Bolster appreciation, confidence with paper money seminar

A seminar exploring the history and production of Canadian banknotes will be led by Steven Bell, owner of the Kitchener-based Banknote Certification Service (BCS), at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show this March.

With an emphasis on security printing and banknote anatomy, Bell’s presentation will be a boon to paper money collectors.

“The importance and evolution of the uses of banknotes will be discussed as well as an overview of the Canadian banking system from its infancy in the early 1800s to date,” said Bell.

“To understand the historical significance of banknotes puts the collecting of paper money into perspective. Furthermore, the explanation of security features and printing methods bolsters the average collector’s appreciation of the hobby and confidence in acquiring pieces for their collection.”

Bell, who has past experience leading educational seminars, will supplement his topic with a PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations and examples of certain design elements and banknote anatomy. Participants are also urged to bring examples from their personal collections, too, for examination and discussion.

“I always encourage participation in my seminars.”

Topics of Bell’s previous seminars include the theory, technique and technical aspects of grading as well as collecting in today’s marketplace.

In addition to speaking at last year’s Royal Canadian Numismatic Association Convention, Bell also spoke at the 2017 Ontario Numismatic Association Convention.


Since certifying its first banknote in January 2008, BCS has certified more than 67,000 notes.

A collector as a child and a part-time dealer throughout high school and university, Bell established his business upon completing his degree after seeing an opportunity to fill a void in banknote certification in Canada.

“We specialize in Canadian and use strict Canadian standards,” said Bell, who added the company’s holders are made of an inert plastic that does not contain any of the softening agents used in some plastics.

Located in Kitchener, Ont., BCS is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bell will also be accepting submissions at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show this March 23-24 in Mississauga, where he will be one of about 50 dealers on the bourse.

For more information about BCS, visit

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