Canadian Paper Money - Questions & Answers
[Canadian Paper Money]
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Table of Contents
- Shinplasters refer to the fractional currency that was first introduced
to Canada in 1870. 25-cent notes were printed as a temporary solution
to the shortage of Canadian coin. The issue became so popular with the
public that the it remained in circulation for many years. Shinplaster
issues were also done for the years 1900 and 1923.
- "Many attribute the expression 'shinplaster' to the use of fractional
U.S. notes by soldiers of the Revolutionary War period to prevent their boots
from chafing. The term was first used in Canada with reference to the
merchants' scrip which appeared in abundance in 1837-38. Subsequently,
it came to be applied to 25-cent Dominion of Canada notes from the time of
their first appearance in 1870." ...taken from the The Charlton Standard
Catalogue of Canadian Government Paper Money, 8th edition, 1995, p. 80.
- "Nickname for 19th century U.S. and Canadian fractional notes, for their
small size. Term was also applied in a derogatory manner to the
Confederate notes of the U.S., due to their dubious value." ...taken
from The Standard Catalog of World Paper Money - General Issues, 6th edition,
1990, p. 32.
- Following the creation Canada's central bank, the Bank of Canada
introduced its first paper money issue. In 1935, separate unilingual
English and French were produced. In 1937, a bilingual issue was
created as it became clear that it was too expensive to produce separate
English and French versions.
- Early printings of the 1954 Bank of Canada issue show the image of a
devil's head in the Queen's portrait. Highlights in the Queen's hair,
behind her ear, show a devil-like image. Controversy forced the
redesign of the Queen's portrait. The devilish image was eventually
removed in a modified issue by darkening the highlights. The devil's
face close-up is shown above followed by the modified portrait.
- Banknotes that show the '*' symbol before the serial number are known
as asterisk notes, more commonly known as replacement notes. Starting
with the 1954 Bank of Canada issue, defective notes produced during the
printing process were replaced by these 'replacement notes' which carried the
asterisk before the serial number. Starting in 1981, with the
introduction of triple-letter prefix notes, the use of the asterisk was
displaced in favor of the use of the letter 'X' in place of the 3rd letter in
the serial number. With respect to the 1979 Black Serial Number issue
(which contained no letters in the serial numbers) replacement notes were
distinguished through the use of the number '1' in place of the second digit.