The new polymer Canadian $100 bills finally entered circulation last week. If you hadn’t already read Bryce Tarling’s article, the Bank of Canada have decided to change the format of the current Canadian currency. Loaded with security features, the new bills are almost all polymer (a fancy way of saying “plastic”).
The new bills feature two transparent windows, metallic drawings, raised ink, and a bunch more security features, making them almost impossible to counterfeit.
While eventually all Canadian bills will see an update, it is only the $100 bill that has begun to circulate. We should start seeing $50 bills this March, but the $20s, $10s, and $5s won’t see your pocket until late 2013, presumably due to the much greater quantity required.
While very expensive to make (twice the price of the current bills), the idea is that these new bills are so tough they’ll last a lot longer, meaning less wasted currency and no awkward moments at Tim Horton’s with a ripped bill. Apparently, they tested them against ripping, melting, and even freezing.
The new bills also make verifying authenticity a much easier process to your average merchant or consumer, as the bills are loaded with “easy-to-spot/hard-to-fake” features, such as the raised ink, colour changes, and a window that displays the currency amount when hit with a monochromatic light source.