Worthless Canadian Bills

Back in the March issue of Almost Circulated (Volume 1, issue 2) I wrote about the Star Coin Encyclopedia Jim loaned me, posting a photo from the book of a page marked, “Worthless Canadian Bills” and I wondered, “how many had been discarded because of this information.”


Well, I found an auction on eBay which ended August 6, 2014 which offered an 1876 $10 note from The Consolidated Bank of Canada in Montreal with the words “worthless” boldly written across the front and back in red and blue respectively. Seeing the bill as such, I consulted the photograph from the Star Coin Encyclopedia and sure enough, this particular bank is mentioned as issuing worthless notes. The Consolidated Bank of Canada was formed in 1876 with the merger of City Bank and the Royal Canadian Bank, but it failed in 1880. Did someone mark the bill with these words because of that information? I’m far from an expert in paper money, but I’m not aware of any other reason for such a designation. Despite the graffiti, the note sold for $86.88, so it’s not exactly worthless.

Star Rare Coin Worthless


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Fancy Serial Numbers

Are you one of those people who checks the paper money in your wallet for special serial numbers?  Does someone close to you make fun of you for glancing at each bill after you get it?  I’m one of those people.

I don’t really consider myself a paper money collector – or rag picker, as they were once referred to (can you call them that with the plastic money we have now?) – but I appreciate these pieces of higher denomination currency and love numbers, so I do try to check the numbers on those bill when I have a chance.

Recently, after being handed some US currency, I came across the twenty below.  Can you tell what is special about the number?

Scrambled Ladder

Almost immediately I noticed that it contained every number from 1 to 8, but all mixed up.  I didn’t have a clue at the time, but this is apparently called a scrambled ladder note type of fancy serial number.

“Cool,” I thought and put it on eBay where it sold for $30 USD – as I mentioned, I don’t collect them, but appreciate finding them for others.

Watch your money!