Zimbabwe is in a period of hyperinflation. At the time of independence in
1980, one Zimbabwean dollar was worth US$1.50. Since then, rampant inflation
and the collapse of the economy have severely devalued the currency.
In the August 2006 currency reform, 1 new dollar was exchanged for 1,000 old
dollars. The highest denomination was then 1000 new dollars.
Due to continued runaway inflation, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released
into circulation on December 20, 2007 three high denomination bearer checks,
$250,000, $500,000 and $750,000.
On January 1, 2008, the bank released, for the first time, million dollar
bearer checks, $1,000,000, $5,000,000 and $10,000,000.
On April 4, 2008, the bank introduced $25,000,000 and $50,000,000 bearer
On May 15, 2008, the bank introduced a new $500 million bearer check, and
special agricultural checks in $5 billion, $25 billion and
$50 billion denominations for farmers.
On July 19, 2008, the bank released a new $100 billion agro check. The new
note is equal to just one U.S. dollar. With inflation running officially at
2.2 million per cent (actual rate closer to 12.5 million per cent), $100
billion can not even buy a loaf of bread. It can only buy four oranges.
On August 1, 2008, Zimbabwe issued new bank notes, knocking 10 zeros off the
dollar and revalued a 10 billion dollar note to equal one zimdollar.
Currency revaluation did not slow down hyperinflation. The highest
denomination of the revalued currency jumped to $100 trillion by January
On February 2, 2009, the bank announced dropping 12 zeros in another
currency revaluation: 1 trillion dollars for 1 new dollar.
In April, 2009 Zimbabwe suspended the use of the Zimbabwe dollar for at
least a year following the legalization of foreign currencies (most notably the
United States dollar and South African rand).