Saturday, August 6, 2011

Collector News: Zimbabwe "Dollarizes" Monetary System

Not sure exactly what this means for collectors. There hasn't been enough small change in Zimbabwe so consumers have had to accept scrip, tokens, even candy and biscuits as change.
Officials cut a deal with the U.S. to supply U.S. coins to be used as a medium of exchange. Financial institutions and government agencies there have chartered a plane to fetch a cargo of coins from the U.S. -- which in the least sounds like a take-off point for a thriller-action film!
Wondering about the implications. Are older coins from Zimbabwe, many featuring wildlife and other nature themes, now scarce and collectible? What sort of tokens were issued as change? Will there be any counter-stamp on the U.S. coins (no mention so not likely)?
Here's a news story on the subject.

From an older but interesting note on Zimbabwe coinage:
"The 1 Cent coin is no longer produced as they were costing nearly 50 Cents each to make. The 5 Cents is more or less obsolete. Importation of both of these denominations ceased in 1999 and as mentioned earlier, there will not be new version of the 1 and 5 Cents coins. When the new versions of the other coins do appear then likely the older versions (namely the Copper-Nickel pieces) will soon disappear, already an engineering firm buys up old 50 Cent coins, drills holes in them and sells/uses them as washers for nuts & bolts. This is far cheaper than pressing washers from plate metal." The article, here, mentions that, at the time of writing, a single copy of a newspaper cost $20 in Zimbabwe.

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