Notes From The Land Of Penguins: 2 Dollars (Antarctica, 1999)-Article

This large fantasy note represents the 2nd denomination of Antarctic Dollar (Series 1999). The notes were printed by the British American Banknote Company. On the behalf of the Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office LTD. Which was founded in 1996, by D. J. Hamilton to promote awareness of Antarctic scientific expeditions. And as a novel means of fundraising.

This fundraising system is based on the principle the notes are sold, equal to their US Dollar face value. Although similar to bonds, the notes are stated as redeemable, within a given deadline. If not redeemed, 80% of the proceeds will be allocated to Antarctic research. While the remaining 20% is allocated to operating the Exchange Office.


2 Antarctic Dollar-Observe: Digitally overprinted for display purposes.
2 Antarctic Dollar-Observe: Digitally overprinted for display purposes.

The observe features a Adelaide (left) and Gentoo Penguin (right), on a rocky outcrop. Notably while both of these penguins are depicted together, in Antarctica. The Gentoo Penguin is not native to the Antarctica, but the Falkland Islands. Unlike the similar Adelaide Penguin, which is native to the Antarctic coast. This may be a simple oversight.

At the upper left is the title "Antarctica", with D. J. Hamilton's signature below. In later notes this title is merged with the text "Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office LTD" (lower-left). Usually in the form of a title or header. While D. J. Hamilton's comptroller signature was made into a separate element.

The logo at the lower-center appears to be an early Exchange Office logo. It only appears within the 1999 Series of the Antarctic Dollar. It appears on both observe and reverse sides.


2 Antarctic Dollar-Reverse: Digitally overprinted for display purposes.
2 Antarctic Dollar-Reverse: Digitally overprinted for display purposes.

The reverse is dedicated to memorializing the 1979 Mount Erebus disaster. Which occurred on 28 November 1979, when Air New Zealand Flight 901 crash landed in Mount Erebus. This subtly referenced on the note's header, which depicts Mount Erebus. In addition to references to the "Tragedy of 901" and "28.11.1979", on the footer. The note's serial number (upper-right) reads "M9779".

The majority of the reverse is covered by a flag, with 5 hidden faces. The flag depicted is based on Dave Hamilton's 1999 Antarctica Flag proposal. The light blue of the tri-color flag represents the ice pack. The yellow represents the aurora australis, while the dark blue represents the night sky. Toward the upper-right is the Southern Cross constellation.

Toward the note's top left, is a notification in vertical text. It states the note can be redeemed by returning it the Exchange Office, before December 31, 2012. The post office box listed is owned by D. J. Hamilton, as is the e-mail provided.

The note's 2 dollar value is reinforced by the number "2"s, on the upper-left and lower-right. Toward the lower-left is a New Zealand flag, a reference to Flight 901. While at the upper-right is the Southern Cross constellation. A refence to both the New Zealand and Antarctic flags.


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 180 x 60 mm or 7.09 x 3.15 in, larger than a US Dollar.

  • It's preferable to use large protective sleeves, when preserving this note.

  • As of present (Jan 2022), the Antarctica Overseas Exchange website is inactive.

  • Antarctic note's are redeemed by returning them to a provided PO Box, along with an email.

  • Directly purchasing an Antarctica Dollar is considered a donation to the Exchange Office.

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