Canadian Paper Money Terminology
- Advertising Note - a simulated
note with no redeemable value,
issued solely for advertising purposes. (See Commission Scrip and
- Altered Note - one on which
the name of the issuer or the
denomination has been changed for a fraudulent purpose. (See also
- Army Bill - a note issued in
Canada by the British Government in
the period 1812-1815.
- Asterisk Note - one which has
an asterisk preceding the serial numbers.
- Bank Note - paper money issued
by a bank or other banking institution.
- Bill of Exchange - a written
order by the drawer to the drawee to pay a sum
of money on a given date. Usually three copies, designated as
and Third, are sent by separate means and payment is made on the first
- Bon - a merchants note issued
by a French-Canadian merchant. From 'Bon pour' etc.
- Broken Bank - an inappropriate
term occasionally applied to a bank whose notes
are no longer redeemable.
- Business College Note - a
simulated note used by a business college in order
to familiarize largely rural students with the handling of paper money
in banking and business
- Canada Currency - an overprint
placed on bank notes in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward
Island after they entered Confederation, to show the denomination of
the note referred to
the Canadian dollar.
- Canadian Paper Money -
currency issued for use in areas which now constitute Canada,
including that payable by a foreign branch of a Canadian Bank.
- Canceled Note - one which has
been redeemed by the issuing authority.
- Card Money - currency written
or printed on pieces of cardboard. (See Playing Card money)
- Cash Note - one of a series
issued by the Government of Newfoundland prior to 1920.
- Characteristic Colour - the
predominant background colour of a note. (See Tint)
- Chartered Bank - a bank which
obtained authority to operate under a Government charter
- Colonial Ordonnance - a note
drawn on the Treasury of Quebec in the period prior to 1760.
- Commission Scrip - a type of
discount note widely used in central Canada
in the early years of the 20th century.
- Copy - a reproduction or
imitation of an original.
- Counterfeit Note - an
imitation note created with fraudulent intent.
- Countermark - see Overprint.
- Counterstamp - see Overprint.
- Depression Scrip - a note
issued during the depression of the 1930's, usually by a
municipal government, to provide a circulating medium or to make
- Devil's Head - an illusory
likeness of the devil which appears in the Queen's hair
on early notes of the 1954 Bank of Canada issue.
- Discount Note - one issued by
a merchant, with a purchase of goods, which offers
a discount on a future purchase.
- Dominion Note - one issued by
the Dominion of Canada.
- Error Note - one which has a
mistake made during its manufacture.
- Essay - a printed design of a
proposed note which was neither accepted nor issued.
- Face - the principal side of a
- Failed Bank - see Broken Bank.
- Forged Note (Forgery) - one
with an unauthorized alteration made with
the intent to deceive or defraud.
- Fractional Currency - paper
money issued by the Canadian or United
States Government in a denomination of less than one dollar.
- Halifax Currency - a standard
of exchange used in the Maritime
provinces, and later in Upper and Lower Canada, before Confederation,
which the Spanish dollar was valued at 5 shillings, as opposed to the
rating of 4 shillings and 6 pence.
- Imprint - see Overprint.
- Legal Tender - currency
explicitly determined by a government
to be legally acceptable in the discharge of debts.
- Manuscript Date (or Serial Number)
- written by hand.
- Merchants Note - one issued by
a merchant, non-banking corporation or institution.
- Misprint - see Error.
- Municipal Note - paper money
issued by a Municipal Government. (See Depression Scrip)
- Negotiable Note - one which is
- Non-Redeemable Note - one
which is no longer redeemable.
- Note - a piece of paper money.
- Obsolete Note - one which is
no longer current. Sometimes erroneously used to
mean 'not redeemable.'
- Ordnance - see Colonial
- Overprint - letters or words
printed or stamped on original printing,
usually in a distinctive colour.
- Paper Money - money, produced
on paper or similar material, redeemable
for value by the issuer and used as a medium of exchange.
- Phantom Bank - a non-existent
bank whose names appears on a spurious
note. These were usually produced to capitalize on the trust
for the Canadian bank issues.
- Planchettes - small coloured
discs imbedded in the paper used to print notes.
- Plate Number - small numerals
appearing on a note to identify
the printing plate which was used.
- Playing Card Money - card
money written on the backs of playing cards,
issued in Canada from 1685-1719 and 1729-1757.
- Political Note - see Satirical
- Prisoner of War Scrip - a
card, ticket, or note issued for the use of
prisoners in a prisoner of war camp.
- Private Bankers - persons or
firms carrying on a banking business
but not under Government charter. With few exceptions, they
did not issue notes.
- Proof Note - a printer's proof
of an item of paper money, later issued
in the same design but not necessarily the same colour.
- Provincial Note - one issued
by a provincial or colonial government.
- Raised Note - one on which the
denomination has been altered to a
higher denomination for a fraudulent purpose.
- Redeemable Note - one which
may be negotiated at face value.
- Remainder Note - one which was
unissued, being left over when the
issuer ceased to do business or changed to another design.
Usually it is
unsigned and undated.
- Satirical Note - a simulated
note issued for political purposes,
usually ridiculing individuals or institutions.
- Scrip - paper money issued by
a government for a specific purpose
or issued by a merchant or other body for local circulation.
It is not legal
tender. (See Commission Scrip, Depression Scrip, and Prisoner of War
- Shinplaster - a term applied
to Canadian Fractional Currency.
- Signatures-Manuscript -
Handwritten with a pen.
- Specimen Note - One which is
genuine, although not negotiable, with
no serial number or a serial number consisting solely of zeros, with
signature or no signature, sometimes with holes punched through the
positions and sometimes overprinted SPECIMEN.
Distributed to banks
and other institutions at the time of the introduction of a new issue
aid in recognizing the new notes and in detecting counterfeits.
- Spurious Bank - see Phantom
- Star Note - see Asterisk.
- Tint - the characteristic
background colour of a note.
- Vignette - an illustration or
a portrait appearing on a note.
- York Currency - a standard of
exchange used in New York, and for
a time in Toronto and Montreal, by which the Spanish dollar was valued
at 8 shillings. It was replaced in Upper and Lower Canada by
by ordinances and legislative Acts passed in 1777 and 1795.
'York Shilling,' as applied to the Spanish 2 reale piece and pistareen,
continued in common use long after Halifax Currency became the money of
to the CPMS