Is my Canadian banknote worth $25,000?
By Coinsandcanada | Saturday, April 24, 2021
Following the lost of legal tender status for $1, $2, $25, $500, and $1,000 banknotes at the beginning of 2021, multiple post and articles appeared on social medias and websites about banknotes worth up to $25,000. Fact is, if you have a modern banknote in hand, there is a one-in-a-billion chance it is worth several thousand dollars.
The two most mentioned banknotes in the past years are:
2 dollars 1986 - Birds of Canada banknotes
In February 1996, Bank of Canada discontinued the $2 banknotes, which the Mint replaced with bimetallic coins featuring a polar bear on the back. At that time, most families in the country kept a couple of these low denomination notes for memory or hope to resell it later for a good price. Still modern, easy to find, millions still existing in private hands, most of the 2 dollars 1986 bills are usually worth just a little more than face value.
The only exceptions are those with Thiessen-Crow signatures on the front and a prefix beginning with AUG, AUH or AUJ on the back. For example, the PCGS GUNC-65 Thiessen-Crow AUJ9415279 banknote sold for $12,980 at Public Torex Auction in February 2018. It was described as Believed to be the finest known. Back in May 2013, it sold for $4,500.
1 dollar 1973 - Scenes of Canada banknotes
Like the 1986 2 dollars note most Canadians kept some of 1973 1 dollar from the Scenes of Canada during the withdrawal in the 80's. Most banknotes with an asterisk before the serial number are worth more than face value, but the rarer ones that might worth several thousand dollars starts with *MD.
For example, the PMG CUNC-64 *MD3644999 banknote sold for $9,900 at RCNA Sale Ottawa on July 22, 2016 and back in March 2006, the *MD3234999 sold for $11,376 CAD at auction. More recently, it sold for $9,775 CAD at Torex Auction in June 2017.
Bank of Canada prints several million banknotes each year, but few of them are worth a lot. As time goes by since production of a note, the probability of finding an exceptional one decrease.
Another exceptional banknote is the 10 dollars 1971 with EEP prefix. You can find historical sales of this banknote on the Top 10 banknotes sold in 2020 article.
Find the value by denomination and prefix/serial number
On the Bank of Canada banknotes price guide and values, you can choose the denomination of a particular banknote and then enter the prefix and the serial number. The search engine will detect if the banknote contains a special serial number or if the banknote was previously certified and sold in an auction. It will also list the value of the banknote for most grades.
The search engine is currently limited to 1935 to 2002 Bank of Canada banknotes. If there is an asterisks "*" before the prefix of a particular banknote, it needs to be typed too in the Prefix field.
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