I’m not going to lie. I love money. I’ve collected money from every country I’ve ever visited. I’m not a miser or anything – I don’t think it’s the most important thing in the world. No, I mean I love the way money looks. It’s art, in my opinion, and a fascinating cultural representation.
Recently, the Canadian government issued a brand new twenty-dollar bill.
On the back there is a beautiful illustration of the Vimy Ridge memorial, which depicts one of our most famous, brutal wars fought for freedom during World War I. In the front of the bill you can see the Canadian maple leaf, which also has a security chip used to verify that the bill is real. The Queen of England is in the middle, and you can see Canada’s parliament buildings on the bottom corner. It is one of the newest materials ever used for money, a thin plastic, or polymer that is very difficult to rip or destroy. Cool, eh? The $20.00 bill is the most widely used bank note, and soon new 5$ and 10$ notes will be issued later in 2013.
Here’s what the old $20.00 bill looks like:
Below is the version before that!:
I think this has been a nice upgrade to the old bills, as it represents how we value our history, our land, and of course the emblems that remain important. Of course, change to Canada’s money always comes at a cost. (Pardon that double pun!)When the government got rid of the $1.00 and $2.00 bills to introduce their coin counterparts, it was a big government expense and many people opposed the idea. Because the $1.00 coin showcased the Canadian bird, the ‘loon’, the coin quickly earned the nickname, ‘Loonie’, which is a cheeky misspelling of ‘looney’, meaning someone ‘crazy’, or ‘weird.’ Many people think the government was a little ‘looney’ for making us carry so much heavy coinage in our pockets and purses!
This was the old $1.00 bill:
Here are the ‘Loonies!’:
So what do indestructible bills and crazy coins say about Canadian culture? It’s a curious question, isn’t it? For me I believe our nation is strong, both geographically and in attitude. The many colours of our money show our culture’s vibrancy and our positive outlook on life. And there’s no question we’re a funny bunch. What do you think? What does your countries’ money say about your culture?