Clinton Beck Appraiser

Soon, some out-of-print bills will not be accepted in day-to-day transactions, and Edmonton currency collectors are recommending Canadians do their research before exchanging them.

The $1, $2, $25, $500 and $1,000 bills will no longer have legal tender status as of Jan. 1, 2021, meaning they will longer be accepted in cash transactions. The move was approved by Parliament in 2018.

The majority of the bills haven’t been produced in decades.

The bills will not lose their value after Jan. 1, a Bank of Canada news release said, and people will still be able to redeem them at face value through financial institutions, or by sending them directly to the Bank of Canada.

Clinton Beck, president of Beck Numismatics Rare Coin Dealer, recommends that people do some research, or get an appraisal before exchanging their outdated bills through banks, because some versions are worth more than their face value.

“Basically the ones you want to be most aware of are the smaller denominations, the ones and twos,” Beck said.

There are a couple things to look for when assessing the value of out-of-print bills, he said. The quality of the bill matters, and typically the ones that are more valuable are more than 60 years old.

A star located at the beginning of the serial number can be a sign of value. As well as bill printed around 1954, which is known for its devil’s face.

“The telltale sign is in the queen’s hair,” Beck said. “And in 1954, the first series of currency they made had a devil, and if you look at her hair, you can see a nose and mouth and the eyes and a little horn.”

A lot of the bills haven’t been issued in decades. The most recent was the $1,000 bill, which was discontinued in 2000.

“Canada is one of the few holdouts where you were able to use bills that basically have become obsolete and replaced by new ones,” said Jean de Browyne, a treasurer with the Edmonton Numismatic Society.

The loss of legal tender status and bills being exchanged for face value may thin out of the remaining collected bills and lead to a possible uptick in worth.