The Bank of Canada will continue with its new polymer banknote series by releasing the new $20 bill in less than a month.
The new banknote – set for release on November 7 – is the third bill in Canada’s new polymer series. The $50 and $100 bills were released earlier this year.
Polymer notes are not only stronger and more durable than cotton-paper blend banknotes, they also have the capacity to hold extra security features.
There are nine distinctive features on the new $20 bill:
- Raised Ink: This feature appears on the large number that depicts the denomination (in the case a “20” on the left side of the bill), on the shoulder of the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and also on the words “Bank Of Canada/Banque du Canada” which appear near the transparent window.
- Transparent Window: Like the $100 and $50 bills, a large transparent window is present on the right side of the bill. The window contains a metallic portrait of both the Queen and of a building.
- Metallic Portrait: The metallic portrait featured in the transparent window identically matches the large portrait seen on the left side of the bill.
- Metallic Building: The clock tower building in the transparent window changes colour when the note is titled.
- Small Numbers: A series of small numbers also appears in the transparent window. These numbers correspond to the value of the note and some of them appear in reverse.
- Transparent Text: Also in the transparent window, see-through lettering of the word “Canada” is visible and feels slightly raised.
- Maple Leaf Border: A series of maple leafs surrounding the right side of the transparent window also cross over into the clear part, noting visible changes in the design.
- Frosted Maple Leaf Window: A frosted maple leaf appears on the left side of the note and is surrounded by a transparent outline.
- Hidden Numbers: A series of small numbers that match the bill’s denomination appear within the frosted window. These numbers can only be seen by using a small light like an incandescent bulb or a pot light.
The new series is not without its controversy. A recent Postmedia News investigation found that the Central Bank spent nearly $40,000 to display a seven-storey image of the new note on the Bank of Canada’s headquarters in downtown Ottawa.
“Broken down, the central bank paid $35,832 (or about 1,792 worth of the banknotes) to a digital imaging company on the design, production and installation of the two images on the glass office tower, according to the documents,” reported the Vancouver Sun. “The images were printed on a product called ‘Clearview,’ which displays the note from the outside, but is transparent to people inside the building.”
The Bank, however, said the public display was a way to help promote the new bill and educate consumers about its new design and security features prior to its release in November.
“It’s a big change,” said Julie Girard, currency spokesperson for the Bank of Canada. “It’s a good return on investment to inform Canadians.”
Girard also said that $20 bills make up half of the banknotes in circulation in Canada.