Notes Of The Chiremba Rocks, Great Zimbabwe: 50 Dollars (Zimbabwe, 1994)-Article

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

This colorful Zimbabwean banknote represents the 4th denomination of the First Dollar (Chiremba Rocks Series). The "Chiremba Rocks" Series, receives it's name from the Chiremba Balancing Rocks featured on every denomination. This series was issued from 1994-2004 and represented the last issued notes of the First Dollar.

Notably the main series (5-100 Dollars) was issued from 1994-1997. As replacements for earlier First Dollar banknotes, issued from 1980-1994. The larger 500 and 1000 Dollar notes were issued later, in 2001 and 2003 respectively.


The observe prominently features the famous Chiremba Balancing Rocks, at Matobo National Park. Behind the illustration are "honey comb" cells, with microprint number 5s inside. Moving toward the note's center is an illustration of a Flame Lilly, the national flower of Zimbabwe.

Notably all denominations of the Chiremba Rocks Series featured a native flower, at their center. Additionally all notes of the series featured their value (in this case "FIFTY DOLLARS"), overprinted on the flower.

The before mentioned flower also acts as the center of the note's underprint. All notes of the series featured a sprawling 2-tone guilloché pattern, which varied between denominations. This denomination shifts to a brownish hue, along the edges.

Above the note's header simply lists the issuing body as the "RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE". While the footer includes the bank "Governor" signature and states the note was issued at "HARARE", in 1994. The city of Harare being the Zimbabwean capital.

The observe features a number of security elements. The note utilizes a dual-serial number (EY2299145). The first serial number is black inked, located below the header. While the second is red inked and vertical, located at the far left. The use of dual ink colors is done purposely, to complicate production for counterfeiters.

To the lower right of the governor's signature, is a textured stamp. This stamp features a floral design with 6 inward facing arrows and directional microprint. The color of this stamp and its hidden image will change between denomination. As will the decorative spire above it.

The note's "50" dollar value is repeated on each corner. Although the lower right is unusual, instead featuring 4 number "50"s. It depicts a pair of White Rhinos on a field of grass. The lower right numbers alternate from outline to solid, making it more difficult for counterfeiters.

The watermark features the "Zimbabwe Bird", an artifact from the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Backlighting the note will also expose a hidden vertical security strip. Located at the letter "K" in "BANK, on the header. It reads "RBZ 50", for Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe 50 (Dollars).


The reverse depicts the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Bird. The illustration depicts the the Great Enclosure complex with its iconic conical tower. The Zimbabwe Bird is one of many soapstone sculptures, which were recovered from Great Zimbabwe. Its believed the represent a totem of the native Shona people.

Notably the reverse features some similar and altered elements from the observe. For example the underprint follows a similar pattern, although with a green to red multi-tone. The textured stamp features a 12-pointed star, formed from overlapping twin 6-pointed stars. The shape of the spire has also been changed and is red.

Just as the observe, the reverse also features number "50"s on each corner. Including the White Rhino pair at the lower left. Although the numbers have been change to dull red. Additionally the White Rhinos are printed with dull green outlines, rather than reddish-brown.

First Dollar Gallery (Series 1994)

(Gallery contains only banknotes within the database)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 148 x 74 mm or 5.83 x 2.91 in, larger than a US Dollar.

  • This preferable method to preserve this note are large size protective sleeves.

  • This note was demonetized on 21 August 2006, with the adoption of the Second Dollar.

  • The Flame Lilly receives it name from strange appearance and its painful touch.

  • Touching any part of a Fire Lilly causes a burning sensation, caused by its defensive toxins.

  • Due to rising inflation, First Dollar banknotes were partially replaced by the short-lived Travellers' Cheque, in 2003.

  • Travellers' Cheque were unpopular, as banks charged the bearer a commission fee, for receiving and depositing them.

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