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The Globe and Mail

Canada rolls out new, high-tech $100 bill

The first bills to go plastic will be the $100 notes in November, 2011. The $50 notes will follow next March 2012. The rest of the plastic money will be in circulation by the end of 2013. The polymer bank notes have security features that make them harder to fake than paper money.

Bank of Canada/Bank of Canada

Paying with plastic takes on a new meaning today as the Bank of Canada rolls out new $100 bills to replace the cotton-paper blend note.

The $100 is Canada's first polymer bank note and features a wealth of anti-counterfeiting features such as partially-hidden numbers.

The bill also includes a large, transparent window, transparent text, a metallic portrait, raised ink and a frosted maple leaf window.

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The $100s feature two portraits of prime minister Robert Borden and an image of a researcher at a microscope and a depiction of DNA.

The $50 polymer note will follow next March.

The rest of the plastic money will be in circulation by the end of 2013.

A focus group took a close look at the $100 bill earlier this year and saw several offbeat images the designers didn't count on.

Some in the group mistook a strand of DNA on the $100 bill for a sex toy.

Most people also thought the see-through window on the new polymer notes was shaped like the contours of a woman's body.

Others looked into the port holes of a famed Canadian icebreaker and saw a skull and crossbones staring back at them.

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