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Zimbabwe Will Sell You Their Dollars at Five Trillion to One — But They’re Not Worth a Trillionth of That

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Where else do you need to use scientific notation to write a check for a loaf of bread?

by David Sims

THE GOVERNMENT of Zimbabwe is selling 100 trillion Zimbabwe Dollar (ZML) banknotes on Amazon for about US $20 each.

Used as money, this note is not worth the paper that it is printed on. It is, in fact, more valuable as wallpaper or as cigarette rolling paper than as money. It would take three trillion of them (300 trillion trillion ZML) to equal the purchasing power of one US dollar. It is the most worthless currency in the world’s history. If you printed the 3e26 one-ZML notes needed to equal the value of one US dollar, their combined mass would be four times greater than the mass of the moon.

This is the highest denomination of banknote issued for the Fourth Zimbabwe Dollar (ZML), which appeared in February 2009, at which time a single Fourth Zimbabwe Dollar was equal to one trillion Third Zimbabwe Dollars (ZMR). A single Third Zimbabwe Dollar was equal to ten billion Second Zimbabwe Dollars (ZMN). And a single Second Zimbabwe Dollar was equal to 1000 of the First Zimbabwe Dollars (ZMD).

Zimbabwe’s government is hoping that you will think these notes are pretty enough that you will buy them for $20 each.

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Source: David Sims

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For Further Reading

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1 Comment

  1. Walt Hampton
    August 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm — Reply

    I bought one
    several years ago from an online
    collectibles site and payed $4.95
    for of it. Now you say they are
    $20.00? Perhaps the darkies in
    the former Rhodesia are onto
    something. Confederate bills,
    depending on their condition,
    are selling for far more than
    their face value, simply because
    no more are being printed.

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