

 

I've drafted up a description for the $100 note. I'm going to try to snap up an example soon to plug in my set and have it fully up-to-date for the first time in about a year. After that though I'm thinking you're right and I'll get a break from having to update these until the new new series hits.

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Just noticed this but your 100th Journal entry is about a $100 note/s, how serendipitous. hm

Congrats on 100 Journal entries, gotta be a record. :golfclap:

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On 7/11/2022 at 5:02 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Just noticed this but your 100th Journal entry is about a $100 note/s, how serendipitous. hm

Congrats on 100 Journal entries, gotta be a record. :golfclap:

I honestly had not even thought about it even a little bit when posting this. I just had something to post about over here for the first time in a while. lol I've been focusing all my collecting efforts on Italian coins and the Venezuelan coins so this set and the PMG side have just been very quiet. But... yeah. I could be one of the few with 100 entries over here. The one I mainly think about in that regard is my NGC journal, which now clocks in at 386 entries, but it would probably be over 400 if I hadn't deleted some old entries I no longer felt comfortable with or approved of over its 15 year run. 

You are at 85 entries.

Steve R is at 81

The Shiek is at 75

mikim13 is at 23

GSA_Gem_Quest is at 29

ddr70 is at 22

Amarillo1 is at 21

Given that there are only 647 entries and the top 4 there make up 341 I think its fair to say that the 4 of us do most of the heavy lifting over here. lol

I sometimes worry that these long journals with multiple posts must make me seem very self-absorbed and self-important or something. lol I worry that it isn't a good look sometimes. lol 

 

 

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On 7/12/2022 at 8:50 AM, Revenant said:

I sometimes worry that these long journals with multiple posts must make me seem very self-absorbed and self-important or something. lol I worry that it isn't a good look sometimes. lol 

Pfft, nothing to worry about. (thumbsu The one thing I might do is start a completely different Journal if I veer off of Ukrainian notes and tackle other areas, it would make it easier for me to keep everything organized here and easier to follow. Maybe. (shrug)

On 7/12/2022 at 8:50 AM, Revenant said:

Given that there are only 647 entries and the top 4 there make up 341 I think its fair to say that the 4 of us do most of the heavy lifting over here. lol

 ColonialCoinsUK & VE Coins have been adding some journal entries recently, I haven't seen any of the others post here in a long time. Over a year probably. :(

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On 7/12/2022 at 10:37 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

The one thing I might do is start a completely different Journal if I veer off of Ukrainian notes and tackle other areas, it would make it easier for me to keep everything organized here and easier to follow. Maybe. 

You gotta make sure you're working that "Category" option to split up your posts or have sub-sets because I don't think the system lets you have more than one "journal."

On 7/12/2022 at 10:37 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

ColonialCoinsUK & VE Coins have been adding some journal entries recently, I haven't seen any of the others post here in a long time. Over a year probably. :(

I can't say I completely blame them because it does feel a bit like speaking into the void some days. lol But I at least know you're here. lol But by the measure of "recently" CCUK and VEC probably beat me. lol 

 

 

I still have not been able to find pictures of the new gold coins - only images of a coin from 2001 celebrating their gold refinery or something with the Zimbabwe bird on one side and the Black Rhino on the other. Apparently the new coins are going to be one troy ounce which breaks my heart a bit because they're going to be expensive and I think that is going to effectively price me out. :cry:(shrug) I also think that suggests this is more a ploy for creating collectables for the international market and not for making something for the locals because I think the locals have a poverty rate of 90%, most of them earn something like $2-3 a day (if I remember reading something along those lines right) and the locals are not going to be buying $1,900-2,000 coins. Anyway...

I do think I'm going to order a P-106 soon just to be able to upload my description and have the set up to date and likely "finished" for the foreseeable future because I, like you, think we're done at the 100

 

It's also my hope to fill out paperwork for a submission to NGC on Friday. lol doh!

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On 7/12/2022 at 4:18 PM, Revenant said:

I still have not been able to find pictures of the new gold coins - only images of a coin from 2001 celebrating their gold refinery or something with the Zimbabwe bird on one side and the Black Rhino on the other. Apparently the new coins are going to be one troy ounce which breaks my heart a bit because they're going to be expensive and I think that is going to effectively price me out. :cry:(shrug) I also think that suggests this is more a ploy for creating collectables for the international market and not for making something for the locals because I think the locals have a poverty rate of 90%, most of them earn something like $2-3 a day (if I remember reading something along those lines right) and the locals are not going to be buying $1,900-2,000 coins. Anyway...

I looked around for that article I mentioned last night but couldn't find it. It was in one of the magazines I get, I thought World Coin News but I'm not sure. There is a chance that I gave the magazine with the article in it away to a couple of YN's that I pass that type of stuff along too. I'll give it one more go tonight, if not we'll have to wait. 

On 7/12/2022 at 4:18 PM, Revenant said:

It's also my hope to fill out paperwork for a submission to NGC on Friday. lol doh!

I sent one out a month or two ago, it went through NGC and they crushed the Turn Around time, beat it by a mile. :golfclap: The results ended up being maybe the best I've ever had. :banana: It was a bunch of modern NCLT, if I knew everything was going to grade that high I probably would have removed some duplicates and added some others. Either way I'm looking at a submission to NGC in the next couple months, after I get my PMG submission back, which should be soon. :ph34r:

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I believe this is an image of one of the sides of the new gold coin, obv?

image.jpeg.979b3d308a524d773f3035d459410047.jpeg

I think this is probably accurate as all the news articles describe the coin as the Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls). Also, all articles describe the coin as being serialized, so maybe a basic design with fineness and serial number on the other side or maybe on the rim? The design is pretty meh if the image is accurate. 

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On 7/13/2022 at 6:01 AM, Fenntucky Mike said:

I think this is probably accurate as all the news articles describe the coin as the Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls). Also, all articles describe the coin as being serialized, so maybe a basic design with fineness and serial number on the other side or maybe on the rim? The design is pretty meh if the image is accurate.

Yeah. I don't see anyone really liking that or that generating much collector demand, which is really what I think they're hoping for with this. If they were really going for the populace and commerce they would have gone fractional.

I'd also call this a big step down from what they did 20 years ago, for even what they did with the $10 and $25 coins in 2003, and the Bond Coins in 2014-2016, but even those 2003 coins are pretty "meh" in terms of "nice to look at."

 

Gold-coin.jpg

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On 7/12/2022 at 4:49 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Either way I'm looking at a submission to NGC in the next couple months, after I get my PMG submission back, which should be soon. :ph34r:

Well, things were unexpectedly slow today because I didn't get a 3D model from a client I was supposed to get, so I got to fill out my form today. I was going to print everything and put labels in flips... and then my black ink cartridge crapped out. lol Ordered a new one. It's supposed to be here... Friday! The day I was going to do the forms originally. I guess this is back to being a weekend project. lol

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On 7/13/2022 at 4:11 PM, Revenant said:

Well, things were unexpectedly slow today because I didn't get a 3D model from a client I was supposed to get, so I got to fill out my form today. I was going to print everything and put labels in flips... and then my black ink cartridge crapped out. lol Ordered a new one. It's supposed to be here... Friday! The day I was going to do the forms originally. I guess this is back to being a weekend project. lol

Well, at least you've maintained you schedule and gotten ahead of the printer cartridge situation. xD  Smooth sailing from here. (thumbsu

On 7/13/2022 at 10:40 AM, Revenant said:

Yeah. I don't see anyone really liking that or that generating much collector demand, which is really what I think they're hoping for with this. If they were really going for the populace and commerce they would have gone fractional.

Possibly, but how many collectors, other than U.S. collectors, want or collect 1oz NCLT? Neither is there a "novelty" factor with this like there is with the P91 that everyone can't seem to throw away money fast enough on. If the RBZ, or whomever is pushing to release a 1oz Au coin, was hoping that this would be a big hit with collectors, then they are as misguided about these coins as they were about issuing new bills. If they had released a 1/10oz coin I MIGHT have thought about picking one up, but not if the design is as boring as it's looking like it will be.

On 7/13/2022 at 10:40 AM, Revenant said:

I'd also call this a big step down from what they did 20 years ago, for even what they did with the $10 and $25 coins in 2003, and the Bond Coins in 2014-2016, but even those 2003 coins are pretty "meh" in terms of "nice to look at."

Agreed!

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