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Zim govt introduces gold coins which could be a game changer, commitment to multicurrency regime commendable too

Zimbabwe is not trending in the right direction. You could argue that the whole world is struggling too but Zimbabwe was already on this track before the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

We are now working with an inflation rate of 191% year on year. That means prices have almost tripled from this time last year. To be clear, this is not an exchange rate issue, prices have been going up in USD terms as well. The obvious example being cooking oil where 2l cost around $3.50 last year but costs around $7.00 as we speak.

The government and the RBZ are working together to fix the economy. Let us look at the new measures meant to achieve that.

Commitment to multicurrency regime

This was long overdue. For the longest time Zimbabwe’s growth has been upended by uncertainty. The Zimbabwean govt has been famous for changing policies on a whim for years now. 

It was not that long ago when the govt tried to outlaw the use of the USD in the country. Unrelated to the use of multiple currencies we had the bank lending suspension a couple of months ago. 

All these sudden pronouncements made it difficult for anyone to plan for the future and businesses were justified in scaling back on investment and reinvestment.

Now, the govt has chained itself to the multicurrency regime. The law will now provide for the multicurrency regime until 2025. This is a step up from the uncertainty that came every time the govt stressed that we were on course to de-dollarise. 

The govt really has been the chief author of uncertainty in the economy. So, although this is a positive step, we also know that the law can be changed and could that be the case after elections next year? One couldn’t say.

Gold as a store of value

I’m glad that the govt is no longer in denial. They are now acutely aware that the ZW$ is failing because Zimbabweans just don’t trust it, and the govt supporting it by extension. 

The minister of finance acknowledges that the ZW$ collapse comes from lack of confidence, adverse inflation expectations and arbitrage opportunity seeking.

The hyperinflation of the noughties is still fresh in our minds and it will take time before we can view the ZW$ as a store of value. We have turned to the USD for that. 

That is shooting us in the foot though because the average person is competing for limited USD with businesses that need to import to keep providing certain goods and services. So, every dollar banked under a mattress is a dollar that could have been used to fund essential imports.

With this in mind, the govt is providing another store of value that the average citizen should use instead – gold coins. If you are not worried about foreign payments, you don’t really need the USD. You only hoard it to somewhat store value, it’s better than the ZW$ at that but it is losing value itself.

The USD has lost around 83% of its value since 1974. Now the US is experiencing its highest inflation in 40 years and the USD’s rate of decline is accelerating.

Gold on the other hand has been appreciating in the same time frame, up 2692.5% since 1974. 1kg of gold cost around US$2,500 but costs around US$58,500 today. So, if it is a store of value you seek, gold is far superior to fiat currencies like the ZW$ and even the mighty USD.

So, I don’t know if you can tell but this excites me.

How stable will these gold coins be?

The gold coins will be minted by the RBZ owned Fidelity Gold Refineries and all will be able to buy them through normal banking channels. 

That means the govt has control over the supply of the coins. That right there makes some uncomfortable. It is reasonable to assume that the RBZ will mint way too many of these coins, rendering them useless.

That might not be the case if we can trust that they will be gold coins indeed. See, unlike fiat currencies whose value comes from trust in the govt issuing them, gold has its own value independent of the Zimbabwean govt. 

So, if it’s gold, it doesn’t matter how many coins the govt mints, we won’t be holding a large enough number to impact international gold prices. That’s great and only gets better. 

The govt really can’t mint as many coins as they want because they do not have a limitless supply of gold. So, even if they wanted to, they couldn’t. A far cry from 0s and 1s in a computer called ZW$ that have no upper limit. 

I will reiterate again, my excitement is restrained until we can confirm that the coins will be gold coins and not gold coloured coins. 

The gold coins as a currency

If the coins can be had in small denominations I think we will be able to use them as a currency too. I hope that’s the case because to be honest, most of us are not looking to store value in the long term, but rather in the short term. We don’t earn enough to worry about the long term.

We just want to make sure that money set aside for bread, meats and vegetables will still be enough to do that later in the month. You can’t set aside ZW$ for that, hence why we demand the USD.

If the gold coins allow for small purchases we will use them as a currency. If the smallest denomination coin is worth US$100, the gold coins won’t make as much of a dent in USD demand. I have to be able to exchange a coin for a loaf of bread without needing change. If change is needed it will be in USD, meaning USD demand won’t be affected.

Zimbabwe back on the gold standard

The world over, central banks moved away from gold-backed currencies. All preferring the fiat currencies that they can print to their hearts’ content. While Zimbabwe is not moving back to a gold-backed ZW$, the gold coins are actually better than that scenario. 

With gold coins we don’t have to worry about whether or not there really is gold in a vault somewhere. We will be holding the gold in our hands.

So, with the commitment to a multicurrency regime and gold coins, there is something to love in the latest measures taken by the govt to fix the economy.

It’s not all roses though and we shall look at the not so good measures in another article.


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59 thoughts on “Zim govt introduces gold coins which could be a game changer, commitment to multicurrency regime commendable too

  1. LOL, few months later the minted coins will not be available on the market then they create a new note “i promise to pay the bearer on demand” or digital currency that is linked to the coins. Kubirwa kupela

    1. Hahaha, you can’t put that past the Zim govt. “This note is as good as a gold coin, we are working to fix the supply constraints caused by economic hitmen but as soon as we have that sorted, you’ll get your gold coins.”

  2. If it were as you’re dreaming that these will be gold coins that you n your kith n kin like me will hold in their hands then THIS IS IT. But I doubt it will ever be like that. It most probably going to be some phony virtual currency which we will be told is being kept in our bank vaults somewhere exactly like rtgs. I would bet my Last rtgs bond zwl dollar if there ever will be a discussion implying that these “gold coins” actually be real gold or part thereof.
    Also note that Fidelity printers might not be a government entity anymore as there has been massive stripping of public asserts bequeathed unto you and me by the previous Smith Regime!

    1. Yes, that’s the make or break detail. If indeed they are gold coins we are set. If not no one is going to accept them as a store of value.
      Will need to dig into Fidelity ownership. Records say it’s still RBZ owned but you never know.

  3. As long as the Zimbabwean government and its reserve Bank are involved no one will have faith in them. After all they have been consistent in failing to manage money supply growth so how will they excel this time?

    1. If the coins are gold coins then it won’t matter if the RBZ is involved. Gold is valuable the world over and I would have faith in the coins if independent experts assure us they are indeed made of gold. They messed up in controlling money supply but that won’t be possible with gold coins, they have too little of the precious metal to go crazy with the mint.

      1. How bulky would gold coins equivalent to say USD100 be? Methinks they’re not practical. They will just be as in short supply as the bond notes. If you bank them you probably won’t be able to withdraw them due to long queues/shortages. And point of correction, inflation of 191% means prices have almost trebled (not doubled)

        1. Ah thanks, my mistake. 100% increase means double, 200% is trebled. Fixed the error.

          You’re right to have concerns about practicality. I think you’re right that they will be in short supply. We never seem to be able to get the supply right, it’s either we have too much or too little currency. Wew would be naive to expect any different when it comes to gold coins.

  4. I ma trying to figure out what type of coins they will make. How will I pay a dollar for a loaf of bread or 50c for bus fare. The whole coming can’t be gold I assume. Unless maybe they make a dollar coin using normal material and then insert a little gold worth a dollar on it or inside. Damn I don’t know. Our government has done us hard. This can’t be the best solution available.

    1. This coins aren’t meant for daily transactions, if I’m correct, they are just a way to store your money.They are just like the Krugerrand if you have say USD1200 lying around and you don’t intend to use it soon you buy a coin and keep it hoping the value will go up the you sell it maybe a year later when it’s worth USD1500.These coins are meant for the mbingas who don’t what to keep their money as cash.

      1. Exactly. They are meant to be a store of value and I imagine you’re right and they made these coins for themselves these mbingas. However, if they want to reduce our demand for the USD they have to introduce smaller denominations. The average person fueling the informal economy does not have $1000 to store away.

      2. The issue of gold coins is alarming to me , particularly when l think of the rural communities that are already marginalised and exist on the periphery of the RTGS, ZW£ and USD economy, gold coins are going to entrench this marginalisation further. Imagine schools asking for fees in gold coins or peasants given fake gold or coloured gold for their agricultural produce. This measure will not work for the majority, who already have nothing , here they are being pushed further from the opportunity for having something

    2. Do you remember the $2 bond coin from way back that had two alloys. A gold coloured core and a silver coloured outer ring. They could do that but with actual gold in the centre. Just thinking aloud here. They dropped a bomb on us and I can’t wait to see how it will work.

    3. As others have pointed out, this shouldnt be something you can spend at the tuckshop or supermarket. If they follow the Krugerrand formula, the coins will be just over 91% gold. That makes it softer than most jewellery grade alloys. These are something you either hide in your ceiling behind the truss by the chimney, get a safe fitted or you rent a deposit box for. You can then trade them off for actual currency when you need to.

  5. Gold coins !!!.Zim never ceases to amaze ,we had Agro bearer cheques, travellers cheques in the Gono era , now we have decided Gold coins. Lets see how this goes, but as Zimbos i wont be suprised if someone will buy using the rtgs then selling the gold in Dubai at a higher price.

    1. You are spot on. That’s why the whole world is curious about these coins. Gold has a value of its own and it ebbs and flows like any other asset. If they are indeed gold coins, we will be watching the price of gold on the international market and deciding whether to sell them to the highest bidder or to hold on for more price appreciation.
      The govt will have to get their pricing right. Their price/gram has to be more than that on the free market, otherwise we will flock to buy the coins, only to sell them abroad.

  6. Gold coins !!!.Zim never ceases to amaze ,we had Agro bearer cheques, travellers cheques in the Gono era , now we have decided Gold coins. Lets see how this goes, but as Zimbos i wont be suprised if someone will buy using the rtgs then selling the gold in Dubai at a higher price.

  7. Gold coins !!!.Zim never ceases to amaze ,we had Agro bearer cheques, travellers cheques in the Gono era , now we have decided Gold coins. Lets see how this goes, but as Zimbos i wont be suprised if someone will buy using the rtgs then selling the gold in Dubai at a higher price.

      1. Exactly, if they are indeed gold coins it’s a no brainer. Gold is much better than the USD.

        1. That’s a big ‘if’. It is said that the gold coins won’t be accessible for the public to take them out of banks, you buy the coins and have the zim banks keep them for you. When you want your coins you’ll be given usd instead. So basically the Zim govt wants us to start trusting it with our money again.

  8. “That means the govt has control over the supply of the coins. That right there makes some uncomfortable. It is reasonable to assume that the RBZ will mint way too many of these coins, rendering them useless”, mint too many gold coins rendering them useless? Haha what nonsense is this?

    1. My friend, before you try to mock, at least read the following sentence. Some had expressed that concern and I acknowledged that it is reasonable to worry that the RBZ would overdo it on the supply side, like has happened with the ZW$ before.

      I then went on to explain how that won’t be the case because of gold supply constraints, if the coins are indeed made of gold. I also touched on how it didn’t matter if the govt flooded the market with gold coins as it had its own value independent of the Zim govt.

      So, I guess the only nonsense here is the one you’re spewing. Let’s not take stuff out of context guys.

  9. These coins are not for poor or broke people, they are meant for millionaires. Nobody cares if you want to store value for buying tomatoes. Basically the whole thing is supposed to go like this:
    The gvt will set a fixed price for the coin, then people will naturally flock to exchange for them in exchange for the zwd. Now if big companies know and have the confidence that the reserve Bank will always be able to carry out this exchange no matter what then they would reach a point where people really stop exchanging the money for gold because it’s not use walking around with 2 million dollars worth of gold when you can exchange it for a bag of paper with the same value.
    Then big companies will stop burning their zwd balances cause it’s not worth the hassle
    Furthermore confidence will return meaning supermarkets don’t have to keep increasing prices and if ok supermarkets start selling tomatoes for 10 bond each, the musika people will have to follow or they will be forced out of business.

    Another thing, if the central bank only takes the zim dollar as payment for these coins then people will have to burn their USD balances in order to buy the coin. If they don’t print anymore money then there will be a shortage further incrementing the value of the currency, so it will be reverse what it happening now.

    But seeing as how this requires tremendous political will, and if zpf is known for anything it’s definitely not that. So I would hold my breath if I were you.

    But great idea non the less.

    1. There are 2 major flaws in ur theory. The 1st is in assuming companies will have confidence and trust in the govt. The bond is the useless currency it is coz no one has confidence in our govt. The govt itself doesn’t even want to receive bond from us.

      2nd flaw is thinking the so-called gold coin will be sold in bond. The govt will never swap real gold for their monopoly money.

      The Zim govt introduces policies on the fly. Nothing is tabled for national discussion or validation – changes are announced a day before they are implemented.

      1. I am following your line of thought,I had to ask if the gvt demands US$ and learnt that at VID there accept only ETFs. Hence the assumption that gvt may not accept it’s own currency is defeated. It’s about the will and mechanisms put in plc that can actually drive us to stability. Foremost we don’t have to be blinded by sweet talk or mistrust or hatrage but be constructive in aor debates

  10. Seems we got it all minced up.See gold coins are not like your bond coins. These are mainly used as a store of value not for normal daily transactions. They have more like Investment Value. When you get them you can keep them knowing the value is secure. If you are the hand to mouth type you can’t move around with gold.
    So this policy is for the mbigas who are fretting about the millions of US$ in there mansions wjich are losing value each passing day. Not fo the ordinary mbuyas and me and you.

  11. Hmmm. How easy is it going to be say I have stored value in gold coins now I want to use the stored money? Remember we used to deposit money in banks and then fail to withdraw it when we needed it

  12. 1. They will come from all over the world to buy the gold coins, go back and melt the coins to make jewellery. 2. The price of the coin,or, maybe, its value will be mirroring the US dollar price and not the level of the country’s productivity.

    1. I can see collectors coming for them for novelty value first and gold a distant second, but not necessarily gold traders. They have normal gold for that. The value of it will always have the value of gold as its base, so no matter what, once minted it should never be worth less than that.

  13. Zimbabweans we are always negative about everything that comes out of our country and for this we are now condemned the whole world over.

  14. I agree with last comment Zimbabwean are negative about own things or ideas it’s a shame why can’t we help shape the ideas to make this gold coin work us that reject it before it even minted. It’s a share.

    We should be discussing ways to protect the coin and how it could be purchased by ordinary people, and how it can be validated against fraud if used in a trade or exchange of services. If done right the price of gold is priced at international exchange rate. Anyone from any country could use it or sell it as this is real gold. What’s wrong with that idea really?

    1. I like the positivity of your thinking, but if positive talk was all the was needed, the Zimbabwean economy would be booming. From government, ZBC, Herald, RBZ, Eddie Cross, there’s only been positive talk. But, like they say, talk is cheap.

      You need supporting positive action. Unfortunately positive action in Zim is usually for at everyone else’s expense. Land reform was good, but some now have 5 premium farms, whilst you have none. Command agric was good, but some got filthy rich, others got combine harvesters / centre pivots (for free) whilst others struggled to just get a few sacks of fertiliser. Forex auction, some get large sums of money every week whilst other have never received a cent. So, it’s foolhardy to suddenly expect a new idea to suddenly benefit the citizens at large.

      It’s easy to label negative thinkers as haters, if you just plain ignore history.

  15. Thanks for the good article, kana riri goridhe chairo tinenge tapinda but vakasadaro anongori ma funnies samazuva ose

  16. I think your article was rushed and did further damage to the image of the gold coins. You could have dug deeper.if anything it is one of the best the dimwit of our govt have come up with. Gold coins are not new, and have a global standard as they, issued with certificates to the buyer, and the buyer gets to keep the coins. Value of the coins is also based on the value of gold but not at par weight for weight. The main advantage is “store of value” over time instead of holding of bulk hard cash USD, so we will have less pressure or demand for hard currency USD. The latest global trend is countries moving away from the USD as a reserve currency and what it would mean for Zimbos if the USD is to crash. There is more to this than just our daily transaction needs for individuals and businesses.

  17. not so fast guys i hear the gold coins being used as a store of value right?and due to the present fundamental factors e.g the Russia -Ukraine war gold is the ultimate store of value right? what if the tables turn? and the value of gold depreciates as it has done before,what then?

  18. In the midst of the euphoria of the introduction of gold coins which the public can purchase through banking channels we must not lose sight of the legality of such a move. On the face of it gold coins will mitigate the demand and preference households and firms have for the USD but the Gold Trade Act makes it illegal for any individual or entity to be in possession of gold without a license so I would not break out the champagne just yet and there has been no legislation governing the introduction of the said coins. The merits of holding gold as an investment over cash are strong and valid but there has been little in the way of logistics of production of these coins and how the system will work… It would not be surprising for the public to be told that they can buy their gold strictly using hard currency but would not be able to redeem them because the money is not there. The gold coins are not legal tender from what has been said about them so it would be ill-advised to purchase a commodity from a single supplier who also is the only buyer for them in the event of policy shifting suddenly as it is known in Zimbabwe to.

    1. You speak truth. If the gold coins cannot be stored and traded with anyone else other than the RBZ then it is a guaranteed scam. No policy will protect the public from Mthuli’s usual nuisance.

  19. Coming up with contributions to make these gold coins act for the good of the economy must be a priority. There’s nobility in this gesture though from loopholes that have been raised here, I feel there’s more that needs to be done before introduction. Legislatively and administratively.In my opinion introducing a crypto currency backed by these coins so that we have a Blockchain technology that is public illuminating the holder of each coin which is minted with a unique tag. A periodic audit by a public committee on legislatively provided periodic instances can be achieved. I think if think-tanks were to first sit down and map a way forward in coming up with a foolproof adoption Zimbabwe might score a first.

  20. I managed to read all the comments above , very fascinating to be honest.I was looking for this information and i can say my thirst has been quenched.👏

  21. My biggest fear is liquidity of this gold coin ,will l be able to convert it to cash at will without a Hussle .If the gold coin is sold in USD then we kiss ZWL$ goodbye

  22. The best thing the government could do is have the Coins minted overseas in Canada. To ensure that there is some quality and a certificate of authenticity with each one. Canada makes small 1/25 ounce coins now. Ideal for the task.

    These special coins would hold collectors value because they are authenticated by a third party, as well. Another trust issue.

    For day to day Coins, identical Silver coins could be made with similar dies. When the people can trust what is in their hand, and not rely on the government alone — that will change a lot of things.

    Good article. Good initiative by the Zim government.

  23. Just like when the Dutch auction system was introduced its sounded like its for everyone bt only the rich n big companies had the capacity to bid the same will apply to these gold coins not an ordinary Civil servant can buy them which means the mbingas are looking for a way to store up their value because the usd is being hit by inflation, and rich will get richer while the poor will become poorer which is the majority of us.

  24. Just like when the Dutch auction system was introduced its sounded like its for everyone bt only the rich n big companies had the capacity to bid the same will apply to these gold coins not an ordinary Civil servant can buy them which means the mbingas are looking for a way to store up their value because the usd is being hit by inflation, and rich will get richer while the poor will become poorer which is the majority of us.

  25. Zimbabwe’s gold production is finite. In 2021 Zim produced 29.6 tons of gold according nasdaq.com (about 1376.4 Million USD) . You need foreign inputs to produce that gold (The majority of production costs are i forex; electricity, fuels, spares, machinery etc). You are left with a net gold produced after also deducting the gold producers from that remainder. But whatever gold remains has to buy forex required by the country also.

    So there is no need to make logic-defying dreams without the figures of how gold is needed for the country as a whole’s forex requirements and whatever remains can be used used for minting those Zim gold coins. You are not going to take away gold used to pay for other imports and forex requirements willy nilly and use it to mint Zim gold coins.

    There has been no data of how much, if any, gold is available after providing for its share of forex requirements is available to mint Zim gold coins.

    Since one factor in Zimbabwe’s forex situation is there is a shortage of forex. So one should be wondering gold being used to gold coins when the gold available isn’t enough to meet Zimbabwe’s forex requirements

    1. Even if Zim gold coins are a way for getting more forex for the gold compared to other markets, there is the question of where is the feasibility analysis to indicate how much more forex can Zim get from this dubious scheme? One can only dream of ever buying Zim gold coins using Zim dollars. So the question for those stashing USD notes is do you have any confidence in the sorts implementing the scheme? Most precious metals bullion like gold and silver are exempt from taxes in some countries. Will that be the case on buying and selling Zim gold coins. Can you trust the government not put laws seizing your gold coins or mandating you can only keep them at the RBZ. Do you have confidence in the rulers in Zimbabwe to safeguard those stores of value or even keep their promises. You have seen those sorts lying day and night why should one trust them

  26. The gold coins are a store of value. So you must have the value to store. Its not for the hand to mouth people. There are people with millions of US$ stashed in there mansions or in foreign banks. Then you have people like you and me who sometimes can keep say $1000 for future use. Vanambuya naana sekuru kumusha vamwe vanayo mari maUS$. You guys call it the National Mattress Bank. The dum total of that money may as well be over 10 billion US$. Your guess is as good as mine.
    That money is used as a store of value. If the owners of that money can release it in exchange of gold coins then they can still retain their value. And sell the coins at will when the value is needed. The cash they are holding onto now will then be released for circulation and investment into the economy.

  27. lets have some optimism folks .who knows this might be the biggest break through of all times. bear in mind that we are heading towards 2023 that means they will try by all means to deliver positive results. leats wait and see where what will happen by end of August. Im not saying i wont leave some room for disappointment because we know how weak and stupid our leaders can be #goodluck zim

  28. the main issue when buying these coins how sure are you that this is 22 catrat Gold you buying.
    you could be buying a pig in a poke for all you know. and counter feit coins can also undermine peoples confidence. its actually a good thing going back to the gold standard dont get me wrong african leaders should have listened to gadaffi from libya long time ago( as good as gold) paper money must be backed buy something of intrinsic value gold,diamonds, silver etc

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