Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coin Values, Inflation, and Zimbabwe

I recently stumbled across a blog talking about how the value of pennies in copper is well over it's actual denominated 1 cent value. Very interesting. But before you get visions of riches, it's also illegal to melt them down as of 2006. That law however does not apply to foreign coins, so I'm looking around right now actually to see whether any other nations have a similar problem, as my money making sense is tingling a bit.

Anyways, this had me reading into all sorts of foreign currencies, and I stumbled across the wonderful story of Zimbabwe. For those of you not in the know, Zimbabwe is a prime example of rampant hyperinflation, or put another way; It's what happens when a government decides they can just print more money if they want to pay for something. The levels this reached really are rather unbelievable, as this picture may demonstrate:


That picture right there shows a 100 billion dollar zimbabwean note, along with how many eggs it could buy you at the time of printing. I recall seeing a story on BBC about this when it was at its height, and they showed a man walking around with a wheelbarrow full of trillions of zimbabwean dollars. My Dad cracked: "The funny thing is, that wheelbarrow is worth more than the money it's carrying. Anyone stealing it would dump the money on the ground and run off with just the wheelbarrow." I laughed at the time, but it was pretty much true.

So yeah, just an amusing story of sorts, although I can only imagine the hell it wreaked on Zimbabwe as a country. I believe they stopped printing money after releasing some 100 trillion dollar bills...

Unfortunately, from a money making perspective, they essentially switched completely to a paper currency, and the availability of the coins is low, as well as their metal value. Oh well.

35 comments:

  1. Man, would be nice to have that much money in actualy US dollars XD

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  2. 100 billion dollars?! WOAH!
    but seriously, i agree, its a pretty fucked up world.
    The country was doing better when the white guys ruled it. Im not being racist, but if you look at their history...

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  3. 100 billion omg

    Haha nice post dude

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  4. i wrote an article about this along time ago, its insane
    business

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  5. I remember hearing of this in my economics class. Inflation was so bad they stopped pricing things because by the time you rung it up, the price had changed.

    I can only hope Ron Paul can remind the Fed that money actually means something before the US winds up any worse.

    http://robertfunf.blogspot.com/

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  6. Maybe I'll move abroad and become a copper smelter :D

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  7. 33 Billion for an egg! No wonder they go hungry... The sad thing is that the US dollar is destined to a similar fate. I wish the world could be run properly.

    This is my kind of blog. I'll be following.

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  8. hahah nice idea, but isnt it against the law to take a lot of money out of its country?

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  9. @Greenluigi123

    It may be in some countries, but I don't think there's any sort of blanket rule covering every country out there. The real issue is getting your hands on the local currency without actually going there. Even if I had a thousand dollars to drop on copper coins from Zaire, how am I going to actually get that much? And get it here for a reasonable cost.

    Idk if it's really possible, but eh, I figured it might be interesting to look into it. Slow day.

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  10. Holy cow, I knew the inflation in Zimbabwe was bad. But not THIS bad! :O

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  11. 100 billion, ok then! And yeah I guess the wheelbarrow would've been more valuable. Good post

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  12. I'd recommend purchasing small amounts of precious metals and saving them, especially silver. One day when you're an old man and demand is through the roof, you can pawn the silver and reap the gold =D, assuming our current economic system is still functioning by that point

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  13. Isn't it like 2 USD = 13 trillion zimbabwe dollars?

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  14. hmmmm.....maybe because my country neighbors Zim I could get my hand on some coins.

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  15. Damn I wanna melt down my coppers so bad.

    Great blog, interesting and well written. Looking forward to future posts, followed.

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  16. corruption is rampant in Zimbabwe

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  17. I remember watching this on the news too. We've had some pretty good cracks about this one in class, eh? But that is impressive that something in the U.S. is actually worth less than it's actual value. That seems to never happen, and I'm sure you can see that with our current economy.

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  18. Wow, I guess everyone is rich in that country.

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  19. My head hurts when I try to imagine all those zeros

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  20. I heard they have a trillion dollar bill now, people are buying it as souvenirs instead of its actual currency worth.

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  21. Hah a read about this, apparently some stands were selling them to tourists I guess mostly for kicks

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  22. money is a very interesting topic to me! good stuff. supporting :)

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  23. Are they in a competition to see if they can have more useless money than post WWI Germany?

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  24. Mind if I post a link? =D

    http://getrichslowordietrying.blogspot.com/2011/02/ryedale_15.html?showComment=1297999451544#c3568605429403938917

    Good article. I would still like to have the billion zimbabwe dollars if purely for numismatic purposes.

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  25. Not at all. :D I was in a hurry, or I would have linked you directly in the blog post. Was an excellent writeup, and it's what inspired me to write this post. I'd highly recommend your posting to anyone.

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  26. That's what I hope doesn't happen to all the money in the world...

    Followed.

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  27. Holy crap, 100 billion for three eggs?? That's insane.

    You would think the government would understand that you can't just print money without consequences...

    Followin' ya.

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  28. Sounds a bit like the german mark after ww2, people had to use wheelbarrows with cash to go get some groceries!
    Following for more!

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  29. Nice post :) Money is always good to read about

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  30. Wow, makes me want to step in there just so I can say "I'm a trillionaire!"

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  31. Yeah, zimbabwe went through the saem sort of deal that germany had after ww1 - the money was just worth nothing. They had to scrap the currency and start all over again.

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