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1954 Devils Face Series Replacement Notes

On the earliest notes of the 1954 series, highlighted areas of the Queen's hair produced the illusion of a leering demonic face behind her ear. This was not the result of an error, nor was it, as some have asserted, the prank of an IRA sympathizer at the bank note company. It was merely the faithful reproduction of the original photograph. The portrait of the Queen with the "Devil's Face" outlined in her hair generated almost instant controversy. The portrait was modified by darkening the highlights in the hair and thus removing the shading which had resulted in the "devil". The modification of the face plate was made for most denominations in 1956, except for the $1,000 which was modified several years later. See above for examples.

A specimen note is one which is genuine, although not negotiable, with no serial number or a serial number consisting solely of zeros, with one signature or no signature, sometimes with holes punched through the signature positions and sometimes overprinted or stamped "SPECIMEN". Specimen notes are often distributed to banks and other institutions at the time of the introduction of a new issue as an aid in recognizing the new notes and in detecting counterfeits. In two public auctions (one in 1999 and a second in 2000), the Bank of Canada made available quantities of specimen notes which were surplus to their operations.

1954 $5 Devil's Face Specimen Note

Of all the 1954 specimen notes sold at the Bank of Canada auction in 1999, the $5 and $10 notes are most common, having 110 notes available each. Other denominations had only 9 notes made available.


© Bank of Canada - used with permission

© Bank of Canada - used with permission

© Bank of Canada - used with permission

© Bank of Canada - used with permission

1954 $10 Devil's Face Specimen Note

The reverse designs for the Devil's Face notes are identical to those on the 1954 Modified series notes:

$5: Otter Falls, mile 996, Alaska Highway
$10: Mount Burgess, British Columbia
$1,000: Anse St. Jean on the Saguenay River, Quebec

1954 $1,000 Devil's Face Specimen Note

The 1954 Devil's Face $1,000 Specimen note is the rarest specimen of all 8 denominations, having only 7 notes sold.


© Bank of Canada - used with permission

© Bank of Canada - used with permission

Contributors: gus5pin ($2 and $5 notes)
Anonymous ($1,000 note)

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