What’s Up With Canada’s Currency?

2012 Polymer Series Notes

2012 Polymer Series Notes


Amusing article (“Canada’s New Banknotes Strike Some as Loonie“) in this weekend’s edition of The Wall Street Journal on the recent switch in Canada from paper to polymer currency.  The principal reasons given by the Bank of Canada, the official issuer of the currency, for adopting the new bills are  durability and prevention of counterfeiting.  I’ve previously remarked on the creativity of the Royal Canadian Mint with its wide variety of designs for the country’s coinage and I find it interesting how Canada has done away with the dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin, an effort that has been tried in the States but not done very well here.  This year also marks the first year that the Canadian 1 cent coin will not be minted.

In any event, it seems that among other complaints about the new banknotes is that in certain conditions the notes will melt, notwithstanding the Bank of Canada’s assurances to the contrary.   The WSJ article details some other related mishaps.  What I find more intriguing  from an American perspective — and even with an understanding of the historical connection to the British monarchy — is the continuation of Queen Elizabeth II’s image on one side of Canada’s current 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1 and $2 coins (and the penny while it was minted) as well as the $20 note .   (I plan to return to that peculiarity in a future post.)

Image Credit:  Bank of Canada

32 responses

  1. Personally, many of us Canucks do not like these bills at all – but hey, we were not asked. 🙂 great post.

  2. The new money sucks…to be honest. They stick together all the time and so badly that even the banks are giving out more than they think they are. They feel awful…not like money at all!
    I’m glad I seldom carry cash and use my debit card for pretty much everything. I do love our money though for it’s colour (and yes I spelled colour correctly, :P) and variety.

  3. You didn’t mention that some people have questioned whether the bills are scented to smell like maple syrup – a claim denied by the Bank of Canada. Scratch and sniff money? How cool is that? 🙂

  4. The new process didn’t prevent counterfeiting. The new $20 was found to be counterfeited with two weeks of it’s release into the nation. The upside is that the new process allowed for the counterfeiting was discovered in such short time.

  5. Personally I like the new money. When an ATM gives me an old 20 and a new 20, I use the old 20 first because it seems all wrinkly and stinky. The new money is shiny and robust. I don’t know why so many people hate on it.

  6. I like our money, simply because different currencies are different colours. Very useful when fetching money out quickly. With some other countries’ currencies, I have to be alert what I am giving because it’s the same colour..ie. American bills.

    Why was there resistance to a $1 dollar coin in the U.S.

    • Hard to say why the $1 coin hasn’t caught on here. I like them myself but I hate to spend them because they’re used so little they’re almost always shiny bright and so good looking!

    • Hope you don’t mind me jumping in on this, Brett….

      Hello, Jean! Principally, we didn’t like them because they were too close to the size of our quarter. If you thought our paper dollars were hard to detect the value, well, these were worse. First it was the Susan B, then it was the Indian princess with her fake gold plating. The “gold” plating was cheesy and wore off very quickly. And the number two reason? It was the weight in your pocketbook!

      NOTE: My pet peeve about our money was when they began changing the coinage to reflect each state in the Union. Trying to teach children the value of a coin was hard enough, but changing the face of all those coins was insanity!

  7. Thanks for dropping by my blog Brett, yours is fun and fabulous. I live down the coast near Vancouver but have lived many places in Canada and I can tell you this is by far the most fascinating and beautiful of them all!

  8. What I find intriguing about American 20 bills is that Andrew Jackson is on it. And he created a financial panic in the mid 1800s because he got rid of all of it. Since he, you know, hated it.

  9. Brett, you have an informative and entertaining blog. From a teacher’s standpoint, this topic was an especially interesting read. Thank you for visiting with me this week!

  10. Thanks for checking out my blog, and yours is quite lovely. I’m American-born, but I’ve been Canadian since childhood. I love the polymer money, it’s much sturdier and prettier than paper. I lived in Vietnam for 3 years, and all of the higher currencies were already converted. Nobody really wanted the old paper stuff.

  11. If Canadian currency still has its footing in English royalty, what would you say about Israeli currency? – that it should hang on the coattails of…. Moses? Thankfully, they’re not. .

  12. Hi Brett, thanks for stopping by at my blog and for liking one of my posts ”Having the courage to fight for the freedom of others”. I do hope your visit was memorable. I am paying back your act of kindness by following you. Remain blessed in all your endeavors. Peace!

  13. Not a fan of the slippery new bills. But at least we innovate in Canada, witness the loonie, toonie and death of the penny. Couldn’t the American denominations at least be different colours?

Your Comments Are Welcome and Encouraged!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: