Are Old Canadian $2 Bills Worth $20,000?

Are old Canadian $2 bills worth $20,000 each?

  • Published

Claim:   Old Canadian $2 bills are worth $20,000 each.


Examples:   [Collected via Twitter, October 2014]


Origins:   In September 2012, a rare Canadian $2 bill went up for auction in Toronto with an estimated value of $15,000-$20,000. While this exceptional piece of collector currency ended up selling for only about

$10,000, it also sparked the rumor that all old Canadian $2 bills were worth $20,000 each.

Several publications have penned stories over the years about the $2 bills’ incredible increase in value. On 9 June 2014, the MTL Blog published an article with the headline “Old $2 Bills Are Now Worth $20,000.” While that statement is true, it is also very misleading.

The article refers only to a very specific set of $2 bills. According to Jared Stapleton, the vice-president of the Canadian Paper Money Society, the Bank of Canada accidentally printed a few bills in 1986 with the wrong signatures on them. Bills printed with the AUG, AUH and AUJ prefixes were supposed to be signed by Bank of Canada governor Gerald Bouey and deputy governor John Crow, but a few were accidentally issued with the signatures of incoming Bank of Canada governor John Crow and deputy governor Gordon Thiessen:

Stapleton said that only five of these bills are known to exist, and though that makes them extremely rare, the VP of the Canadian Paper Money Society opined that he was doubtful the remaining bills would necessarily fetch a price similar to that of the one sold in 2012:

Some people are content with low-grade older bills, but condition is often rough because “you’re dealing with a paper product and they can get damaged and soiled easily,” Stapleton said. Anyone seeking currency and coins for investment should “collect the best.”

The Canadian $2 bill has become a bit of a collector’s item since it was withdrawn from circulation and replaced by a coin commonly known as the “toonie” in 1996, but the majority of these bills has not significantly increased in value since ten. It’s possible that a Canadian $2 bill could sell for as much as $20,000, but it’s very unlikely that you have one of those bills resting in your wallet.

Last updated:   27 October 2014


    Robertson, Ian.   “Rare $2 Bill Expected to Go for $20,000 at Auction.”

    Toronto Sun.   26 September 2012.

    D’Alimonte, Michael.   “Old $2 Bills Are Now Worth $20,000.”

    MTL Blog.   9 June 2014.