Zimbabwe's central bank has launched gold coins in an effort to help curb soaring inflation amid a slump in the country's currency. The central bank's main interest rate was more than doubled this month to 200% after the annual rate of inflation rose above 190%. Each coin will be priced at the international market rate for an ounce of gold plus 5% for production costs.
It will be possible use the coins in shops, if they have enough change, according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya. The coin is called "Mosi-oa-Tunya" which means "The Smoke Which 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 it opted instead 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 sextillion percent year on year in mid-November 2008.