The Antarctican currency was first introduced in 1996 produced by the Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office. The collector’s items are not legal tender in Antarctica but are honored for their face value for a period of time, therefore these notes do have a redemption value for cold hard cash. There is a six year limit to “cash” in your note though, if you think of the fiasco in Zimbabwe with banknotes, their bills at one time had a 2 year redemption time frame and in reality it was only a few days before inflation wiped out the value completely.

Antarctica 1 dollar note from 1999 on Robert’s World Money

The project became a vision in 1992 to produce a series of commemorative notes to sell as a “fundraiser” for Antarctican research and humanitarian projects.  A portion of all proceeds from the sale of Antarctican dollars do fund organizations seeking to undertake research and humanitarian projects in the Antarctic region. Since then, with this goal still in mind, the Antarctica Overseas Exchange office has produced some of the most beautiful and amazing notes ever seen in the banknote collecting world; and I promise you there are some amazing and beautiful banknotes (bills) printed by different countries (especially Romania).

These Antarctica notes depict some amazing wildlife, scenery, and history (including historical figures) from one of the coldest places  on earth.

  • The first Antarctica banknotes were issued in 1996 and due to their popularity all are now completely sold out (except for a couple of specimen notes). This first series featured a $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills.
  • In 1999 to 2001 this series of notes were reissued, but in a smaller and more regular banknote size as one criticism was the fact that the notes were too large – especially for some collector’s folders or storage sleeves. This series was the last of the “paper” notes and is now almost all sold out as well.
  • The reason I said the last series was the end of the paper money is because in 2007 they made a decision to go over to the newer polymer notes. Polymer notes are state of the art banknote printing and not only does it offer a much longer life in regular circulation, it also offers much more opportunity for brighter colors and detailed depictions to be printed on the notes. The first in the “polymer” series were a collection of 3 notes, being the $1, $2, and $3 and issued in 2007.

    The new polymer “plastic money” is extremely beautiful, showcasing the penguins Antarctica.

Antarctica Polymer 1 Dollar Note 2008

In the polymer set there have now been more notes issued including the:

$1 $2 $3 $5 $10 $20 and $50

They also introduced a stripe addition as well as a specimen addition.

These notes are so beautiful, if you could hold them in your hand you would truly appreciate how special they are, from the vibrant colors to the feel of the polymer these are extraordinary collector items. Lastly, I could not end this without explaining the fact that these notes have actually been used in Antarctica. This organization uses the funds raised from selling these notes to fund scientific projects and some of the scientists have “for fun” used them in trade with other scientists there. Of course it is not actually possible to buy a few hundred Antarctica dollars and pop over there and pick up some ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a snow cone or two. However, these banknotes are technically money, or currency, which ever you prefer to call it.

Thank you for reading, as always if you have any questions or would like any further information please leave me a comment and I’d love to discuss more with you, as this was just a brief introduction to these fascinating notes. These banknotes are also available to be seen and purchased through my website

What amazing gifts these notes are too, for all the penguin lovers you know!

Antarctica 1-20 Dollar Set
Antarctica 1-20 Dollar Set