Notes Of The Chiremba Rocks, The Nyanga Mountains: 5 Dollars (Zimbabwe, 1997)-Article

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

This colorful Zimbabwean banknote represents the 1st denomination of the First Dollar (Chiremba Rocks Series). The "Chiremba Rocks" Series, receives its 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 pink Desert Rose flower.

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 "FIVE DOLLARS"), overprinted on the flower. The Desert Rose is repeated example, also appearing on the 500 Dollar note.

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 reddish 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 1997. The city of Harare being the Zimbabwean capital.

The observe features a number of security measures. The note utilizes a dual-serial number (BN7272312). The first serial number is black inked, located below the header. While the second is red inked and vertical, located at the far left. Dual ink colors are purposely used, to complicate production for would be counterfeiters.

To the lower right of the governor's signature, is a textured security stamp. This stamp features a hidden 7-point star and directional microprint. The color of this stamp and its hidden image changes between denomination. In addition to the decorative spire above it.

The note's "5" dollar value is repeated on each corner. Although the lower right is unusual, instead featuring 6 number "5"s. It depicts a pair of Greater Kudu (Woodland Antelope, 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 5", for Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe 5 (Dollars).


The reverse depicts Nyanga Mountains, located at the northern edge of the Manica Highlands. Notably this range forms part of the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border. The note's illustration appears to depicts the region over looking the town of Nyanga.

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 double 6-pointed star. The shape of the spire has also been altered and features a red and purple tone.

Just as the observe, the reverse also features number "5"s on each corner. Including the Kudu pair at the lower left. Although the numbers are subtly printed with a duller ink. Additionally the Kudu are printed in dull purple, rather than red-orange.

First Dollar Gallery (Series 1994)

(Gallery contains only banknotes within the database)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 140 x 68 mm or 5.51 x 2.68 in, shorter than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are standard size protective sleeves.

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

  • Desert Rose sap is traditionally used to tip poison arrows, for large game hunting.

  • 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.

1 view0 comments