The Ant Bears of Canaima: 10 Bolívar Soberano (Venezuela, 2018)-Founder's Article

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

This Venezuelan banknote represent the 3rd denomination of the Bolívar Soberano Series (2018). Bolívars are have been deemed essentially worthless, even within their home country. As rampant hyperinflation has caused all denominations, with the exception of the 500 Bolívares to be retired.

Despite this, Venezuelan Bolívars have found a new home. As an easily affordable item for beginning/young collectors. These collectors are often become attracted, by the colorful illustrations of Venezuela’s wildlife. Often creating decorative displays, with the reverse side out. In honor of that tradition this note will be reviewed reverse first.


The Reverse features a Giant Anteater, also known as the Palm Bear (Oso Palmero) in Spanish. They range throughout the South American continent. Inhabiting both tropical rainforest and arid grassland alike. They can be encountered in the Canaima National Park, in southeastern Venezuela. And the Los Lllanos (The Plains) region in the Northwest. Usually during the drier portions of the wet season. As during the wet season, their range becomes greatly restricted by flooding.

Los Relámpago del Catatumbo

The background is an illustration of the world famous Relámpago del Catatumbo (Catatumbo Lightning). A bizarre phenomenon that occurs where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo. Creating lighting storms that average 140-160 nights a year, 10 hours per day, with up to 280 lighting strikes per hour.

So prevalent are the lighting storms, that they've been used to guide ships from the Gulf of Venezula toward Lake Maracaibo. Currently the cause for the storms is believe to be atmospheric in nature. Caused by cool air meeting hot humid air, that has become trapped on the swampy plains below. This hot humid air becomes trapped by neighboring mountain ridges, that enclose the plains from three sides.


The vertical observe features 19th Century revolutionary General Rafael Urdaneta (1788-1845). General Urdaneta was Simón Bolívar's most trusted ally and is a recognized member of the Panteón Nacional de Venezuela (National Pantheon of Venezuela). As one of the heroes of the Venezuelan War of Independence (1810-1823).


Despite the low value of the Bolívar Soberano, the series utilizes numerous security measures. Both in visible and virtually hidden. The Soberano series alternates between standard and window security strips, throughout it's denominations. This denomination utilizes a thin security strip. It's faintly viable, seen running along the note's center.

The 3 forward dashes above the (red) serial number, are a denomination designator. Which alternates between the denominations within the series. There is a 2-color light puzzle/registration element, below the (black) serial number. Blue (observe) and pink (reverse) segments merge, when back lit. The registration element and the surrounding area is UV sensitive.


The near entirety of the note is covered in alternating lines and micro-print patterns. Where present the micro-text the reads “BCV10”, in sequence. The pattern repeats on all denominations, with the exception of the number (listed denomination). Below the observe's portrait is a micro-print pattern olive branch. This feature is unique to the 10 Bolivar denomination.


The watermark features Simón Bolívar, as seen on the 500 Bolívar Soberano note's observe. Below the watermark is BCV, in electro-typed text. Unfortunately the color pallet and erratic micro-print lines makes capturing the watermark difficult. Although it can be readily seen, in physical copies of the note.

Ultraviolet Gallery

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 156 × 69 mm (6.14 x 2.72in), standard for Bolívar Soberano Series.

  • The National Pantheon of Venezuela has a monument dedicated to Rafael Urdaneta

  • General Urdaneta's birthday (24th October), is a national holiday in Venezuela.

  • He briefly served as the 4th President of Gran Colombia (1830-1831).

  • He briefly served as the 5th Colombian Minister of Defense (1828–1829).

  • He served as the 9th Venezuelan Minister of Defense (1839–1845).

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