Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Making Money And Forgeries

The permanent exhibition space within the Bank of Canada Museum concerns itself with currency, both Canadian and foreign, and the development and nuances of economic systems over time. This display early on in the proceedings gives tips on how to tell a real bill from a counterfeit, in this case the five dollar bill featuring Wilfred Laurier.

A display case nearby contains a number of Canadian coins. Each are accompanied by an alpha numeric code. 

The details for each of those codes are unveiled on nearby screens. The bracelet concept I mentioned yesterday with its microchip is the easiest way to access the screens which allow one to view specific details on a given coin or bill. This is the case throughout the museum in regards to other currency and artifacts. It winds up saving a good deal of space as opposed to labeling everything directly in the display cases.

The collection here includes the last Canadian penny to be minted.

And it includes a two dollar coin, known as the toonie, among many other coins either in the display or in the database.

Counterfeiting in Canada has been an issue from the earliest days, a common issue in other countries around the world. Every bit of currency you see in the shot below is counterfeit.

Bringing them up on the screen gives details on two of the forgeries, an older one and a more recent one bearing the image of the Queen.

For today I leave off with this display case on bank note production.


  1. ...we had Canadian currency and coins that had been sitting in a drawer for YEARS! On a trip to Hamilton we tried to use them at a restaurant, the young girl at the cash register had never seen of them. Times sure had changed.

  2. I have been watching a programme about travelling across Canada by train, the presenter visited the Canadian Royal Mint at Winnipeg. He was shown a beautiful 'toonie' with an exquisitely enamelled and coloured aurora borealis on the back which actually shown just like the real thing in the dark.

  3. Money, money, money
    Must be funny
    In the rich man's world .... :))

  4. Modern banknotes are getting extremely clever, just in time for us to go cashless.

  5. Again very interesting...have a nice day!

  6. I love the thought of the nuances of an economic system.


  7. Interesting to see how the currency changes over the years. Today's notes are much more sophisticated not only in looks but technically also ✨

  8. I am still a bit sad we lost the German Mark for the Euro. And, haha, Joan is so right (referring to the Aussie dollar, not the euro that is)...

  9. @Tom: the Canadian two dollar bill is a good example of that. Hasn't been used in years. It's still cashable, but rare to see.

    @Lady Fi: I certainly thought so!

    @Rosemary: that would be the 2017 general circulation toonie, for the 150th anniversary of the country. There were two versions, the straight forward scene and the coloured northern lights. I have some stashed away in a beer mug of variant coins at home.

    @Ella: true!

    @Joan: indeed.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Italiafinlandia: thank you.

    @Janis: it's a dry subject, but the museum makes it interesting.

    @Grace: that's true of many national currencies.

    @Iris: some older European currencies are yet to come. I got close ups of Belgian and Dutch currency.

  10. Counterfeit money has been around forever, but I didn't realize that there was an entire exhibit anywhere about how to tell the difference between real and fake. Thanks for the great tour. :-)

  11. Counterfeit money is also an issue in our country. Sometimes it is not easy to tell the difference for inexperienced people.

  12. Forgery must be somewhat profitable as it's attempted so often. I've been given one forged bill.

  13. What an interesting museum William. I don't think I would be able to distinguish between real or fake notes if I was given one.

  14. i have always been curious ... the USA has such boring money ... u all have cool doe. LOL!! sorry money humor!! okay, i will try to be cool again?? not. ( ;

  15. @DJan: it makes sense to have them here, and when you look at the counterfeits on the displays or on the screens, they look convincing at first.

    @Maywyn: ...changes everything, as Cyndi Lauper once said.

    @Nancy: and the money making process becomes more complicated.

    @RedPat: it is!

    @Sharon: definitely!

    @Red: I haven't.

    @Sami: some are more obvious than others.

    @Beth: we have more than one colour!

  16. Interesting post, William, thanks !

  17. I like seeing coins from different countries. I like that Canadian two dollar coin :-)

  18. I'd love this exhibit. Forgeries and forgers have always fascinated me!

  19. Very interesting, a wonderful exhibit to see.

  20. The bills are even more perfect today as they are using scanners and other technology to produce bills that some stores are now unable to detect if it is a forgery.

  21. It is interesting to see how the security of banknotes and counterfeiters are in a continuous race with each other.

  22. @Karl: you're welcome.

    @Tamago: I do too. Most days I'll have one or two on me by the end of the day.

    @Jeanie: counterfeiters never seem to give up on it.

    @Bill: I certainly thought so.

    @Mari: that's true.

    @Jan: yes, it's quite a race.

  23. Interesting exhibit. There was a museum at the Old Mint in San Francisco that I never ventured into. I think I regret that now.

  24. I didn't read your blog post yesterday, but the bracelet concept is a neat idea - I am sure it also saves time and money with the displays! Very interesting information about currencies - I guess I didn't know that Canada is no longer minting pennies!

  25. Great exhibit and well posted and photographed here ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  26. Hm. I saved a two dollar bill somewhere. I think. :-)

  27. That would be the place for me (I collect coins). Very interesting post. Thank you.

  28. @Kay: I enjoyed this visit.

    @Angie: it's been a few years now.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Jennifer: I've saved some pennies.

    @Klara: I do collect some coins.