It’s tough keeping up with the Bank of Canada. First, they killed the dollar and gave us the Loonie. Then they snuffed the two dollar bill, and gave us the “Toonie”. Last spring the penny was thrown under the bus. Now they are printing rubber money.
Counterfeiters are shaking their engraving tools in high dudgeon as shiny, new polymer-based bills are flooding the market. Now, chemical manufacturers like DuPont are trying their hand at the dark art of making dough.
The new bills are a sandwich of tin foil, gum wrapper, scotch tape, plastic and bumpy print. Perfect for vending machines. I have studied these $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills that pad the pockets of millions of unwitting but happy Canadian consumers. Here’s what you need to know to stay in the money:
1. They aren’t rubber. They are biaxially oriented polypropylene sheets. This radical development stops many counterfeiters. If youse can’t say it, youse ain’t making it.
2. They are water resistant. That is, you can easily wash them.
This is especially helpful in the cash and carry business where laundering money has always been challenging. Incidentally, in a spirit of helpfulness, the Bank’s website provides instructions on cleaning blood off of currency.
3. They are printed with metameric inks. Of course, that means that their colors change under different types of light. Under certain lights, like neon, they may disappear completely.
4. They are durable. Lab testing determined the bills are good to use in temperature ranges of -75’C to +140’C (-103’F to 284’F) so you can take them to the Moon. Mars is iffy (cold) and Venus is out (blazing hot).
5. They are environmentally friendly. You can recycle these bills. Do not throw them into your wet garbage.
6. They float. In the unlikely event of a water landing, you may clutch your wallet or handbag with the full faith and confidence that the Bank will keep your head above water. A standard suitcase full of 100’s will support you comfortably.
7. Security: they have secret codes. You can only see these codes if you are a Hobbit or are familiar with ancient runes. Safety warning: the Bank’s website cautions against holding the bill up to the sun or a laser light to find the codes as your eye will turn into a molten glob of cheese.
Polymer bank notes have progressed through years of development. An early version was created by Dupont. But, a rookie error: the ink smudged so badly that the banks said “maybe you can line your bathroom walls with it, but not our pockets.”
So taking the hint, Dupont decided to cut their losses, tossed in their hand and took their product home.
They named it Tyvek.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this let me know, and by all means, feel free to share it. I’d like that too!