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What is Cash?

Cash in Canada is in the form of notes popularly known as bills and coins. The dollar denominations go as 1 ¢, 5 ¢, 10 ¢, 25 ¢, 50 ¢, $1 and $2 for coins and bills are issued in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 denominations.

$1, $2 and $1000 notes were removed from the Canadian dollars in the years1989, 1996 and 2000 respectively. The $1 and $2 denominations have been replaced with coins. The $1000 note was removed at the request of the Solicitor’s General of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as it was reported that they were largely being used for money laundering and organized crime. The $500 denomination was included only in the 1935 series and it was short lived. Money in Canada is supplied by The Bank of Canada to financial organizations to satisfy the public demand of requirement of cash. The financial organizations receive notes through country’s bank note distribution system and return back notes that are unfit for circulation. The money thus obtained through the bank is checked by high-speed note-processing equipment for their fit circulation.

The dimensions of the notes issued in the year 1935 and 1937 series were 152.4 by 73.025 millimeters (6.0 by 2.875 inches) and those of all other series were 152.4 by 69.85 millimeters (6.0 by 2.75 inches).

These days, the bills are printed on 100 percent cotton papers. The paper industry in Canada has long since acknowledged the superior quality of cotton paper to woodpulp in printing Canadian currency. The cotton papers are long lasting and fade at a relatively lower rate compared to the woodpulp paper. For these reasons the currency is made of cotton paper for several decades.

The first series of currency printed in 1935 came out on papers made from 75 percent high-grade flax and 25 percent cotton. During the Second World War the composition changed and the cash was in the composition of 25 percent flax and 75 percent cotton. 100 percent cotton made cash came out in the year 1983 to conform with Quebec environmental laws pertaining to the use of flax.

The approximate life of currency varies with denominations. The approximate life of a $5, $10 bill is 1 to 2 years, whereas that of $20 is from2 to 4 years, that of $50 is 4 to 6 years and that of $100 is 7 to 9 years. The money in Canada is distributed to the public by the financial organization which in turn gets money from The Bank of Canada. The current Canadian dollar rates are at 1.1133 USD.

Counterfeiting cash as in any other country is an offence in Canada too, under section 449 of the criminal code. The criminal and civil laws provide rigid protection to prohibit the reproduction of the Canadian currency. Reproduction of Canadian cash in black and white or on single side or printing, as long as it is less than three-fourths or greater than 11/2 of the length of the bank note, will not be considered counterfeiting. Printing of the Canadian cash with prior permission of The Bank of Canada is also considered legal.

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