You, Too, Can Own a $100 Trillion Note–From Zimbabwe

Amanda Hamon, Journal and Courier (West Lafayette, Indiana), December 30, 2009

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Store owner Randy Ramsey said he recently bought 60 Zimbabwean $100 trillion notes–complete with colorful artwork–to add to the store’s wide collection of foreign and out-of-circulation currency.

The notes were available for purchase Tuesday, at $10 a bill.

“We had bought this as a novelty piece, and to show what inflation does,” said floor manager Chad Ramsey. “A hundred trillion is a really hard number to comprehend.”

The notes have been out of circulation in their African home country since June, Chad Ramsey said.

Before then, they were worth about 33 cents American.

In Zimbabwe, $100 trillion is about enough to buy three eggs, said sales associate Zach Briggs, who researched the currency.

The outrageous inflation suggested in that scenario makes the notes a lesson in economics, store workers said. Zimbabwe is home to one of the worst hyperinflation crises in the world thanks to an economy flushed with printed currency.

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The $100 trillion notes are the third version of that Zimbabwean denomination, the Ramseys said.

The country’s current $100 trillion bill was reprinted in June to eliminate some of its dizzying zeroes.

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