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During the early 1600’s it was believed that Beaver pelts, moose skins and wheat were used as legal tender. On June 8th 1685 money was printed on playing cards but was heavily criticised due to the risk of easy counterfeiting. in 1722 copper coins came into circulation but currency was still unstandardised and different values were given throughout the colonies to different coins and other forms of legal tender. This caused problems with trade and “economic inefficiency” according to James Powell the writer of the Bank of Canada’s ‘A History of the Canadian Dollar’.
The first banknotes were issued in Canada in 1817 by the Montreal bank now known as ‘the Bank of Montreal’. Other banks soon followed the Montreal banks lead and these banknotes were used in exchange with North America. From 1854 until 1914 US and British gold coins were legal tender in Canada. The Canadian dollar is set at par with the US Dollar but from close parity in 1862 the US dollar falls to less than 36 Canadian cents in 1864. Things settle down and the Canadian Dollar and US Dollar trade close to par until the First World War.
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In 2015 there was a staggering $626 million unclaimed Canadian dollars held in dormant bank or savings accounts in Canada. Balances held in accounts which have been dormant for 10 years or more get transferred to the Bank of Canada when the owner of the account cannot be contacted.
The Bank of Canada will then act as the custodian and will hold unclaimed balances under $1,000 for 30 years and balances over $1000 for 100 years.
The Canadian Dollar is the official currency of Canada. The ISO 4217 currency code for the Canadian Dollar is CAD.