Canada's New Plastic 100 Dollar Bill
Canada's New 100 Dollar Bill
This past week the Bank of Canada released the first of its new polymer banknotes into circulation. The 100 dollar bill was chosen first as it has a long history of security problems. The new polymer money is made up of very thin layers of plastic that make it very hard to rip. They claim this bill will last 2.5 times longer than the current $100 bill.
The current 100 dollar bill is made up of cotton fibre and cost less than half the cost to produce compared to the new polymer bills. Since the polymer bills are very durable they plan on recouping this cost over time and eventually reducing the total overall cost of production.
The 100 dollar bill is the first of its kind in Canada who plans to replace all its bills with the polymer style by 2013.
This bill contains many new security features that claim to make the bill counterfeit proof. The bill has two transparent windows that when held up to the light show some very neat images. The first window displays a ring which is said to verify the value of the bank note. The second window will display a portrait much like the face on the bill itself. When held up to the light and tilted the face will display a shiny, holygraphic effect.
It may be a bit too early to tell if this is really true but it does look very difficult to reproduce.
History of Counterfeit Problems
The previous 100 dollar bill had many counterfeit problems over the years. It got so bad that almost every store had a policy against accepting 100 dollar bills. ATM's rarely handed out 100's and if they did they got deposited back into the same ATM just as quick.
Between 2001-2004 the 100 dollar bill reached its peak counterfeit number. According to some officials every 470 bills per million was a fake. Many counterfeiters were able to recreate the 100 dollar bill with simple inkjet printers and the proper paper.
Who Released the First Plastic Money
Even though this new plastic 100 dollar bill has been quite a hit with the media its not even the first of its kind. In the late 1980s Australia turned to polymer money and completely moved over to the plastic currency by 1996.
Even though plastic money is overall a good idea, it still seems very cartoon-ish. It makes me think we are dealing with funny-money. For years American's have referred to the Canadian currency as funny-money because of its historical value. Things may be changing as the CAD is often at par or higher than the USD. As I travel to different countries I am shocked at how cheap the American money both looks and feels.
If anything is funny its how old and out-of-style the current US dollar is. I guess its hard to change a currency that's being printed in record numbers.
Video Displaying New 100 Dollar Bill
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