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From The Muddy Banks Of The Ottawa
November 14, 2011 10:11 PM   Subscribe

It's smooth, it's stretchy, it's waterproof - Canada's new currency feels a lot like the celluloid film you used to load into your old-fashioned camera.

Some more info about the different designs for each note is available here.
posted by mannequito (67 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
That settles it. California must secede from the U.S. just so we can mint money like that...
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:20 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It'd be nice if they started with denominations that I am actually like to have in my pocket: $5 - $20. On a very rare occasion, I will have a $50, if someone gave me cash as a gift. I don't think I've ever seen a $100 bill. One day, though, I will be a rich guy. Then I will carry nothing but Bordens.

Seriously, though, is there a reason why they always release the higher denominations first when issuing a new design/style of cash?
posted by asnider at 10:23 PM on November 14, 2011


Also: previously.
posted by asnider at 10:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


whoops, thanks for the previousness asnider
posted by mannequito at 10:26 PM on November 14, 2011


I was looking forward to this, but god I hate those transparent windows.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:27 PM on November 14, 2011


"The smooth, stretchy, polymer bills may prove popular with the beach crowd because you can easily tuck the water-proof moneya into your bathing suitb and take it out for a swimc."

(a) Money doesn't melt when you get it wet.
(b) Canadian bathing suit = cut-off jeans?
(c) It's too cold to swim in Canada.d

(d) [NOT-CANADIANIST]


Actually, more proof that the USA has the boringest money for the billionth year in a row.
posted by not_on_display at 10:27 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seriously, though, is there a reason why they always release the higher denominations first when issuing a new design/style of cash?

It's because these bills are often the target of counterfeiters. For a while, some places here in Victoria BC were refusing fifties and hundreds because so many were fakes.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:28 PM on November 14, 2011


It's because these bills are often the target of counterfeiters. For a while, some places here in Victoria BC were refusing fifties and hundreds because so many were fakes.

That was common practice here in Edmonton, too. I'm pretty sure there are still some stores that refuse to accept anything larger than a $20, so this makes sense.
posted by asnider at 10:29 PM on November 14, 2011


Some friends moved to Australia, and as part of the process of liquidating their Vancouver life, ended up with around $6,000 that they converted to Australian dollars. I got to handle the stack of polymer bills, and it was weird and thrilling. Something about the technological newness of the polymer bills made them feel like they were worth more. They're close enough to paper that you don't feel like you're handling something that's not money, but the surface and bend is just different enough that you can't forget that they're not paper.
posted by fatbird at 10:30 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The last time in a long time that I saw 100s (my grandparents have been dead for some time) is when I went to the bank to pay just a little over 17 grand in legal fees, property transfer taxes and such when buying a house a few months ago. The bastards withdrew the amount physically and stacked it in front of me as if to taunt me with the riches I was departing with. It was a surprisingly small stack.

I don't like the window. I'm about to depart with more of those to buy actual windows. They're taunting me again.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:34 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


And they're keeping the colors! I love it, in the states you have to groggily stare at the greenbacks for a couple minutes to figure out what number is actually printed on each one and whether that funny old guy is winking at you.

In Canada all you need to see are colors and be like, "There's a salmon colored one and a blue one. Okay, were set."
posted by Slackermagee at 10:35 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fact: Every country in the world has cooler currency than the United States.
posted by LarryC at 10:45 PM on November 14, 2011 [15 favorites]


That settles it. California must secede from the U.S. just so we can mint money like that...

No way, I already told them they had to adopt Minnesota even before they had the cool money.

Their money is already cooler than ours. Ever had a few of Toonies in your pocket? Those things feel like MONEY. And they're made with TWO METALS. TWO OF THEM.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:50 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fact: Every country in the world has cooler currency than the United States.

Possibly, but as a person from a psychedelic currency country, I've felt kind of cool having several thou worth of unused $US notes in my pocket while travelling.
posted by Wolof at 10:52 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Polymer!

Artie Fufkin, Polymer Records.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:56 PM on November 14, 2011


Back when bill changing machines first came in, my (American) dad visiting up here in Canada thought it would be a lark to test the resolution of the reading devices, and see if these provincial Canadian devices would work with good old American greenbacks.

"On neat", he says, after getting his U.S. $1 bill exchanged for 4 quarters. "I wonder what will happen if i stick a five in it?" So he Sticks the five in. It gets rejected.

"Hmmm" he goes. "I'll bet it looks for a "1" in the top corners". So he sticks a ten in. It gets rejected.

"Well that can't be how it works", he guesses. "I'll bet it took the one because it was the same colour" ( in those days we had green $1 bills in Canada)

To prove this theory, he sticks a hundred in. Yep. You guessed it. The machine promptly spit out 4 Canadian quarters.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:01 PM on November 14, 2011 [80 favorites]


I have a Romanian polymer bank note (they were the third country to adopt polymer notes after Australia and New Zealand). It also has a "see-through" window in it. Very cool. But there is something about it that doesn't seem quite real. Probably just what you're used to, though.
posted by darkstar at 11:03 PM on November 14, 2011


I was confused by the same thing as not_on_display. Were Canadians putting paper money on looseleaf or something? 'Cause unless you actually rip 'em up or set 'em on fire, American dollars pretty much are indestructible; they get a bit grody but you can run 'em through the wash a million times and they'll still be fine.

These look fucking awesome though.
posted by NoraReed at 11:19 PM on November 14, 2011


Focus groups spot weird hidden images in new plastic money.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:54 PM on November 14, 2011


I saw the back of a 10 dollar bill from two series ago, the one of the industrial sections of Sarnia. As much as I love the new bills, I wish that some of that love for the cities, for industry, for modernism, would remain.

I want Habitat 67, Marshall McLuhan, bill bissett, Jack Bush stripes, and Jane Rule on my money--that would make it updated. Though a polymer is a good front step.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:00 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Polymer money is the best. Doesn't get all moist and grotty when you go out for a run with it in your shorts.
I'm waiting for those funky roll up polymer phones from the future.
posted by arcticseal at 12:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


that love for the cities, for industry, for modernism, would remain.

The new $10 will have a train. That's kind of industrial - and wonderfully transportationy.

I'm just going to miss the $5 when it gets replaced. There's nothing more Canadian than money with kids playing hockey on it. With a quote from a short story in both languages. About hockey.

I mean, sure, there'll be robots on the new $5, but I won't be happy unless it's robot hockey players (or robot William Lyon Mackenzie King -- the steam-operated automaton who served the last three years as PM after he died in 1946.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:20 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Australian scientists are printing solar cells using the same technology used to print the polymer banknotes.

(Video link may not work in some regions)
posted by robotot at 12:28 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Woah, wait. Never mind the plastic material. That bill has lower-case letters on it. Looks totally wrong for some reason.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:30 AM on November 15, 2011


..a lot like the celluloid film you used to load into your old-fashioned camera.

Wow, the 1880s seem just like yesterday!
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:32 AM on November 15, 2011


They'll go through the washing machine ok most likely but be careful when microwaving your pants.
posted by gomichild at 12:34 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Back in those days, fives had pictures of robots on them. 'Gimme two bots for a train', you'd say.
posted by mannequito at 12:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [14 favorites]


Canada needs to honor David Cronenberg with a bill.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:53 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I personally like the window - not to mention the microscope and the double helix!
Nice touch.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 12:54 AM on November 15, 2011


As someone who runs his wallet through the laundry at least twice a year, I can state definitively that the current Canadian bills are rubust to the wash cycle. I also support that they're making them more waterproof, because christ knows what I'll do next.
posted by auto-correct at 1:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Currency paper is almost never made out of 'paper' paper. The American dollar bills are made from cotton primarily.

http://www.moneyfactory.gov/faqlibrary.html
posted by Catfry at 2:53 AM on November 15, 2011


Focus groups spot weird hidden images in new plastic money.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:54 PM on November 14 [+] [!]


Canadian Sex Toy is my new band name.
posted by chavenet at 3:10 AM on November 15, 2011


Does anyone know whether Canada is licensing the Australian polymer banknote technology or using a different system?
posted by acb at 4:03 AM on November 15, 2011


Seriously, though, is there a reason why they always release the higher denominations first when issuing a new design/style of cash?

It's to get people used to the new money, not anything to do with counterfeiting. (There are a lot more fake $20 bills produced than fake $100 bills)

By the time the $20 is introduced, most people will have come into contact with a new $100 at some point. That's the idea.
posted by Jairus at 5:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Singapore has polymer bills - it feels weird having this indestructible unfoldable (never quite the same in a slim wallet) currency
posted by infini at 5:23 AM on November 15, 2011


This is cool, I liked the Australian plastic notes when I visited. US dollars are really weird to me -- they crumple so readily. I always feel like I'm pulling a wad of tissues out of my pockets when I go to pay for things. Even the paper Canadian notes have more structural integrity.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:40 AM on November 15, 2011


Canada needs to honor David Cronenberg with a bill.

That's one way to bring Canada's cash economy to a sudden halt.
posted by psoas at 6:01 AM on November 15, 2011


...it's stretchy...feels a lot like celluloid film....
Ummmm, no, film is not stretchy

get off my lawn
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:04 AM on November 15, 2011


Still waiting for this to happen.
posted by Fizz at 6:23 AM on November 15, 2011


"stolen image spacer.gif" is what will happen?
posted by infini at 6:29 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Canada have bill changers on vending machines, or do they just not take $5s?

Seriously, though, is there a reason why they always release the higher denominations first when issuing a new design/style of cash?

I think higher denominations also circulate longer, since they change hands less often. So you want to get a bit of a head start on that.
posted by smackfu at 6:39 AM on November 15, 2011


Canada needs to honor David Cronenberg with a bill.

I don't think the current generation of moist, finger-ready orifices is up to the challenge. Perhaps in a few years or so.
posted by bonehead at 6:59 AM on November 15, 2011


But it's still King, most bizarre PM ever, on the fifty.

Strange that the themes of the bills should celebrate Canadian acheivements in science and technology while this clown's portrait remains on the front of that bill.
posted by fredludd at 7:01 AM on November 15, 2011


I wonder what happens when crystal meth hits these things.
posted by griphus at 7:15 AM on November 15, 2011


The last time in a long time that I saw 100s (my grandparents have been dead for some time) is when I went to the bank to pay just a little over 17 grand in legal fees, property transfer taxes and such when buying a house a few months ago. The bastards withdrew the amount physically and stacked it in front of me as if to taunt me with the riches I was departing with. It was a surprisingly small stack.

The last time I remember seeing 100s was when I moved in 2005, and I change banked because my old bank didn't have much of a presence in my new city. My old bank did have a branch downtown in my new city, so I went to them to close my account and withdraw my money, and asked for a cashier's check. They told me that would cost me $15, which seemed ridiculous, so I asked for it in cash instead.

Three thousand bucks in hundreds is depressingly small. If I ever have to do that again I'm getting it in singles. Since all American money is green, I can just squint and pretend that I'm a hundred times1 as rich as I am.

1. Insert "1%" joke here
posted by madcaptenor at 7:33 AM on November 15, 2011


I always keep an Australian $50, $20, $10 and $5 note in my wallet. Reminds me of home. I miss QE2 being on the coins.

I pull them out when the discussion turns to how I'm from Australia and my wife exclaims how cool our money is.
posted by Talez at 7:40 AM on November 15, 2011


US money is boring because, frankly, a large percentage of the country would freak the hell out if they used polymer currency and interesting colors.

We'd never hear the end of the communist conspiracy, the anti-Jesus conspiracy, Papist plots, Muslim machinations, and so on and so on and so on. Half of the Republican candidates would call for the Treasury to be disbanded on account of anti-american activities and general malfeasance.

Kinda interesting how many nice things you can't have for those same reasons.
posted by aramaic at 7:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's depressing how right you are, aramaic. :(
posted by xedrik at 8:44 AM on November 15, 2011


Seriously, though, is there a reason why they always release the higher denominations first when issuing a new design/style of cash?

Here's an (I think) fourth theory: you roll out new technology gradually, starting with the bill you print the fewest of. If it turns out to take longer or cost more than you thought, or have some hidden flaw or something, you're not in as much trouble as if you started with the high-volume bills first.

$100 bills are kind of like an invite-only beta test. If they're not so useful to you, you're not invited.
posted by Honorable John at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's smooth, it's stretchy, it's waterproof

I'm surprised they didn't ask Stockwell Day to dust off the ol' wetsuit and jetski for the official unveiling.
posted by Kabanos at 9:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I reserve judgment until i have a chance to try the free samples.
posted by storybored at 9:37 AM on November 15, 2011


Money = human-hating fetish-object. Do you use "money"? If so, congratulations on propping up a system of oppressive hatred that kills millions of people every day. I bet it feels good fondling your little colourful sheets of evil, which are made of flattened-out third world children.

I never touch money, and that's why I'm morally superior to all of you. Here's how you can turn from your money-humping existence and become a human being again. You know, with FEELINGS and COMPASSION for other people. Yeah, you dimly remember what that was like, you Nazi.

1. Say some guy offers you a nice piece of money. Merely respond, "Nay, brother! I giveth unto you my love, and neither papyrus nor metal shall reward me, but GOD himself covereth me in his rich jism of righteousness."

2. Conversely, imagine that some lady asks you for a quart of money. Simply reply: "Sister, it is written that she that taketh coin doth taketh also hellfire unto her bowels, yet she that doth repenteth of silver doth douche her anus with clean waters".

3. What about putting money into complex financial products that seek to provide a healthy rate of return while minimizing risk to the investor? Well ... those are OK, because the money is WORKING to provide growth and jobs while protecting the careers of our country's fine finance professionals.

The point here is that regular money is just money that ISN'T working - it's just lying around. It's creating a drain on our society, and God hates that. Don't let your money get away with that lazy, contemptuous bullshit. Tell your money: "get the fuck out of my back pocket and into a high-yield bond, you talentless piece of Satan-piss."

But that's just my - and Jesus' - 2 cents.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well y'all can just forget about polymer bills in the US of A. also any true acceptance of the dollar coin until Crane and Co. releases their grip on congress.They are the sole producer of the paper US curency is printed on.
posted by Gungho at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2011


Money = human-hating fetish-object. Do you use "money"? If so, congratulations on propping up a system of oppressive hatred that kills millions of people every day.

I am not joking when I say that I read those two sentences and thought, "this sounds like the quidnunc kid."
posted by Dasein at 10:18 AM on November 15, 2011


Hi, Dasein!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Canada have bill changers on vending machines, or do they just not take $5s?

Vending machines typically only take coins. As a result, you'll occasionally see a bill changer near a row of vending machines, so you can turn your bills into coins with which to purchase some junk food.
posted by asnider at 1:25 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


i love plastic banknotes -- you can wash them with no problem if you're worried about bacteria and such. Gives a whole new meaning to money laundering.
posted by 3mendo at 1:37 PM on November 15, 2011


I know it's not as big a problem up North, but I would think that a little bit of UV light exposure would degrade these things rather quickly. Linen banknotes are stable for at least a century... I really doubt these will last that long.
posted by MikeWarot at 2:21 PM on November 15, 2011


Metafilter: Money = human-hating fetish-object.
posted by exphysicist345 at 2:22 PM on November 15, 2011


> Seriously, though, is there a reason why they always release the higher denominations first when issuing a new design/style of cash?

In Australia, they rolled out the denominations from lowest to highest. My memory is that they started with the $5 (Australia has coins for $1 and $2) because lower denomination notes are used more often and wear out quicker. Polymer notes last four times longer than paper.

I'd also forgotten until I read the wiki article just now that the $5 was originally described as a "plastic banknote". They rebranded with "polymer" for the $10 and above because there was some public resistance to the idea of money made from plastic.
posted by Georgina at 5:33 PM on November 15, 2011


I know it's not as big a problem up North, but I would think that a little bit of UV light exposure would degrade these things rather quickly.

I guess this is why Australia have managed to work with it for the last decade or so. I suppose there has to be some compensation for living in such a notoriously overcast country.
posted by howfar at 7:28 PM on November 15, 2011


Metafilter: Money = human-hating fetish-object.
posted by howfar at 7:29 PM on November 15, 2011


I just picked up a handful of these at the bank, and man, do they smell bad. I don't know how it compares to the pungent aroma of the fecal/cocaine combo that gets ground into the fibers of cotton money, but when vaults are full of this stuff I bet banking staff are going to be going home early with splitting headaches.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:24 PM on November 15, 2011


The first real job I had I didn't have a bank account. I got a paper check and cashed it at branch it was drawn from, I had to have 2 forms of Id and at least once they asked for a thumbprint. I got that shit in 20s so I would have a fat stack. I uses a big ass document clip for a money clip. Man it was fun to be 22 and working for a dotcom.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:24 PM on November 15, 2011


I also support that they're making them more waterproof, because christ knows what I'll do next.

No doubt. I get up to some shenanigans in Canadia.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:19 AM on November 19, 2011


Does Canada have bill changers on vending machines, or do they just not take $5s?
...
Vending machines typically only take coins. As a result, you'll occasionally see a bill changer near a row of vending machines, so you can turn your bills into coins with which to purchase some junk food.


For what it's worth, the vending machines at my work have bill changers on them. I have yet to get one to actually, you know, accept a bill, but they're there. :)
posted by antifuse at 7:57 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It just occurs to me that maybe you can shrink these suckers by putting them in the oven like a bag of chips. Not that you'd want to with a high denomination, of course.

And then that makes me wonder if a terrorist/anti-establishment type could just crank up the heat in a bank...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:09 AM on December 13, 2011


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