Notes Of The Caracazo's Wake: 2 Bolivars (Venezuela, 1989)-Article

Updated: Jan 14

This small Venezuelan banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the Bolivar (Series 1989). This short 3-denomination series featured banknotes in 1, 2, and 5 Bolivares values. All notes were produced by British printer De La Rue (London). Strangely these notes circulated alongside coins of the same value. Making their introduction somewhat questionable.

Another notably feature of this series, is the period which preceded it. Earlier that year was the Caracazo a week long series of violet riots and protest. In response to austerity measures introduced by the Venezuelan government. Leading to raising fuel and public transportation costs.


The observe left features the text "Dos Bolivares". representing the note's Two Bolivar face value. Mirroring this text is a bust of Simon Bolivar (1783-1830). The cultural-political hero of Venezuela and much of South America. As General Bolivar was responsible for liberating 6 different nations, from the Spanish Empire.

The header above list the note's issuer as the "National Bank of Venezuela". Below the header is note's serial number, it reads "AH9311532". The footer translates to, "Payment to the bearer, in the (central) bank offices". The payment in question are US Dollars, which the Bolivar was pegged to.

Above the footer are the signatures of the Bank President and Vice President. In addition to a "October 5 1989" print date. A white guilloché pattern appears below this text. Highlighting it was printed on a separate layer. Due to it's unprinted white background it can be assumed to be part of the note's underprint.

Notably rather than featuring typical numbers along its corners. The observe features the word "Dos", referring to the note's "Two" Bolivar value. The upper-left and lower-right corner text are printed on the underprint. While the lower-left and upper-right text is printed on guilloché patterns. These patterns are unique from each other.


The reverse features the Venezuelan Coat of Arms at its right. Opposite of the Coat of Arms is a large number "2", representing the note's 2 Bolivar value. As repeated by the center text, which lays on a ornate guilloché pattern. Below is a simple reference to the the Central Bank of Venezuela.

Notably the number "2"s along the reverse corners are backed by guilloché patterns. Each of these number "2"s rest on a unique pattern. Making it somewhat more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate this note. In addition to the microprint lines seen in the note's underprint.

1989 Series Bolivar

(Gallery includes all 1989 Series Bolivar banknotes)

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 115 x 55 mm or 4.53 x 2.17 in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • This note was known locally by the nicknames "Tinoquito" and "Monopolio".

  • The name "Tinoquito" is a reference to the then Central Bank President, Pedro Tinoco.

  • The name "Monopolio" is a refence to the note's resemblance to Monopoly game money.

  • Bolivar coins of the period were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and the United German Nickel Works.

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