Zimbabwe's Novel Currency

Zimbabwe’s currency has been essentially worthless in-country for months. Now the Zimbabwe dollar is officially worth more on eBay, where collectors can snap up a few trillion-dollar notes for less than $25. Technically, a currency exchange would give you 37 million Zimbabwe dollars for every U.S. dollar, but since Zimbabwe’s government recently suspended its currency altogether, you probably shouldn’t bother. They’re worth far more as novelty items. (HT: Paul D) [%comments]


Björn

I just bought a 100 trillion dollar bill from zimbabwe on ebay for about 5 US dollars. Lots of money doesnt buy happiness, i know that now, at least the zimbabwean kind.

Ray Ray

I have an old Monopoly board with game pieces, but the play money has dwindled over the years... it's not really enough for four players.

Now I think I'll just order a few Trillion on ebay and play a little game of Zimbabwe Billionaire Monopoly!

Might be cheaper than a nice set of poker chips too... Zimbabwe Billionaire Poker!

Chris

Did you just increase the novelty value a little more?

Steve

I was at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia (by Victoria Falls) this past June. The lead item being hawked to the people walking the bridge between the countries was large-denomination Zimbabwean currency, so even the locals were well aware of the novelty value of all of those zeroes.

Brendan

While stationed in Afghanistan about six years ago, I bought a lot of the local currency from peddlers who sold them to coalition troops as a novelty. The exchange rate at the bazaar seemed to favor those on my end of the transaction, and I assumed that the US dollar was valued more highly than its economic value due to its relative stability. For a while, I thought about making a little money on this transaction, but I soon discovered that the banknotes I bought were discontinued notes issued by the Taliban and replaced by the new government, and were literally worthless on the economy. Still, I wound up with a nifty collection and a much needed hobby for my down time.

Eric M. Jones

The largest denomination banknote ever circulated was the 1946 Hungarian 100 quintillion Pengo note... (100,000,000,000,000,000,000, or 10E20). This was worth 20 US cents. So Zimbabwe's currency is on very solid ground in comparison.

Ben

I just bid on one too........ ah, the magic of the internets

Ausman

It's so sad. Zimbabwe was once the shining jewel in Africa. Shame.

EthicalBob

I too wanted increase my net-worth (and did it the "Ebay way!") Now my buddy's band is "huge in canada" and I'm a "hundred trillionare in Zimbabwe"... Somehow I doubt I'll make the list in Forbes, though.

cory

I actually thought about this a while ago as a way of actually trying to help their economy. It pulls the inflationary dollars out of the system (to an incredibly small degree I realize) and gets money to people who likely need it quite a bit. Definitely small scale charity but I bet that doesn't matter much to the people in Zimbabwe. Its like a small scale kind of perverse forex.

Jo

A friend went to Zimbabwe over Christmas and brought back a $1 note for me.

My question is: Given that higher-denomination notes appear to be more common, is one Zimbabwean dollar worth more than one hundred million of them, on an exchange such as eBay?

Nyarai

I am zimbabwean,it was a huge problem for us even to keep up with our currency.it is a shame though bcoz its such a beautiful country.

Victor Thomas

Rhodesia was a wonderful country! It's a pity to remember when the Rhodesian $1 was worth more than a US$1, and could buy a decent meal in Harare.

Now, our land's currency is the butt of South African toilet tissue jokes!

Bring back relatively free markets, the rule of law, especially equal protection under the law, and the country could improve substantially in another generation.

osmiumm

For Goodness Sake!
Can't anyone say "communism" ??
That is exactly what destroyed Zimbabwe. And it is destroying every other country in the world. Can any honest, objective person look at the policies of Barack Obama and not label them as clearly communistic? And the USA is still one of the last partial bastions of freedom. But the partial freedom in the USA is slipping away fast, just like it did in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. Just look at how many countries there are where you can't even own land or a gun. Freedom will disappear from Earth for the next 400 years. Alas!

murithi jediel

As i visited a Zibamwean game reserve,i was amazed to exchange trillions of zibambwean currency from my few Kenyan notes.But why?Economic reforms need to be carried out by Zibambean government.By focusing on their injections in bussiness cycle and improving on regional trade,such currency devaluation shall lessen.I believe my next trip five years to come shall be different,or else should there be need taking with me 100 Kenyan note?Obviously, i might have excess for mt trip.