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Bank of Canada unveils plastic $100 and $50 bills

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty holds a polymer-based note.

CP Enlarge Image

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press Finance Minister Jim Flaherty holds a polymer-based note.

OTTAWA -- Get ready to have a little more plastic in your wallet.

Starting in November, new polymer bank notes will start to replace paper-cotton bills that wear and tear more easily.

The first bills to go plastic will be $100 notes. The $50 bills will follow in March. The rest of the plastic money will be in circulation by the end of 2013.

The Bank of Canada expects the new bills to last 2.5 times longer than the paper notes. They're also harder to counterfeit. Security features include raised ink, hidden numbers and metallic images in see-through windows.

The bills feel smooth and slightly waxy. They don't crumple easily, and they don't seem to tear in half.

The $100s have two portraits of prime minister Robert Borden -- a large one and a smaller, metallic one above an image of Parliament Hill's Peace Tower in a clear band running through the note.

On the other side, there's an image of a person at a microscope, a strand of DNA, an electrocardiogram, a bottle of insulin and the words "medical innovation."

The $50 bill has an image of research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen and a map of the North. The colours haven't changed.

The Conservative government announced in its 2010 budget that Canada would be switching to synthetic bills.

"The polymer notes we're introducing today are unique," Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said in Ottawa. "There's simply no other currency like them."

-- The Canadian Press

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kind of looks like something you would see in a cartoon

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