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Dominion of Canada $5 Notes

In 1912, the Dominion of Canada issued its first $5 banknotes. Work began on this note 6 years earlier though. Some of the designs considered included a Nova Scotia mining scene, portraits of the Earl and Countess Grey and the train vignette, which was finally chosen for the issue of 1912. The coat of arms and the Great Seal of Canada were both considered for the back of the note, but neither were chosen.

The issued note portrays an attractive vignette of a passenger train, the "Ocean Limited," travelling through the Wentworth Valley in Nova Scotia. The back consists of lathework and the Roman and Arabic numeral counters.

Queen Mary (1867-1953) was the wife of King George V. She was originally engaged to his elder brother, the wayward Duke of Clarence, but married George after the Duke's untimely death. She lived to see the reigns of two of her sons, Edward VIII and George VI, and granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. The note bearing Queen Mary's portrait is dated May 26th, 1924, in honour of her birthday.

The back depicts the East Block of the Parliament Buildings, engraved from a photograph. The general layout conforms to the 1923 $1 and $2 notes. They were printed in blue, distinguishing them from the other denominations.

Very few of the 1924 $5 notes ever hit circulation, or at least stayed there for long. Because chartered bank notes fulfilled nearly the full demand for the $5 denomination, none of the 1924 notes were even printed until late 1931. In fact, none were issued until 1934. It is believed that only a third of the estimated 2,000,000 notes printed were ever released into circulation, but since the new Bank of Canada was issuing notes in 1935, many of the Dominion of Canada $5 notes were quickly withdrawn again. This issue is considered very elusive in the collecting community and therefore the notes have considerable value.

Contributor: Anonymous

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