Bill Reid twenty on its way

  • Sep. 27, 2004 5:00 p.m.

As soon as next week, you could withdraw cash from the ATM and the new Bill Reid twenty could pop out. The official release date for the crisp new green bills is September 29, and they should start appearing in island cash machines shortly thereafter, according to Sheri Coles at Northern Savings in Masset.
“We have already placed an order,” said Ms Coles, “I think they understand that this is the part of the world that Bill Reid was connected to – they understand why they shouldn’t just go to Vancouver, get spat out of some machine, and then make it up here months later.” Contrary to previous releases of new currency, there will be a quantity of new bills shipped directly to the islands on the official release date.
If you want to have a mint-condition bill (or a number of them in sequence) you can order them from Northern Savings in either Masset or Queen Charlotte. This service is unique to the islands – not happening anywhere else in Canada, said Ms Coles. “We think it’s appropriate here,” she said, “a number of people here had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Bill Reid, he lived here, he has family here.”
Ms Coles said she expects the special order to arrive before Christmas. And it’s a good deal, at $20. There are four pieces of art featured on the bill, “The Spirit of Haida Gwaii,” “The Raven and the First Men,” “The Haida Grizzly Bear,” and “Mythic Messengers.”
The new bills also have a myriad of security features, making them theoretically impossible to counterfeit. There are fancy holograms, a watermark portrait only visible when held up to the light, raised printing, and details that show up under blacklight. There is also a metallic thread woven right into the fabric of the note. A new feature on all the bills is raised Braille dots for the visually impaired, to make the bills easily identifiable.