new ‘secure’ plastic $100 bills unveiled
The Bank of Canada unveiled its new series of durable “secure” plastic bank notes Monday afternoon.
The $100 bill will begin circulating this November followed by a $50 note in March. The $20, $10 and $5 bank notes will be issued by the end of 2013.
Printed on a plastic polymer material, the new bills have innovative security features including transparent windows — the biggest banknote window in the world — and intricate metallic holographic images.
These innovations and other details are intended to foil counterfeiters.
“We are confident that (they) are among the most secure in the world,” said Bank of Canada representative Phuong Anh Ho Huu at a Montreal news conference.
Although the production cost of the new bills is almost twice that of paper money, the new bank notes are expected to last at least 21/2 times longer.
But Ho Huu said that estimate of durability was conservative — the bills often last four times as long as paper bills.
The bank notes can also be recycled, she added.
The graphic design of the new bank notes is the result of public consultations across Canada, she said.
To avoid confusion with existing currency, the bills will be the same size as paper bills in the same denomination and keep the same dominant colours and portraits.
Like existing $100 bills, the front of the new bank note features a portrait of Sir Robert Borden. A “window” to the right of that image will include a metallic holographic portrait of Borden. The bill also sports a smaller frosted maple leaf window. The reverse side of the bill celebrates Canada’s medical innovation and displays a drawing of a woman looking through a microscope.
The new $50 bill features a portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King. The window to the right of his image has a holographic image of King. The reverse side of the bill celebrates Canada’s development of the North and features a drawing of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen.
The old bills cost 10 cents per bill to produce while the new bills cost 19 cents per bill, Ho Huu said.
The bank notes are printed on a polymer produced by an Australian company.
Pioneered in Australia over 20 years ago, polymer banknotes are now used in 32 countries around the world.