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$500 note of the fourth Zimbabwean dollar.
|ISO 4217 code||ZWL|
|Central bank||Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe|
(previously Zimbabwe)[n 1]
|Banknotes||$1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, (plus many more denominations)|
Highest denomination – $100,000,000,000,000
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
$500 note of the fourth Zimbabwean dollar.
|ISO 4217 code||ZWL|
|Central bank||Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe|
(previously Zimbabwe)[n 1]
|Banknotes||$1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, (plus many more denominations)|
Highest denomination – $100,000,000,000,000
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.
Although the dollar was considered to be among the highest-valued currency units when it was introduced in 1980 to replace the Rhodesian dollar at par, political turmoil and hyperinflation rapidly eroded the value of the Zimbabwe dollar to become one of the least valued currency units in the world, undergoing three redenominations, with high face value paper denominations, including a $100 trillion banknote (1014). The third redenomination produced the "fourth dollar" (ZWL), which was worth 1 trillion ZWR (third dollar), or 1025 ZWD (first dollar).
Despite attempts to control inflation by legislation, and three redenominations (in 2006, 2008 and 2009), use of the Zimbabwean dollar as an official currency was effectively abandoned on 12 April 2009 due to the skyrocketing inflation. According to some sources, a person would starve on just a billion Zimbabwe dollars.  This was a result of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe legalising use of foreign currencies for transactions in January 2009.
Currencies such as the South African rand, Botswana pula, pound sterling, euro, and the United States dollar are now used for all transactions in Zimbabwe; the policy of the government of Zimbabwe has insisted that any attempts to reintroduce Zimbabwean currency should be considered only if industrial output improves.
The Zimbabwean dollar's predecessor, the Rhodesian dollar was essentially equal to half of a pound sterling when it was adopted during the decimalisation of 1970, the same practice which was used in other Commonwealth countries such as South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The selection of the name was motivated by the fact that the reduced value of the new unit correlated more closely to the value of the US dollar than it did to the pound sterling.
The main illustration on the obverse of banknotes issued since 1987 is the Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Epworth, Harare. The rocks are used as a metaphorical theme to explain the importance of development coupled with preserving the fragile environment. The rocks were part of the Reserve Bank's emblem, which was used for all Bearer and Agro cheques, which circulated between 15 September 2003 and 31 December 2008. The reverse of dollar notes often illustrate the culture or landmarks of Zimbabwe.
The first Zimbabwean dollar was introduced in 1980 and replaced the Rhodesian dollar at par. The initial ISO 4217 code was ZWD. At the time of its introduction, the Zimbabwean dollar was worth more than the U.S. dollar, with ZWD 1 = USD 1.47 However, the currency's value eroded rapidly over the years. On 26 July 2006, the parallel market value of the Zimbabwean dollar fell, to Z$100=GB£1.
|1 August 2006||ZWN||1 000 ZWD|
|1 August 2008||ZWR||1010 ZWN|
= 1013 ZWD
|2 February 2009||ZWL||1012 ZWR|
= 1022 ZWN
= 1025 ZWD
In October 2005, the head of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr. Gideon Gono, announced: "Zimbabwe will have a new currency next year." New banknotes and coins were to replace the then current Zimbabwean dollar. Gono did not provide a name for this new currency. In June 2006, Deputy Finance Minister David Chapfika stated that Zimbabwe had to achieve macroeconomic stability (i.e., double digit inflation) before any new currency was introduced.
On 1 August 2006, the first dollar was redenominated to the second dollar at the rate of 1 revalued second dollar = 1000 old first dollars. The new dollar was subdivided into 100 cents, although cents were not used in practice. Together with the redenomination, the government devalued the dollar by 60% against the US dollar (see exchange rate history table below), from 101,000 old dollars (101 revalued) to 250 revalued dollars. ISO originally assigned a new currency code of ZWN to this redenominated currency, but the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe could not deal with a currency change, so the currency code remained 'ZWD'. The revaluation campaign, which Gideon Gono named "Operation Sunrise", was completed on 21 August 2006. It was estimated that some ten trillion old Zimbabwe dollars (22% of the money supply) were not redeemed during this period.
On 12 December 2006, Gono hinted in a memorandum to banks and other financial institutions that he would lay out the next phase of his monetary reforms, dubbed "Project Sunrise Two", when he announced the monetary policy review statement in January 2007. It was not possible to get immediate confirmation from Gono's office whether the memorandum was advice to banks that he would be launching the new currency in January. Even so, the chief executive officer of one of the country's largest banks said industry players had understood the governor's memo to mean new money would be introduced the next month. A possible name appeared to be "ivhu", which means "soil" in Shona.
The following year, on 2 February 2007, the RBZ revealed that a new (third) dollar would be released soon and gave some details of the new banknotes (see below). However, with inflation at the time still in the four digits, the banknotes remained in storage. During the same month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe declared inflation illegal, outlawing any raise in prices on certain commodities between 1 March and 30 June 2007. Officials arrested executives of some Zimbabwean companies for increasing prices on their products. Economists consider such measures ineffective at eliminating the problem of high inflation, since high sustained inflation is a symptom of high, sustained growth in the money supply.
On 15 June 2007, economist Eddie Cross reported: "There is talk that the Reserve Bank will cut another three zeros off our currency next week and this would mean that one Zimbabwe dollar would now equal one million of the old dollars. Chaos reigns in commerce and industry and those in the public sector are frantic."
On 6 September 2007, the Zimbabwe dollar was devalued again, this time by 92%, to give an official exchange rate of ZW$30,000 to US$1, although the black market exchange rate was estimated to be ZW$600,000 to US$1.
Meanwhile, the WM/Reuters company introduced a notional exchange rate (ISO ZWN) which more accurately reflected black market exchange rates. Due to a shortage of foreign exchange in the country, the official rate was nearly impossible to obtain. The method of calculation was based on Purchasing Power Parity utilising the dual listing of companies on the Harare (ZH) and London Stock exchanges (LN). In particular, the Old Mutual Implied Rate (OMIR) was calculated by dividing the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange price of shares of the insurance company named "Old Mutual" by the London Stock Exchange Price for the same share.
Reserve bank governor Gideon Gono announced on 30 July 2008 that the Zimbabwean dollar would be redenominated. Effective 1 August 2008, ZW$10 billion would be worth ZW$1; the new currency code was ZWR. The planned denominations to be issued are coins valued Z$5, Z$10 and Z$25 and banknotes worth Z$5, Z$10, Z$20, Z$100 and Z$500. While the German firm of Giesecke & Devrient was no longer printing Zimbabwean currency, The Daily Telegraph reported that the new currency was printed before the relationship was severed and had been kept in storage since then.
Due to frequent cash shortages and the worthless Zimbabwean dollar, foreign currency was effectively legalised as a de facto currency on 13 September 2008 via a special program to officially license a number of retailers to accept foreign money. This reflected the reality of the dollarisation of the economy, with many shop keepers refusing to accept Zimbabwe dollars and requesting U.S. dollars or South African rand instead. Despite redenomination, the RBZ was forced to print banknotes of ever higher values to keep up with surging inflation, with ten zeros reappearing by the end of 2008 (see below).
On 2 February 2009, the RBZ announced that a further 12 zeros were to be taken off the currency, with 1,000,000,000,000 (third) Zimbabwe dollars being exchanged for 1 new (fourth) dollar. New banknotes were introduced with a face value of Z$1, Z$5, Z$10, Z$20, Z$50, Z$100 and Z$500. The banknotes of the fourth dollar circulated alongside the third dollar, which had to remain legal tender until 30 June 2009. The new currency code was ZWL.
By the end of 2009 the Zimbabwean dollar was reported to have become largely irrelevant, with the economy by then being almost completely dollarized. Even the national postal service, Zimpost, was said to be charging customers postage in US Dollars, even though some of the stamps were in Zimbabwean Dollar denomination.
Zimbabwe finance minister, Tendai Biti, said in his first budget report, "The death of the Zimbabwe dollar is a reality we have to live with. Since October 2008 our national currency has become moribund."
On 12 April 2009, media outlets reported that economic planning minister Elton Mangoma had announced the suspension of the local currency "for at least a year", effectively terminating the fourth dollar.
Zimbabwean inflation rates since independence (official up to Jul. 2008, estimates thereafter)
Rampant inflation and the collapse of the economy severely devalued the currency, with many organisations using the United States dollar, the euro, the pound sterling, the South African rand, or the Botswana pula instead. Early in the 21st century, Zimbabwe started to experience hyperinflation. Inflation reached 623% in January 2004, then fell back to low triple digits in 2004 before surging to 1,281.1% in 2006.
Inflation reached another record high of 3714% (year-on-year) in April 2007. The monthly rate for April 2007 exceeded 100%, implying that inflation may soon exceed all forecasts, as 100% monthly inflation over sustained 12 months would produce annual inflation of over 400,000%. Mid-year inflation for 2007 has been breaching records as inflation for May 2007 was estimated at 4,530% (year-on-year).
On 21 June 2007, the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, told The Guardian newspaper that inflation could reach 1.5 million percent by the end of the year. The unofficial inflation rate at that time was above 11,000%, and the black-market exchange rate was Z$400,000 to the pound.
On 13 July 2007, the Zimbabwean government said it had temporarily stopped publishing (official) inflation figures, a move that observers said was meant to draw attention away from "runaway inflation which has come to symbolise the country's unprecedented economic meltdown."
On 27 July 2007, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said its recent calculations for the monthly expenditure for an urban family of six showed that inflation for the month of June was more than 13,000%. The Central Statistical Office (CSO), the official source of Consumer Price Index numbers, had not released its figures since February (2007) when it reported annual inflation at 1,729%.
In September 2007, the Central Statistical Office announced an official inflation rate of 6,592.8% for August 2007. Private estimates were as high as 20,000%. In October 2007, they announced an official inflation rate of 7,892.1% for September 2007. In November 2007, they announced an official inflation rate of 14,840.5% for October 2007.
On 27 November 2007, the chief statistician of the Central Statistical Office, Moffat Nyoni, announced that it would be impossible to calculate the inflation rate of the dollar any further. This was due to the lack of availability of basic goods, and subsequent lack of information from which to calculate the inflation rate. The International Monetary Fund stated that inflation was predicted to rise to 100,000% per annum.
On 14 February 2008, the Central Statistical Office announced that the inflation rate for December 2007 was 66,212.3%, and the unofficial exchange rate was Z$7.1 million to the US$1.
On 20 February 2008, the Central Statistical Office said that officially, inflation has in January 2008 gone past the 100,000% mark to 100,580.2%.
On 4 April 2008, the Financial Gazette (FinGaz) reported that officially, inflation in February 2008 jumped to 164,900.3%.
On 15 May 2008, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that officially, inflation in March 2008 jumped to 355,000%.
On 21 May 2008, SW Radio Africa reported that, according to an independent financial assessment, inflation in May 2008 jumped to 1,063,572.6%. The state statistical service has said there are not enough goods in the shortage-stricken shops to calculate any new (official) figures.
On 26 June 2008, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that, latest figures from the Central Statistical Offices (CSO) showed that annual inflation rose by 7,336,000 percentage points to 9,030,000% by 20 June and was set to end the month at well above 10,500,000%.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that inflation was likely to be 2 million percent in May 2008 and 10–15 million percent in June 2008, according to John Robertson, a respected Zimbabwean economist. Robertson estimated inflation in July 2008 to be 40–50 million percent. Inflation can only be estimated because of the impossibility of following the cost of individual goods.
According to Central Statistical Office statistics, annual inflation rate rose to 231 million percent in July 2008. The month-on-month rate rose to 2,600.2%. By December 2008, annual inflation was estimated at 650 million googol percent (6.5 × 10108 percent), equivalent to a daily inflation rate of 96%.
As predicted by the quantity theory of money, this hyperinflation has been caused primarily by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's choice to mushroom the money supply.
Since February 2009, following a period of hyperinflation and widespread rejection of the devalued currency, companies and individuals are permitted to transact domestic business in other currencies, such as the US$ or the South African rand. In consequence, the Zimbabwean economy has undergone dollarisation and the Zimbabwean dollar has fallen out of everyday use.
On 16 February 2006, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, announced that the government had printed ZW$20.5 trillion in order to buy foreign currency to pay off IMF arrears. In early May 2006, Zimbabwe's government announced that they would produce another ZW$60 trillion. The additional currency was required to finance the recent 300% salary increase for soldiers and policemen and 200% increase for other civil servants. The money was not budgeted for the current fiscal year, and the government did not say where it would come from. On 29 May, Reserve Bank officials told IRIN that plans to print about ZW$60 trillion (about US$592.9 million at official rates) were briefly delayed after the government failed to secure foreign currency to buy ink and special paper for printing money.
In late August 2006, it was reported that about ZW$10 trillion old dollars (22% of the money supply) had not been exchanged for revalued dollars. These bearer cheques were demonetised.
On 27 June 2007, it was announced that central bank governor Gideon Gono had been ordered by President Robert Mugabe to print an additional Z$1 trillion to cater for civil servants' and soldiers' salaries that were hiked by 600% and 900% respectively.
On 30 August 2007, it was reported that an additional ZW$3 trillion had been printed to pay for 500,000 scotch carts and 800,000 ox-drawn ploughs plus an unspecified number of cattle.
On 3 September 2007, it was reported that the black market in Zimbabwe is once again booming despite price controls. People who previously were employed for US$11 (Z$2 Million) a month are now able to turn as much as US$166 (ZW$30 Million) just through black market trading.
On 24 November 2007, it was reported that money supply was now $58 trillion revalued Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD) ($41 million US at parallel rates). However, Zimbabwe banks could only account for Z$1-2 trillion of those dollars, meaning that members of the public were holding Z$56-57 trillion in cash.
On 4 January 2008, it was reported that money supply had been increased by Z$33 trillion to Z$100 trillion revalued Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD). Further, the demonetisation of the Z$200,000 bearer cheques was put on hold, thus increasing the money supply.
The planned issue of additional banknotes (denominations of Z$1, Z$5, and Z$10 Million) on 18 January 2008 will increase the money supply by an unknown amount.
On 21 January 2008, it was reported, by Gideon Gono, that the money supply had been increased to Z$170 trillion since the middle of December. Further, Gono expected it to reach $800 trillion by 28 January 2008.
On 1 March 2008, it was reported that documents obtained by The Sunday Times show the Munich company Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) was receiving more than €500,000 (£382,000) a week for delivering bank notes equivalent to Z$170 trillion a week.
According to a source at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, G&D was delivering 432,000 sheets of banknotes every week to Fidelity printers in Harare, where they were stamped with the denomination. Each sheet contains 40 notes and the current production is entirely in Z$10 million notes. On 1 July 2008, Giesecke & Devrient responded to pressure from the German government by suspending production of bank notes for Zimbabwe.
In the Guardian, on 18 July 2008, a report on Zimbabwe's inflation, said that an egg costs Z$50 billion (GBP 0.17, USD 0.32), and it showed adverts for prizes of Z$100 trillion in a Zimbabwean derby and Z$1.2 quadrillion ($1,200,000,000,000,000.00: approx. £2,100; $4,200) in a lottery. It also showed a monthly war pension currently is Z$109 billion (37 pence, 74¢), shops can only cash cheques if the customer writes double the amount, because the cost will go up by the time the cheque has cleared, and people can only withdraw a maximum of Z$100 billion from cashpoints.
On 23 July 2008, an Austro-Hungarian company based in Vienna confirmed that it is providing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with the licences and software required to design and print Zimbabwe currency. The company, named Jura JSP, said it would consider ending its supply of licences and software if the European Union required it to do so. Without the licences and software, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe may be unable to print notes in larger denominations than are already in circulation.
On 24 July 2008, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that "appropriate measures are being put in place to address the current setbacks being faced on the currency front, as well as on financial and accounting systems." It promised that in "the next few days" it would institute changes to the minimum cash withdrawal limits and IT systems' constraints. Currently, the government limits cash withdrawals to ZW$100 billion per day, which is less than the cost of a loaf of bread. IT systems cannot handle such large numbers; the automated teller machines for one major bank give a "data overflow error" and freeze customers attempt to withdraw money with so many zeros. That same day, the Institute of Commercial Management reported that ZW$1.2 trillion is worth the same as one British pound.
From January to December 2008, the money supply growth rose from 81,143% to 658 billion percent.
|July||August||September||November||December||21 January||28 January||March||June|
|Money supply||4.5×1013 ZWD||4.5×1010 ZWN||3.5×1010 ZWN||5.8×1013 or|
6.7×1013 ZWN
|1×1014 ZWN||1.7×1014 ZWN||8×1014 ZWN||2.5×1016 ZWN||≥ 9×1017 ZWN|
The use of foreign currencies was legalised in January 2009, causing general consumer prices to stabilise again after years of hyperinflation and price speculation. The move led to a sharp drop in the usage of the Zimbabwean dollar, as hyperinflation rendered even the highest denominations worthless.
On 2 February 2009 the Zimbabwean dollar was redenominated once more, at the ratio of 1 000 000 000 000 (1012) ZWR to 1 ZWL. The third dollar was expected to be demonetised on 1 July 2009, but the complete abandonment of local currency was hastened by the decline in overall consumer usage of local currency in favour of other currencies, helped by the legalisation of the use of hard currencies in January 2009.
The dollar was effectively abandoned as an official currency on 12 April 2009 when the Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma confirmed the suspension of the national currency for at least a year, but exchange rates with the Zimbabwean dollar were maintained for up to a year afterwards. The current government of Zimbabwe said that the Zimbabwean currency should only be reintroduced if the industrial output was 60% or more of its capacity, compared to the April 2009 average of 20%.
In 1980, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar. The 1 cent coin was struck in bronze, with the others struck in cupro-nickel. In 1989, bronze-plated steel replaced bronze. A 2 dollar coin was introduced in 1997. In 2001, nickel-plated steel replaced cupro-nickel in the 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 dollar, and a bimetallic 5 dollar coin was introduced.
Plans by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, for new Z$5,000 and Z$10,000 coins were announced in June 2005. However, the coins never appeared.
All old coins dating from the first dollar were reintroduced at face value to the third dollar in Aug 2008, effectively increasing their value 10 trillion-fold, and new $10 and $25 coins were introduced. These coins were minted in 2003 but only issued with the redenomination.
The banknotes of the Zimbabwean dollar were issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2009. Up to 2003 regular banknotes were issued but as hyperinflation developed from 2003, the Reserve Bank issued short-lived emergency travelers cheques, which were then quickly superseded by time-limited Bearer Cheques, in denominations ranging from $5 000 to $20 000 in 2003, then up to $100 000 dollars by early-2006.
On 1 August 2006, new Bearer cheques with thirteen denominations ranging from 1¢ to $100 000 were issued following the first redenomination of the dollar, superseding the regular banknotes by 21 August 2006 and until August 2008. Bearer cheques of 5,000 dollars (dated 1 February 2007) and 50,000 (dated 1 March 2007) were issued in March 2007, followed by cheques of 200,000 (dated 1 August 2007) in August 2007. Subsequently, Gideon Gono of the RBZ announced on 19 December 2007 that new bearer cheques (Z$250,000; Z$500,000; and Z$750,000) had been produced and would be released on 20 December. Additionally, the current high value bearer cheques (Z$200,000) would be demonetised as of 1 January 2008. However, due to ongoing problems, plans to demonetise this note were put on hold at the end of December.
Since the Zimbabwean dollar was revalued in August 2006, there were repeated discussions and proposals regarding a further revaluation. As early as the beginning of 2007 it appeared that a revaluation was planned with new banknote designs being commissioned. New plans were announced in October 2007 They were initially postponed until 2008 before, in November 2007, the revaluation was described as "imminent" and would remove as many as four zeros from the currency and would be called Sunrise 2. However, on 18 December 2007, it was reported that a further printing of the current Z$200,000 bearer cheques had been produced, seemingly instead of revaluing. Further new issues of bearer cheques have since taken place.
At a press conference on 16 January 2008, reserve bank Governor Gono stated that "With effect from Friday (January 18), the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is releasing the following bearer cheques into circulation: one million dollars (officially worth about US$33/22 euros but worth about 50c at the parallel rate), five million dollars and 10 million dollars." He continued, "...daily cash withdrawals have been increased from the current Z$50 million to Z$500 million per individual." Less than a month after announcing a similar move, Gono said the new notes would provide much needed relief to consumers who often have to go shopping with sacks of cash.
The Zim Independent and Zim Online reported on 4 April 2008 that 25 and 50 million dollar bearer cheques were issued on 4 April. The RBZ also increased the maximum withdrawal limit for individuals to $5 billion a day. On 6 May 100 million dollar and 250 million dollar bearer cheques were issued and the official exchange rate was floated to counter black market speculation. 10 days later, the RBZ announced that 500 million dollar bearer cheques and special agro cheques in the amounts of 5, 25, and 50 billion dollars would be issued were to be issued on 20 May.
On 14 July 2008 Giesecke & Devrient ceased supplying bank note paper to Fidelity Printers & Refiners, the Zimbabwean government-owned company that printed Zimbabwean currency. Virtually incessant use of the currency-printing presses had caused many of the machines to break down, and repair parts were no longer being shipped to Zimbabwe to repair the machines. The Reserve Bank issued the $100 billion Agro Cheque on 21 July, which were printed prior to the suspension.
On 30 July 2008 the RBZ announced a new currency, effective 1 August 2008, removing 10 zeros from the monetary value, by "a factor of 1 to 10". Banknotes in the denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $100 and $500 were introduced and replaced bearer cheques and agro cheques by 31 December 2008. However, the familiar cycle of printing ever higher denomination notes to keep up with inflation continued despite redenomination. A $1,000 banknote was introduced by the RBZ on 19 September 2008, and ten days later, as the unofficial exchange rate surpassed 270,000 ZWD to the US dollar, it issued new notes in the denominations of $10,000 and $20,000. A $50,000 banknote was released on 13 October 2008, followed by $100,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000 denominations announced on 3 November. The daily cash withdrawal limit was raised for individuals to Z$500,000 from Z$50,000 and for select companies it went up to $1 million. Banknotes valued at $10 million, $50 million and $100 million were issued as the withdrawal limit was increased to $100 million per week on 4 December 2008. Scarcely four days later, on 8 December, the RBZ issued a $200 million banknote, and introduced a $500 million note on 12 December, worth approximately US$8 at the time. In little over half a year, the billion denomination returned, with the RBZ issuing banknotes of $1 billion, $5 billion, and $10 billion on 19 December.
Amid the continuing hyperinflation that rendered the currency virtually worthless, spurring the increasing dollarisation of the economy, the RBZ issued another set of new notes in denominations of $20 billion and $50 billion to be released 12 January. Stepping up another order of magnitude, the Reserve Bank introduced trillion-denominated notes for the first time, unveiling banknotes valued at $10 trillion, $20 trillion, $50 trillion, and $100 trillion on 16 January, which were supposed to help citizens still in formal employment to withdraw a full month's worth of salary by showing a corresponding payslip. As even these notes became increasingly worthless, a media campaign was launched in South Africa using the notes as printing paper.
On 2 February 2009 the dollar was revalued once more, this time in the ratio of 1:1012, and new banknotes of the fourth dollar, with seven denominations from $1 to $500, were issued. These banknotes circulated alongside the third dollar until the abandonment of the dollar on 12 April 2009.
This table shows a condensed history of the foreign exchange rate of the Zimbabwean Dollars to one US Dollar:
|First dollar||Second dollar||Third dollar|
† Due to the December 2007 banknote shortage, funds transferred via Electronic Funds Transfer Systems (EFTS) bore a premium rate of about $4 million, while the cash transaction rate varied around $2 million.
‡ Exchange rate was 20,000,000 for large amounts.
The third dollar rates above are OMIR. The cash rate differs significantly to the above rates. The table below is the cash rate of the third dollar history:
|Month||ZWR per USD|
|Sept 2008||1 000|
|Oct 2008||90 000|
|Nov 2008||1 200 000|
|Mid Dec 2008||60 000 000|
|End Dec 2008||2 000 000 000|
|Mid Jan 2009||1 000 000 000 000|
|2 February 2009||300 000 000 000 000|
The first dollar devalued from 0.6788 R$ to 1 US$ in 1978 to roughly half a million per US$ in 2006, when the currency is revalued.
This table shows in more detail the historical value of one U.S. dollar in Zimbabwean dollars:
|Exchange rates of the first dollar (ZWD)|
|Date||Official Rate||Parallel Rate||Notes|
|1978||R$0.6788 (Apr)||n/a||R$ pegged to US$|
|1980||R$0.68 (Mar)||n/a||R$ tied to basket of FRF, DEM, ZAR, CHF, GBP, USD|
|18 April 1980 – Independence (1 Z$ = 1 R$)|
|1982||0.8925 to 0.9140 (Dec)||–||ZWD devalued by 16.5%|
|1983||0.96135 (Jan)||up to 3.18 (July)||ZWD devalued by 5%|
Parallel rate highly variable — premium up to 231%
|1983 (Aug) to 1993 (Dec)||0.96135 – 6.82||Flexible basket; dual rates; 20% tax on outgoing payments|
|1994||6.82 (Jan)||8.36 (Oct)||Floating official rate (1 July) ; dual rates; ZWD devalued by 17%|
|1995||8.26 (Jan)||8.85 (Oct)||floating official rate; dual rates; rates unified 1998 (Dec)|
|1996||9.13 (Jan)||10.52 (Oct)|
|1997||10.50 (Jan)||12.00 (Jan); 25.00 (Nov)|
|1998||18.00 (Jan)||16.65 (Jun); 19.00 (Jul); 23.50|
|1999||36.23 (Jan)||38.30 (Sep)||On 31 March 1999, the Official Exchange Rate was pegged at ZWD 38 per USD; the parallel market had re-emerged by December 1999.|
|2000||38 to 55||56 to 62 (Jul); 65 to 70 (Aug.)||In August 2000, the Official Exchange Rate was pegged at ZWD 50, then ZWD 51 and finally at ZWD 55 per USD; parallel black market rates were at a large premium; in November, foreign exchange bureaus were closed.|
|2001||55||70 (Jan); 80 (Feb); 100 (Mar); 120 (Apr); 140 (May); 160 (Jun); 250 (Jul); 300 (Aug); 400 (Sep); 300 (Oct); 320 (Nov); 340 (Dec)||In June, the official rate became a crawling peg rate.|
|2002||55||380 (Jan) to 710 (Jun), 1400 (Jul) to 1740 (Oct) to 1400 (Dec)||In 2002 the parallel black market for foreign exchange mushroomed.|
|2003||55 (Jan); 824 (Feb)||1400 (Jan); 1450 (Feb); 2300 (May); 3000 (Jul); 6000 (Aug); 6400 (Oct); 6000 (Nov)||In February 2003, the Official Exchange Rate was re-pegged at ZWD 824 per US $|
|2004||824 (1 January); 4196 (12 January) to 5730 (Dec)||5500 (1 January) to 6000 (Dec)||In January 2004, semiweekly (RBZ-controlled) currency auctions were set up to determine the official rate.|
|2005||5,730 (January); 6,200 (March); 9,000 (May); 10,800 (18 July); 17,600 (25 July); 24,500 (25 August); 26,003 (September); 26,003 (October); 60,000 (Nov); 84,588 (30 December)||6,400 (January); 14,000 (March); 20,000 (May); 25,000 (18 July); 45,000 (25 July); 45,000 (25 August); 75,000 (September); 80,000 to 100,000 (October); 90,000 (Nov); 96,000 (30 December)||24 August: Zimbabwean dollar becomes least valued currency unit|
|In November 2005, the regular currency auctions were discontinued and the RBZ announced that "market factors" would control the exchange rate.|
|2006 (to 31 July)||85,158 (3 January); 99,201.58 (24 January); 101,195.54 (28 April)||100,000 (6 January); 106,050 (19 January); 115,000 (20 January); 125,000 to 150,000 (25 January); 175,000 to 190,000 (24 February); 205,000 to 220,000 (3 March); 220,000 to 230,000 (13 April); 300,000 to 310,000 (25 May); 315,000 (9 June); 340,000 to 350,000 (16 June); 400,000 (21 June); 450,000 (1 July); 520,000 (9 July); 550,000 (27 July)||Economists predict an unofficial rate of nearly ZWD 250,000 to the US dollar by mid-2006.|
|24 January – RBZ caps daily variance of official exchange rate based on volume traded. The ZWD is able to fluctuate (from its average rate) in a daily band of: 0% (under USD 5 million); 1% (USD 5 to 10 million); 1.5% (USD 10 to 15 million); or 2% (exceeds USD 15 million). This effectively froze the official exchange rate.|
The second dollar started off on 1 August 2006 with an official rate of 250 and a parallel rate of 550 to the US$. In July 2008 the dollar was revalued again, this time 10,000,000,000 2nd dollars became 1 3rd dollar, after the parallel rate reached 500 billion to 1 US$.
More detailed data can be found in the table below :
|Exchange rates of the second dollar (ZWN)|
|2006||August||250 (250,000 old)||550 (1 August); 650 (3 August); 650 to 700 (24 August)||1 August: RBZ revalues the Zim dollar. 1,000 Old Zim dollars become 1 revalued Zim dollar. The official exchange rate is set to 250 revalued Zim dollars per 1 US dollar. (Parallel rate soars to over 600 revalued dollars per 1 US dollar)|
1,500 (12 October);
3,000 (25 December)
7,500 (1st) 8,000 (2nd); 10,000 (8th); 11,000 (11th); 12,000 – 17,500 (16th); 16,000 (19th); 20,000 (21st); 24,000 (22nd); 25,000 (27th); 26,000 (29th)
|Zimbabwean dollar becomes least valued currency unit around 21 March; In March, the parallel rate becomes extremely erratic, with reported rates varying significantly.|
(15,000 special rate)
|A "special rate" of 15,000 ZWD per USD was brought in on 26 April 2007. The improved exchange rate will be applied to miners, farmers, tour operators, non-governmental organisations, embassies, Zimbabweans living abroad that repatriate earnings, and others who generate foreign exchange. Exporters will be required to exchange money at the central bank to receive the better rate.|
|September||30,000||Official exchange rate was changed to 30,000 on 7 September 2007|
|December||Due to the Dec 2007, banknote shortage, funds transferred via Electronic Funds Transfer Systems (EFTS) bore a premium rate of about $4 million, while the cash transaction rate varied around $2 million.|
The Old Mutual Implied Rate (OMIR) is calculated by dividing the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange price of the Old Mutual share by the London Stock Exchange Price for the same share. The answer is the Old Mutual Implied Rate for the Pound. Then a cross rate calculation is done for the USD rate.
69,226,148.58 (OMIR for 17th)
30,000 (to 4 May);
190,000,000 (1st); 200,000,000 (6th); 250,000,000 (13th); 315,000,000 (16th); 498,000,000 (22nd); 494,000,000 (23rd); 580,000,000 (28th); 703,000,000 (29th); 777,500,000 (30th) 
|The official exchange rate was allowed to float 6 May|
647,863,191.18 (2nd); 718,489,852.94 (3rd); 843,884,558.82 (4th); 969,647,058.82 (5th); 1,105,887,222.22 (6th); 1,365,130,333.33 (9th); 1,679,946,944.44 (10th); 2,150,078,888.89 (11th); 2,904,111,111.11 (12th); 3,524,549,987.29 (13th); 4,276,736,111.11 (16th); 4,952,500,000.00 (17th); 5,817,192,485.76 (18th); 6,718,055,555.56 (19th); 7,437,184,423.78 (20th); 8,260,031,632.83 (23rd); 9,005,149,886.88 (24th); 9,801,839,921.51 (25th); 10,594,701,303.45 (26th); 11,378,472,550.24 (30th) 
971,500,000 (1st); 1,123,000,000 (3rd); 1,221,500,000 (4th); 1,964,500,000 (5th); 2,159,000,000 (6th); 2,691,588,425 (7th); 3,139,382,641 (9th); 4,605,736,200 (10th); 5,090,337,736 (11th); 5,137,128,498 (12th); 6,412,613,315 (13th); 7,512,863,828 (16th); 9,288,500,000 (17th); 13,999,000,000 (18th); 17,743,015,150 (19th); 20,269,600,000 (21st); 22,952,543,340 (23rd); 22,835,153,651 (24th); 32,603,770,511 (26th); 40,928,000,000 (30th)
967,480,942 (OMIR for 2nd); 1,746,899,809 (OMIR for 3rd); 3,047,030,834 (OMIR for 4th); 
16,044,776,323 (OMIR for 19th); 17,039,490,724 (OMIR for 20th); 34,910,587,875 (OMIR for 23rd); 78,479,941,887 (OMIR for 24th); 62,024,868,786 (OMIR for 25th); 64,575,990,281 (OMIR for 26th); 164,312,344,622 (OMIR for 30th)
142,024,433,315 (OMIR for 1st);
In the final months before Zimbabwe's central bank reforms of 30 April 2008, virtually all popular currency conversion resources relied upon the official rate of 30,000 ZWD to 1 USD for published figures, in spite of the vast differences between that and free market rates. By 23 May 2008, Bloomberg and Oanda began publishing floating rates based on Zimbabwe's formally regulated domestic bank market, while Yahoo Finance started using the updated official rate in July, albeit with a decimal point shift of 6 places. Those reported rates generally reflected the Official Rate as shown in the above table. They soon began to differ, in overvaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar, increasingly substantially in comparison to less regulated markets such as offshore markets or paper cash freely traded on the streets of Harare, reflected above as Parallel Rates.
On 1 August 2008, ten zeroes were removed from the currency, reducing 10 billion Zimbabwean dollars to one dollar. On 3 October 2008, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe suspended temporarily the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, halting electronic parallel market transfers, but it was reinstated on 13 November 2008.
After being introduced on 1 August 2008, the third dollar continued to devalue.
An overview of the exchange rate data can be found in the table below :
|Exchange rates of the third dollar (ZWR)|
(Sources: † /
|Old Mutual Implied Rate|
40.53 †; 51 ‡ (1st);
|1 August: The Reserve Bank revalued the dollar again: 10 billion ZWN (or 10 trillion ZWD) becomes 1 ZWR.|
2,000 †; 2,498 ‡ (1st);
790,510 ‡; 1,000,000 (1st)
Electronic bank transfers (RTGS) were suspended by the Reserve Bank on the 3rd.
12,405,270,255,015 (3rd am)
|The Reserve Bank lifted the suspension on the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) on 13 November|
As of 26 November newspaper reports stated the RTGS was still not operational, and part of the reason was that the Zimbabwean Government had not paid the company responsible for fitting the system.
2,000,000 (cash)‡ (2nd)
35,000,000,000,000,000 (1st) – UN Rate
On 2 February 2009, the RBZ removed 12 zeros from the currency, with 1,000,000,000,000 (third) Zimbabwe dollars being exchanged for 1 new (fourth) dollar. Although the dollar was later abandoned on 12 April 2009, exchange rates were maintained at reasonable intervals for some time.
|Exchange rates of the fourth dollar (ZWL)|
|Date||Official rate||Parallel rate||United Nations rate|
22.00 (3rd); 24.51 (4th)
99.67 (2nd); 103.29 (3rd)
221.29 (1st); 225.83 (2nd)
|12 April: Zimbabwe Dollar suspended.|
315.23 (4th); 319.13 (5th)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Money of Zimbabwe.|
Reason: independence recognised
Ratio: at par
|Currency of Zimbabwe|
18 April 1980 – 12 April 2009
Note: 1st dollar (ZWD): 18 April 1980 to 21 August 2006
2nd dollar (ZWN or 1 000 ZWD): 1 August 2006 to 31 December 2008
3rd dollar (ZWR or 1010 ZWN): 1 August 2008 to 12 April 2009
4th dollar (ZWL or 1012 ZWR) 2 February 2009 to 12 April 2009
Reason: hyperinflation, resulting in the suspension of local currency
Ratio: none—currency abandoned