Zimbabwe releases new batch of gold coins

A “Mosi-oa-Tunya” gold coin in Harare. /AFP-Getty Images

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says an additional batch of gold coins is on sale following a successful debut launch in late July in which all of the initial 1,500 coins released were sold out.

Zimbabwe central bank governor, John Mangudya holds the new Mosi-Oa-Tunya gold coin. /Bulwayo24 News (Zimbabwe)

RBZ launched the Mosi-Oa-Tunya coins on July 25 to help reduce demand for U.S. dollars, as a store of value, after a collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar. The Zim dollar has lost more than two-thirds of its value against the U.S. dollar this year. It is hoped the coins will also curb annual inflation which stood at 257% in late July.

The coins were a hit among individual and institutional buyers.

“A total (of) 1,500 gold coins were sold by the bank’s agents during the first week of their release into the market, with 85 percent having been bought in local currency and the balance of 15 percent in foreign currency,” said John Mangudya, the central bank’s governor.

An additional 2,000 gold coins hit the market on Monday.

The 22-carat coin is now selling for 1,841 U.S. dollars, slightly up from its debut price of 1,823 on July 25.

Their high cost is a concern to some observers who say the coins are elitist and excluded low-income citizens.

The daily price of the gold coins is announced by the RBZ every morning based on the previous day’s London Bullion Market Association gold price, plus five percent to cover production and distribution costs.

The gold coins are being sold through the RBZ and its subsidiaries, Fidelity Gold Refinery and Aurex, local banks and selected international banking partners.


Story compiled with assistance from wire reports