header Notes Collection

2 Dollars 1975, Canada

in Krause book Number: 86а
Years of issue: 05.08.1975 - 1984
Edition: around 1 000 000 000
Signatures: Deputy Governor: Mr. R.W. Lawson, Governor: Mr. G.K. Bouey
Serie: Scenes of Canada
Specimen of: 05.08.1975
Material: 50% high grade flax, 50% cotton
Size (mm): 152.4 х 69.85
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Montreal

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

2 Dollars 1975




2 Dollars 1975

HM The Queen Elizabeth II

The original photograph, on which the engraving is based, was an official portrait taken around 1963 by Anthony Buckley in Buckingham palace.

The engraving of this portrait, which was used for the Canadian 1- and 2-dollar notes issued in 1973 and for the 20-dollar notes issued in 1969 and 1979, was executed by George Gundersen of the British American Banknote Company.

HM The Queen Elizabeth II.

This portrait depicts Queen Elizabeth in an evening dress, wearing a diamond necklace and diamond earrings.

South African Necklace and Bracelet

The diamond necklace was presented to Elizabeth in April 1947, while she was still a princess, as a gift from the people of South Africa. The necklace was originally constructed with twenty-one large diamonds, connected by links that contained two small brilliant-cut diamonds mounted to either side of a baguette diamond. Shortly after Elizabeth ascended the throne, she had the necklace shortened to fifteen large stones, with the remaining stones being made into a matching bracelet. The necklace worn in this portrait is the shortened version. (From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault)

queen mary cluster earrings

The earrings worn by Queen Elizabeth are Queen Mary’s Cluster Earrings.

These earrings were made for Queen Mary in 1922 of a central large diamond surrounded by two rows of diamonds set in platinum with millegrain edging. According to Hugh Roberts in The Queen's Diamonds, the large diamonds originally set in the center were the Mackinnon diamonds, one of Queen Mary's wedding gifts. Those were later removed for use in Queen Mary's Floret Earrings, and were replaced in the cluster earrings by another two diamonds from her wedding gifts, these from the Bombay Presidency.

The cluster earrings passed to the Queen in 1953, and she's used them for evening and cocktail events ever since. They are a large and impressively sparkling addition to her earring collection. (From Her Majesty's Jewel Vault)

The coat of arms of Canada is on left side.

coat canada

The Arms of Canada, also known as the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada or formally as the Arms of Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada is, since 1921, the official coat of arms of the Canadian monarch and thus also of Canada. It is closely modeled after the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom with distinctive Canadian elements replacing or added to those derived from the British.

The maple leaves in the shield, blazoned "proper", were originally drawn vert (green) but were redrawn gules (red) in 1957 and a circlet of the Order of Canada was added to the arms for limited use in 1987. The shield design forms the monarch's royal standard and is also found on the Canadian Red Ensign. The Flag of the Governor General of Canada, which formerly used the shield over the Union Flag, now uses the crest of the arms on a blue field.

The heraldic blazon of Canada's coat of arms is:

Tierced in fesse the first and second divisions containing the quarterly coat following, namely, 1st, gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or, 2nd, Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory gules, 3rd, azure a harp Or stringed argent, 4th, azure, three fleurs-de-lis Or, and the third division argent three maple leaves conjoined on one stem proper. And upon a royal helmet mantled argent doubled gules the crest, that is to say, on a wreath of the colours argent and gules a lion passant guardant Or imperially crowned proper and holding in the dexter paw a maple leaf gules. And for supporters on the dexter a lion rampant Or holding a lance argent, point Or, flying therefrom to the dexter the Union Flag, and on the sinister a unicorn argent armed crined and unguled Or, gorged with a coronet composed of crosses-patée and fleurs-de-lis a chain affixed thereto reflexed of the last, and holding a like lance flying therefrom to the sinister a banner azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis Or; the whole ensigned with the Imperial Crown proper and below the shield upon a wreath composed of roses, thistles, shamrocks and lillies a scroll azure inscribed with the motto A mari usque ad mare.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. Centered in numeral and in words.


2 Dollars 1975

Inuit scene on $2 bill has a dark, storied history.


Circulated between 1974 and 1979, the two-dollar bill features Joseph Idlout and his relatives preparing their kayaks for a hunt. (Bank of Canada / National Currency Collection)

If you're a Canadian of a certain age, you've likely seen the Idlout family. In fact, you've probably carried them around in your back pocket.

The reason: they're featured on the back of the 1974 two-dollar bill.

Part of the Scenes of Canada series, the discontinued bank note depicts a group of six Inuit men preparing their kayaks for a hunt.

One of the men is Joseph Idlout, the grandfather of Canadian musician Lucie Idlout. On a recent episode of DNTO, she revealed how the photograph of her grandfather and his relatives came to be taken.

"My grandfather was known to be an excellent hunter," said Idlout.

"He was one of the first few Inuit to receive the Coronation medal from the Queen - I kind of view him as a superhero, even though I never met him."

Based on a photograph (right) taken by documentarian Douglas Wilkinson, the bill features Joseph Idlout and his relatives hunting nearby the Baffin Island community of Pond Inlet.

On its surface, the bill appears to reflect nothing more than an innocent scene of daily Inuit life. But dig a little deeper, and the story behind the photograph becomes much more complicated.

In the 1950s, the Canadian government relocated a number of struggling Inuit families from Inukjuak (Quebec) to the communities of Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord - hundreds of kilometers to the north.

Ostensibly done to improve their standard of living, the realities of life in the High Arctic proved difficult for families accustomed to the warmer temperatures and more fertile tundra of Quebec. To ease their transition, Joseph Idlout was hired to instruct the southern Inuit on life in the unforgiving northern climate.

"His role in Resolute Bay was to assist with teaching Inuit how to survive in a much harsher climate than what they were used to," said Idlout.

As the transplanted Inuit struggled to adapt to their new surroundings, the motivation behind their relocation became increasingly clear.

"The sad story is that we were basically human flagpoles, so the Canadian government could assert sovereignty over the high Arctic."

In 2010, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development issued an apology to Canada's Inuit people, expressing regret "for the hardship and suffering caused by the relocation."

And while adjusting to a new and unfamiliar landscape was challenging, Lucie Idlout said that it was the actually the change in lifestyle that had the biggest consequences - both for the transplanted communities and for her grandfather.

"With the amenities and modernness of southern life coming to the north... it really changed the way Inuit lived," said Idlout.

"It was a lot of change that happened really quickly, and it had a lot of negative impacts on the people who lived there."

And though he was considered to be an exceptionally skilled and well-respected man, the move proved to be particularly traumatizing for Joseph Idlout. Although reports of his death vary, Lucie Idlout says that her grandfather's eventual suicide can be traced back to the relocation.

"The transition of life was just too fast and too much."

InuitsThe Scenes of Canada series, which was printed and put into circulation between 1969 and 1979, was meant to instill pride and reflect Canadian settlements from sea to sea.

When asked how she feels looking at the bill today, Idlout says she has mixed feelings.

"I don't think there's any coincidence the photograph was shot in the 1950s, just before the relocation," said Idlout. "It is another example of how Inuit were part of asserting sovereignty over different parts, so Canada could claim it as their own."

But despite the darkness the bill represents, Idlout still feels a certain pride when she looks at the image of her family on the $2 note.

"It became less of a photo and more of a piece of our history - that involved important people from my family and people I love very much." (

Baffin Island (Qikiqtaaluk, Île de Baffin, Helluland), in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Its area is 507,451 km2 (195,928 sq mi). Named after English explorer William Baffin, it is likely that the island was known to Pre-Columbian Norse explorers from Greenland and Iceland and may be the location of Helluland, spoken of in the Icelandic sagas (the Grœnlendinga saga and the Saga of Erik the Red, Eiríks saga rauða).

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners. In top left and lower right corners in words.


Often dubbed the “multicolored series” these bank notes were released beginning in 1969 in response to growing concerns about counterfeiting.

The main characteristic of the design was the use of multicolored tints beneath the dominant color. Known as “rainbow printing” this process subtly merged two or more colors into each other. The color technique was designed to thwart counterfeiters.

First issued at 05.08.1975.


Engraver: C. Gordon Yorke.