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New Canadian Plastic $20 Bills Introduced in 2012

The Polymer 20-Dollar Bill Pays Tribute to the Battle of Vimy Ridge


Dateline: 11/30/12

The Plastic Canadian $20 Bill Goes Into Circulation

The new Canadian $20 bill went into circulation on November 7, 2012. The $20 bill is the third in the Polymer series of bank notes which are printed on a plastic material, unlike the older bills in the Canadian Journey series, which were printed on cotton paper. The plastic bank notes are more secure, more durable, cheaper to produce and greener than their older versions. At the official ceremony introducing the $20 bill, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney pointed out that it was a significant milestone for the Polymer series, since the $20 bill is the most used denomination and it means the plastic bills will soon be a part of Canadians' daily lives.

Security Features of the Polymer $20 Bill

The Bank of Canada site shows in detail the many new security features of the Polymer $20 bank note and how you can use them to verify if the note is genuine. Security features include raised ink, windows, transparent text, even hidden numbers.

New $20 Bill Showcases the Vimy Memorial

The front of the $20 bill features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth. The back of the note has an image of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. The memorial commemorates the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Carved on its walls are the names of the 11,285 Canadian soldiers who were killed in France in World War I and had no known grave at the time.

Tips on Handling Polymer Notes

Polymer notes feel a little different than the older cotton-paper notes. Here are a few tricks in handling them:

  • Polymer notes are light and sometimes feel a little slippery. That wears off as they get into circulation.

  • Avoid creasing or crumpling the notes. If a note does get creased or crumpled, just curl it in your hand or apply pressure to flatten it.

  • If a Polymer note gets dirty, you can just wipe it clean with a bit of water.

  • Polymer notes don't tear easily, but sometimes a small nick can start a tear. If that happens, mend it with a piece of tape. The note will be removed from circulation once it gets to a bank.

  • New Polymer notes will stick together because of static electricity. To count a stack of notes, hold the stack in one hand, and use your thumb to push the notes one by one into your other hand.

Polymer Notes to Follow

Two more Polymer bank notes are expected to be released in 2013:

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