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Printed Before 1936

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Dominion of Canada Paper Money

Value of Bank Notes from The Dominion of Canada

Currency marked as “The Dominion of Canada” was the main type of paper money used in Canada from 1870 to 1935.  Dominion of Canada bank notes are highly collectible and can frequently be rare and valuable.  There are only about twenty design types that are considered collectible.  That makes this a fun but challenging type set to assemble.  Each design type usually has at least two varieties.  So you always want to make sure you understand exactly what you have when trying to determine its value.  Most bank notes that the average collector is going to encounter are denominated as five dollars or less.  Anything higher than five dollars should be considered extremely rare.  In fact, only the Dominion of Canada was allowed to issue these small denominations until The Bank of Canada started issuing currency in 1935.  Chartered bank notes were issued during the same time period as Dominion notes, but they were mostly regional.  Your bank note should look similar to one of the designs seen below.  Click on the picture to learn more about your currency.  We provide free appraisals and we are always looking to buy.  Feel free to contact us at your convenience.  We quickly respond to all emails.  Manning@CanadaCurrency.com

25 Cent Bank Notes - Dominion of Canada

Twenty-five cent Canadian bank notes are commonly referred to as shinplasters. They are the lowest denomination and the only fractional currency issued by The Dominion of Canada. These are frequently dismissed as being common and of little collector value. While that is true of most examples, some varieties are quite rare and valuable. Notes from 1870 have the greatest chance of being rare. Some 25 cent fractionals from 1900 and 1923 will be worth good money if they are in perfect condition. Click on a year below to learn more about what makes these notes rare or common.

One Dollar Bank Notes - Dominion of Canada

In the world of paper money one dollar bank notes are often passed over because they are usually common and unexciting. However, you definitely don't want to dismiss any Dominion of Canada one dollar bank notes. You could spend a lifetime trying to complete a set with all of the different varieties that are out there (especially for the 1870 series). Every series year presents a collecting challenge if you are looking for choice uncirculated examples. A design type set of Dominion of Canada $1 bills can probably be completed for around $10,000. Click on a year below to find out if you have one of the rare varieties.

Two Dollar Bank Notes - Dominion of Canada

Dominion of Canada two dollar bills were issued in 1870, 1878, 1887, 1897, 1914, and 1923. So collecting a major design type for the denomination only requires six bank notes. All $2 notes from each year exist in sufficient quantities that collecting them should be easy, but that isn't always the case. Notes in choice VF condition, especially from the 1800s, can be very difficult to locate. We consider Dominion of Canada two dollar bank notes a specialty of ours. We would be thrilled to make an offer on yours should you be lucky enough to own one. Email us for details.

Four Dollar Bank Notes - Dominion of Canada

The $4 bill is a uniquely Canadian denomination. It converted well back when some Canadian bank notes were denominated in pounds and shillings. Dominion of Canada four dollar bills were first issued in October 1882. And from that time period on only The Dominion of Canada could issue the denomination. Four dollar bills were redesigned and issued again in 1900 and 1902. This is certainly the strangest denomination issued by Canada and it is a collector favorite. Plenty of examples exist today. However, high grade Dominion of Canada $4 bills are rare from any year.

Five Dollar Bank Notes - Dominion of Canada

The Dominion of Canada did not issue a five dollar bank note until 1912. The only other year of issue was 1924. The need for denominations above $4 was generally met by the supply of currency from chartered banks located throughout Canada. So even when five dollar bills were finally issued, they were released in limited quantities. Today $5 bills from The Dominion of Canada are relatively available and they represent the highest denomination that can be considered collectible. Surprisingly though, 1924 $5 bills are worth about four times more than 1912 notes. Click below for more information.

1911 and 1925 $500 and $1000 Bank Notes

These bank notes really represent the pinnacle of Canadian currency. We are specifically talking about Dominion of Canada $500 and $1000 bills from 1911 and 1925. The entire issue for both denominations for both years equaled a grand total of 148,000 bank notes. Today we know for sure that 18 notes are held in collections. Of course more survivors are likely to be found. However, based on the fact that these bank notes are now a century old, and when you consider the purchasing power of such a high denomination at the time of issue, these notes will likely always be rare and expensive.

1871 - 1872 $50, $100, $500, & $1000 Bank Notes

We are including information about Dominion of Canada $50, $100, $500, and $1000 bills from 1871 and 1872 mostly for the sake of completeness. You are not likely to ever encounter these bank notes during your collecting career. It is possible that issued bank notes exist. However, right now all survivors are currently held in institutional collections. Today we are mostly just left with proofs; and even proofs are rare. Needless to say, if you do think you have an issued bank note from this series then we would love to be the first to hear about. You will certainly be pleased with our valuation.

Oversized Bank Legals - Bank Specials

Again, we are mostly including these esoteric bank notes in our Dominion of Canada currency guide for the sake of completeness. These oversized bank notes no longer exist today. They were originally printed for bank use only. Issued bank notes simply don't exist. Even proofs and specimens are very rare. All of these high denomination notes are beautiful and important to be aware of because of their history. However, these are not considered collectible and are not needed to complete a collection of Canadian currency.


Send us an email and let us know how we can help. We can answer all questions. We provide free appraisals. If you are looking to sell then we would certainly like a chance to make an offer on your collection. We buy all Dominion of Canada currency no matter the condition or age. We look forward to hearing from you.