The Zimbabwean dollar (sign: $, or Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies) was the name of the four official currencies of Zimbabwe from 1980 until 12 April 2009. It experienced periods of extremely high inflation during this time, followed by a period of hyperinflation.
The Zimbabwean dollar was created in 1980 to directly replace the Rhodesian dollar (which had been introduced in 1970) at par (1:1), with a similar value to the US dollar. The dollar operated as a regular currency in the 20th century, but Zimbabwe's hyperinflation in the early 21st century made the Zimbabwean dollar one of the lowest valued currency units in the world. Three times, in 2006, 2008, and 2009, it was redenominated, producing banknotes with denominations as high as $100 trillion. The last redenomination resulted in the "fourth dollar" (ZWL), which was equivalent to 1025 ZWD.
On April 12, 2009, the Zimbabwean dollar's use as an official medium of exchange was formally discontinued. It was demonetized in 2015, with outstanding accounts able to be reimbursed until 30 April 2016. In place of the Zimbabwean dollar, currencies including the South African rand, Botswana pula, pound sterling, Indian rupee, euro, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Chinese yuan, and the United States dollar were used.
On 24 June 2019, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe abolished the multiple-currency system and replaced it with a new Zimbabwe dollar (the RTGS Dollar), which was the only official currency in the country between June 2019 and March 2020, after which numerous foreign currencies were authorized again.
The Rhodesian dollar, which served as the Zimbabwean dollar's forerunner, was roughly equivalent to half of the value of the pound sterling at the time of its adoption (during the decimalization of 1970). Other Commonwealth nations like South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand used a similar procedure. The selection of the name was influenced by the fact that the reduced value of the new unit correlated more closely to the value of the US dollar than to the pound sterling.
The main illustration on the obverse of all of the banknotes was the Chiremba Balancing Rocks in Epworth, Harare, which was used as a metaphor demonstrating the importance of balancing development and the preservation of the fragile environment. The reverse side of dollar notes often illustrated the culture or landmarks of Zimbabwe.
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