Current Canadian paper currency has security features that help prevent counterfeiting. Older, discontinued bills lack these features. In an effort to curb counterfeiting, these discontinued Canadian banknotes can no longer be used in transactions.
This doesn’t mean that they do not have value, however. If you have discontinued bills in denominations of $1,000, $500, $25, $2, or $1, you can return them to the Bank of Canada and redeem them for the face value. However, before you remit a Canadian one-dollar bill, take a close look at it. If it is in very good condition or bears other rare features, it may be worth a lot more than its face value.
What Makes Canadian $1 Bills Valuable?
When it comes to collectable currency, there are two aspects that affect the value. The first is rarity. Canadian $1 bills were discontinued over 30 years ago, in 1989. Since then, they have become increasingly rare. The other aspect that affects the value of Canadian banknotes is the quality, i.e., the condition that they are in. A one-dollar bill that has seen a lot of wear and tear probably isn’t worth any more than its face value because of the depreciation. However, a rare bill that is in such good condition that it seems nearly new may be worth quite a bit more.
Because the quality of discontinued Canadian banknotes is so important to their value, there is a spectrum used for rating them. In descending order, the values on the spectrum are broadly as follows:
- Almost uncirculated
- Extra fine
- Very fine
- Very Good
Uncirculated bills are of the highest quality and therefore worth the most. Bills that are in the fine or good ranges are not as valuable, but still worth something. If you have a high-quality Canada one-dollar bill, it may be worth tens or hundreds of dollars. For example, an Almost Uncirculated 1973 one-dollar note with the right serial number could be worth $250. You may want to store your bills in some sort of plastic sleeve or binder to prevent further damage that could affect their value.
Are Some Canadian $1 Bills Rarer Than Others?
Generally speaking, Canadian $1 bills are rare by virtue of being discontinued. However, there are some series that are less common than others and therefore more valuable. For example, bills from the print runs of 1935 and 1937 rarely turn up, so if you happen to have one, it may be worth a lot more than a more recent Canadian one-dollar bill.
Sometimes it is something unusual about the bill itself that makes it rare and valuable. For example, the 1954 Landscape series of bills had an engraved portrait of Queen Elizabeth in which some of the curls in her hair gave the impression of a leering face with exaggerated features. The engraving was altered to remove the putative face in later print runs. The so-called “devil’s head” bills were taken out of circulation, making them uncommon today. They are also objects of curiosity, as people like to look closely to see if they can find the reported demonic face. “Devil’s head” bills of any denomination may be worth thousands of dollars if they are in extremely good condition. The denomination of the bill also makes a difference to its value, with higher denominations being worth more, but even a 1954 Canada one-dollar bill may be worth up to $3,000.
Find Rare Canadian Bank Notes at Colonial Acres Coins
By its very nature, paper money isn’t intended to last as long as coins. Therefore, it is unusual to find older bills in good condition. If you are interested in collecting rare Canadian $1 bills, check out our selection at Colonial Acres Coins.