‘Luck and Lore’ at Bank of Canada Museum

Luck and Lore,” an ongoing exhibit exploring the spiritual, ceremonial and superstitious uses for money was launched by the Bank of Canada Museum this October.

Open until November 2020, the exhibition features rare and never-before-displayed artifacts from the National Currency Collection while exploring the surprising roots of some familiar traditions.

“For more than 2,500 years, we’ve been using money as a means of exchange, transforming our skills and effort into the things we need,” said Larry Schembri, deputy governor of the Bank of Canada. “But money is so important to our comfort and security, and so much a part of our daily lives, that it becomes part of our cultural traditions.”

For example, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz wears one of two pairs of cufflinks made from pennies – dated either for his birth year or the year he started working at the bank – on the day of every policy interest-rate announcement.

Highlights of the exhibition include models of luxury items (such as gold bars, yachts and mobile phones) made of Chinese “joss” paper; an array of love tokens; and a 17th-century coin touched by King Charles I of England.

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