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The Bird of Bolívar: 500 Bolívar Soberano (Venezuela, 2018)-Founder's Article

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

This Venezuelan banknote represent the 8th and final 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. Currently (2020) the 500 Bolívares is the only denomination of Bolívar Soberano Series (2018) to not 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. Creating decorative displays, with the reverse side out. In honor of that tradition this note will be reviewed reverse first.


The Reverse features a Venezuelan Troupial, the national bird of Venezula. They span throughout Venezuela, particularly thriving in the woodlands, scrub, and arid grasslands. Their name comes from the French word troupiale, which is related to troop (troupe). Named so, because they live and travel in large flocks.

Venezuelan troupials in particular are fairly large in size. With a slightly longer tail and a bulky break than usual. Troupials sport a jet black head, tail, and wings. With a bright orange body and white streaks that run along their closed wings.

Unusual for most birds, Troupials don't make nests, but hunt for old nests from other birds. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs that hatch after about two weeks of incubation. Similar mockingbirds, troupials will fiercely defend the area against intruders. Macarao National Park is a popular location for watching nesting troupials.

Macarao National Park

Established in 1973, Macarao National Park covers a 150 sq km (58 sq mi) in the Venezuelan Coastal Range. The park borders the southwestern edge of Caracas (Venezuelan capital) and the towns of El Jarillo, El Junquito and San Pedro de los Alto.

Macarao Park is dominated by three mountain ridges, it's mountainous terrain is split by the Macarao River valley. The majority of the park is dominated deciduous forests, making it a preferred nesting area for over 260 bird species, including troupials. Attracting tourist from neighboring Caracas, who visit during the annual March to September nesting season.

More active visitors can hike and camp on Macarao's highest peak Alto de Ño León (2098m/6883ft). Located on the park's southern border. Hikers will notice the cedar/pine dominated forest slowly transition into a dense cloud forest, as they reach summits of the park's peaks. The park's more isolated areas are used for INPARQUE (Venezuelan Park Service), for scientific survey. Often in assistance of foreign scientist, such as biologist and botanist.

Unusual for a national park, Macarao park hosts a hydroelectric dam. The Agua Fría Dam supplies a large portion of Caracas' drinking water. The access to area immediately surrounding the dam is restricted. With exception of the roadway located on the damn, which allows bike travel.


The vertical observe features Venezuelan independence leader Simón Bolívar (1783-1830). Who successful lead Bolivarian independence movement against the Spanish Empire. Leading to the formation of the modern nations of Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama. Simón Bolívar is the arch member of the Panteón Nacional de Venezuela (National Pantheon of Venezuela). As the hero 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 an windowed security strip. The strip faintly displays "BCV" in sequence, when seen from the reverse. The circle above the (red) serial number, is a denomination designator. Which alternates between the denominations within the series. There is a 2-color light puzzle/The registration element and the surrounding area is UV sensitive., below the (black) serial number. Gold (observe) and orange (reverse) segments merge, when back lit.


The near entirety of the note is covered in alternating lines and micro-print patterns. Where present the micro-text reads “BCV500”, 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 displaying "BCV". This feature is only repeated on the 5 Bolivar note.


The watermark features Simón Bolívar, as seen on the 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 note's observe is a copy of Rita Matilde de la Peñuela's portrait, El Libertador.

  • El Libertador is on display at the Central Bank of Venezuela's Art Collection.

  • Bolivar remains are entombed in a bronze sarcophagus, at the National Pantheon of Venezuela.

  • The National Pantheon of Venezuela was established on 27 March 1874, from the rebuilt ruins of a Spanish church.

  • Bolivar remains are entombed in a bronze sarcophagus, which serves as the National Pantheon's alter. The other national heroes' are interned along the church's aisles.

  • The national pantheon's vault is covered with paintings depicting various scenes from Bolívar's life and exploits.

  • At the height of his reign General Bolivar ruled territory from the Caribbean Sea to the Argentinian border.

  • General Bolivar traveled more than 70,000 km (43495 mi) on horseback, while on campaign. Three times further than Napoleon and twice as far as Alexander the Great.

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