This collection includes the new limited edition $20 commemorative banknote issued to mark the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II in Gem Uncirculated condition, together with an original 1954 Young Portrait $20 note in About Uncirculated condition, plus a collection of five mint condition vintage postage stamps featuring the same young portrait of Queen Elizabeth as appears in the clear window on the new commemorative $20 note. The banknotes come presented in high quality “museum view” acrylic display holders.
2015 $20 Banknote
In the history of Canada, there have only been three commemorative special issue banknotes ever issued. The first was the 1935 $25 bill issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V. The second was 32 years later, with the Centennial $1 note. And after another 48 years, the Bank of Canada released a commemorative issue $20 note on September 9, 2015, the day on which Queen Elizabeth II’s reign exceeded that of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, making her the longest-reigning sovereign in the nearly 1000 year long history of the British monarchy. The commemorative note features the regular modern image of Queen Elizabeth on the left, but includes a classic vintage image of Queen Elizabeth in the clear window on the right.
This commemorative note features a large window containing new visual elements. The metallic portrait in the large window is based on a photograph of the Queen taken in July 1951 by renowned Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh. The metallic symbols include the Queen’s monogram, “E II” refers to Elizabeth II and “R” is for Regina, meaning “Queen” in Latin. The garland of maple leaves was inspired by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Emblem for Canada. The maple leaves in the emblem rising up in a wreath formation represent Canada’s provinces and territories. Text that reads, “A HISTORIC REIGN / UN RÈGNE HISTORIQUE” is repeated across the top, center and bottom of the large window.
The back design features the following elements:
Two pylons of the Vimy memorial, representing the sacrifices of people from Canada and France.
The poppies - Symbolizing remembrance and honoring Canada’s military men and women.
The Canadian flag - Indicating that although the Vimy memorial is not in Canada, it is actually on Canadian
soil, granted by the Government of France to the people of Canada, for all time.
1954 $20 Banknote - Landscape Series
A photograph of the Queen from renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh was used for the 1954 Canadian Landscape series of banknotes. This marked the first series issued after the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Front Design: Queen Elizabeth II; Back Design: Laurentians in winter
“Karsh” Portrait Postage Stamps
The Karsh photograph was originally commissioned for a Canadian postage stamp then modified for use by the Bank of Canada. This includes all five postage stamps, 1 cent, 2 cent, 3 cent, 4 cent, and 5 cent dating from 1953.