Zimbabwe’s central bank has launched gold coins to help curb rising inflation amid the country’s currency fall.
The central bank’s primary interest rate more than doubled this month to 200% after the annual inflation rate rose above 190%. Each coin would cost one ounce of gold at the international market rate plus 5% of the cost of production.
As of Friday, an ounce was worth about $1,724 (£1,435).
According to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, it will be possible to use the coins in stores if they change substantially. The coin is called “Mosi-o-Tunya”, which means “The Smoke that Thunders” and refers to Victoria Falls on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Zimbabwe’s dollar slumped in value against major currencies this year. The country still remembers the economic chaos under the late Robert Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades.
Hyperinflation forced it to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 and opted to use foreign currencies, mainly the US dollar.
During the worst of the crisis, the government stopped publishing official inflation figures, but one estimate put the inflation rate at 89.7 sextillions per cent year on year in mid-November 2008.
At the time, the one hundred billion Zimbabwe dollar banknote was seen as an emblem of the nation’s economic collapse. The local currency was reintroduced a decade later, but it has rapidly lost value.