Last updated on August 18th, 2021 at 01:33 pm
Last Updated on August 18, 2021 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
Canada discontinued its two-dollar bill 25 years ago and replaced it with the toonie coin. The government then pulled tender status from this and several other banknotes in 2021. Now, this piece of Canadian paper money can be worth up to tens of thousands of dollars for a rare and perfect note.
The two-dollar bill came into circulation in the 1800s, before the Confederation of Canada. In 1886, the Province of Canada began printing its own Canadian paper money, which included the two-dollar denomination. Starting in 1901, the Dominion of Newfoundland also printed notes that included a two-dollar denomination. It switched currencies when it joined Confederation in 1949.
Over the years, the two-dollar bill took on various designs to mark different phases in history. For example, the 1954 version issued by the Bank of Canada had a reddish hue and featured Queen Elizabeth II in her youth. The final version of the note, which was last created in 1986, also included a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Like its predecessor, it is reddish in colour and features a picture of the Queen in her older years.
Some older versions of the two-dollar bill are green. For example, one dating from 1887 included portraits of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, the Governor General and his wife. This note was in circulation shortly after the Canadian West opened up to settlers, following the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
The two-dollar bill developed quite a reputation for itself in some parts of Canada. It was considered a key currency in the red-light district in Winnipeg. Consequently, many people outside of the area shunned the two-dollar bill and preferred not to use or own it. In some circles, it was also considered insulting to give someone a two-dollar bill, even if it was the logical change to be returned from a larger bill.
For these and other reasons, the two-dollar bill also developed a reputation in the West, where it was noticeably less common. In fact, outside of its association with the red-light district, Western Canadians disliked the bill because it was often considered bad luck. Sometimes, even bankers wanted nothing to do with it.
Bills of smaller denominations tend to attract more wear and tear than larger bills, such as the $100. Consequently, the Canadian government decided it was time to do away with the smaller denominations, including the two-dollar bill. So, in 1996, the toonie entered circulation as the far more economical choice. While minting a coin costs far more than printing a dollar bill, the cost savings come from the fact that not even polymer notes can match the decades-long life expectancy for coins.
Despite its replacement 25 years ago, the recent discontinuation of legal tender status implies that there might be more $2 bills entering the market for collecting. Some people find these bills with the belongings of older relatives. Every so often, a two-dollar bill also surfaces as regular change during cash transactions.
While these are exciting ways to hunt for two-dollar bills, they are not always fruitful. The longer you wait to get your hands on one, the more likely it is for the value to climb. This is why so many collectors turn to Colonial Acres Coins. Here, more recent two-dollar bills from the 1930s onward are available in a variety of grades and price points. Start your collection today.