Zimbabwe Hyperinflation

When naysayers warn of the perils of inflation, what they’re really talking about is hyperinflation, a condition defined by economist Steve H. Hanke as “a rate of inflation per month that exceeds 50 percent.” This is a chaotic period of economic upheaval, when fixed incomes become worthless, when wheelbarrows are required to transport paper money to the market for simple transactions, when restaurants write menu prices in pencil because they change every hour. Think Germany in 1923, Greece in 1944, Hungary after World War II, or Yugoslavia in 1994.

The most recent example of hyperinflation occurred in Zimbabwe in 2008. At its worst measurable moment, the rate of inflation doubled every 24 hours—meaning Monday’s wages were worth half as much on Tuesday, a quarter as much Wednesday, and were effectively worthless in a week. Needless to say, this wreaked havoc on the economy, devastating the people of that country for years. Banknotes of unusually high denominations were issued.

ZIMB83

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Saint John Paul II: The Vatican City Collection

Selected for their beauty and their religious significance, these three coins were struck by the Rome mint for the Vatican City State during the tenure of Saint John Paul II. These coins were issued for one year only, in small mintages, and were meant to circulate, making this remarkable collection a rarity.

For wholesale information on this boxed set, click here.

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The Search for the True Cross

Of the myriad holy relics in Christendom, none is as sacrosanct as the so-called True Cross—the piece of wood on which Jesus Christ was crucified. While some historians doubt its authenticity, the True Cross did exist. It was discovered in Jerusalem by St. Helena 300 years after the Crucifixion, changed hands several times through the centuries, and vanished from recorded history after the Second Crusade, when it was seized by the great Muslim warrior Saladin. This remarkable collection features coins of the five historical figures who held the True Cross.

 

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Madonna & Child Coin

This silver Hungarian denar coin features an image of the baby Jesus in the arms of the Madonna, the Patron Saint of Hungary, on the obverse, with the legend “Patrona Hungarie” surrounding.


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Christian Cup Coins: A Medieval Mystery

Why did the Byzantines produce coins shaped like cups? No one did it before, and no one’s done it since. It’s a Medieval mystery.


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