This post was updated on August 2021
It’s time to turn in your old Canadian paper money.
The government is removing the status of old Canadian bills in an effort to reduce counterfeiting since they lack the security features that current in-print bills have. As of January 1, 2021, you can no longer use these discontinued Canadian bills in transactions: $1, $2, $25, $500, and $1,000.
The Bank of Canada will still honour the value of old Canadian paper money – all you have to do is return the bills to a financial institution. That said, you may want to consider the value of your old Canadian paper bills before you return them to a bank. What happens if one of them is rare and ends up being worth more than its face value?
Don’t underestimate the value of your old Canadian paper bills. If you have old banknotes lying around in drawers or boxes stuffed away in closets, it’s worth identifying if they hold more value than meets the eye.
That's where we come in. A trusted Canadian brand like Muzeum can easily identify your Canadian paper money value. We offer free evaluations to help you identify the value of old Canadian bills you may have uncovered. Consider how to best assess the value of your Canadian money and where to sell old Canadian bills.
To help streamline your process of assessing your paper money, we’ve also outlined some tips and information to help you determine the value of your old Canadian bills. You might just find a rare Canadian bill worth thousands of dollars!
Let's first dispel a common misconception surrounding old Canadian paper bills, which became popular in 2014. You might have heard that the discontinued $2 Canadian bill is worth $10,000 — but that's wrong.
Indeed, a $2 paper bill at auction did sell for $10,000 — but not because it was $2. Instead, it was because the signatures of the wrong officials were on it. The 1986 $2 notes with the AUG, AUH, and AUJ serial numbers should include the signatures of Bank of Canada governor Gerald Bouey and deputy governor John Crow, but some instead had the signatures of Bank of Canada governor John Crow and deputy governor Gordon Thiessen. These misprinted Canadian bills are actually the ones worth any money.
A quick glance on eBay for people selling regular $2 bills paints a not very sunny picture for hopeful sellers: they’re going for just a little over their face value, and most never get any bids anyway.
One of the most valuable and rarest pieces of Canadian paper money is the $1,000 bill, which was discontinued in 2000 at the request of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Apparently, this hefty bill was being used mainly within criminal organizations. The 1992 Canadian paper bills were dubbed "pinkies" because of their red-pink colour, and it's believed that criminals still used them even after its discontinuation.
You can find $1000 Canadian bills in runs from 1935 (like the one pictured above), 1937, 1954, and 1992. The 1935 and 1937 are considered collectible Canadian paper money and are always worth bringing in. When it comes to the 1954 note, the paper money's value is determined by the item's signature, serial number, and condition. As for the 1992 note, it isn’t currently worth much, but maybe in the future after the status changes set in.
According to the CBC, it was announced back in 2018 that the government would remove the legal tender status of these notes, which means you can no longer use them in cash transactions. The Bank of Canada defines the banknotes it issues as “legal tender,” meaning that it can be used as official Canadian money in a transaction.
The good news here is that, even when they lose legal tender status, banknotes do not necessarily lose their value – they just can’t be spent. They can, however, be considered valuable due to their rarity, among other factors. Suffice to say, $1000 bills are rich in value and history.
One of the most exciting finds you can have as a Canadian paper money collector is a rare Canadian 1 dollar bill. Since dollar bills were discontinued in 1989, they are exceedingly unique and can fetch up to $350.
As with all coin collectibles and antiques, the value of old Canadian dollar bills depends on condition and rarity. So, you’ll want to ensure any Canadian dollar bills you have been yellowed, dog-eared, or torn.
There is a major notable $1 note in Canada, however, that will fetch you even more value than the regular one. Launched in 1954, this notorious print is dubbed “The Devil's Face” due to some people thinking that the depiction of the Queen's hair looked sort of like a devil's face. They were taken out of circulation, but a few still remain in Canada. We paid $3,500.00 for the 1954 Bank of Canada $1 Devil’s Face Asterisk note pictured below – which is not too shabby!
Even more interesting is that the Devil's Face replacement bank notes are themselves worth a pretty penny – so to speak. According to some specialists, the 1954 run of these Canadian paper bills can be worth as much as $7,000 (for the $20 bill) and as low as $3,000 (for the $1 bill). Talk about a valuable find for notes that don't even contain a devil's face!
You don’t want to sell an old Canadian bill only to find out that its value is more than you sold it for. That said, it can be hard to determine Canadian paper money value when you don’t know what to look for.
We’re happy to provide a bit of a cheat sheet so you have a better idea of the value of old Canadian bills when determining if you want to sell, donate, or pass on your paper money.
If you have any of the following Canadian paper bills, they are more than likely worth getting a FREE Evaluation from Muzeum as the likelihood of them being more than face value is high:
And many more, including this Bank of Canada 1935 Canadian Dollar Bill, which we paid $575.00 for:
As well as this 1934 Imperial Bank of Canada $5 bill worth $180:
When you discover a collection of old Canadian money, whether it be yours or handed down from a relative, the common question that people ask themselves is “how much is this worth?”
Sure, an old 2 dollar bill looks cool – but how much can you actually get for that old Canadian paper money?
The short answer is paper money value depends on a few factors. Specifically, Old Canadian money value is dependent on:
How many of these banknotes are still in circulation? Do your research – if 1000 other people have the same old Canadian dollar bill as you, chances are that it’s not worth as much as if you have old Canadian paper bills that only had a handful of printings.
A rare Canadian 1 dollar bill may be worth big bucks, but if it rips into two, its value is cut in half too. If you suspect that your old Canadian paper money is worth something, it’s important to protect it – keep it in a binder, in a plastic sleeve etc so that you can preserve it and protect it from any damage. The value of old Canadian bills depreciates with wear and tear.
The quality of old Canadian dollar bills is usually rated on a spectrum:
The higher the quality, the higher the paper money value:
A good way to assess your Canadian paper money value is to see what others are selling it for either in-store or online. If most online sellers are pricing it at the same price point, that’s a good indication of its current paper money value.
The next time you find yourself wondering what your old Canadian coins or paper money are worth, just remember these examples of Canadian money that were (and weren’t) found to be valuable.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, or if you have any questions, then drop by our store and bring in your old Canadian money for a free evaluation (or simply send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org). Our experts will help you identify your Canadian paper money value to make sure you’re getting the most value for your old bills.
If you are interested in selling old Canadian bills or selling gold in Toronto, know that we also evaluate and buy and sell gold coins, bullion, and jewellery, all at unrivalled prices. All evaluations are done right in front of you with testing methods that measure precious metal content as well as purity. Our silver and gold prices are determined based on what we find, as well as the current market value, which we display openly on our website.
The next time you’re clearing out your drawers and closets of old Canadian money, whether that be bills or coins, be sure to bring your collection to Muzeum so that we can take a look and see whether you actually have a rare find on your hands. You may be surprised by your old Canadian money value!
Wondering what your paper money, coins or gold are worth? Send an email with pictures to email@example.com or give us a call at 1-800-746-0902.
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