The Republic of Rhodesia was an unrecognized state that existed from 1965 to 1979 in Southern Africa and what is now modern-day Zimbabwe. Initially, the nation was a de facto sovereign state to the British Crown colony of Southern Rhodesia. The landlocked self-governing state was bounded by South Africa, Bechuanaland which is now Botswana, Mozambique, and Northern Rhodesia which is Zambia in present-day. A sizeable portion of the country is situated on a plateau with highlands along the border in the east and a lowland region in the southeast.
Rhodesia’s abundance of minerals, such as chromium and manganese, has contributed to the country’s economic industrialization and expansion, a growth that was almost unparalleled in the sub-Saharan region. Rhodesia imported skilled manpower from abroad which gave birth to a diversified economy with a solid manufacturing and iron and steel industries. Funds invested by European residents had helped developed the export industries of the country as well as its infrastructure which were essential to the venture with international markets.
Rhodesia’s currency was the Rhodesian dollar which was subdivided into 100 cents. The Rhodesian Dollar was launched on February 17, 1970, just less than a month prior to the establishment of the Republic of Rhodesia on March 2, 1970. The currency replaced the Rhodesian pound and was replaced by the Zimbabwean dollar in 1980. The first family of Rhodesian dollar banknotes was in denominations of 1, 2, and 10 dollars, and in 1972, a 5-dollar banknote was added to the series. These paper bills were almost similar to the preceding banknotes except that they carried the new currency unit and the bank logo was featured in lieu of the coat of arms, and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth was taken off and replaced with the coat of arms. Vignettes on the reverse of these notes reflect various national motifs such as a tobacco field, Victoria Falls, lions, and Great Zimbabwe ruins.