Spanish Coins on Canadian Notes

Wfd. Nelson & Co., Distillerie de St. Denis, Lower Canada, Saint-Denis, 1837, 10 sous

Canadian notes have never been a focus of this collection, but a few have charmed their way in.  Many Canadian notes were printed by the same companies that made United States notes, and the coin vignettes are similar.  What makes some of the Canadian issues interesting, though, is that some feature coins that are not found on United States notes.  An example is shown here.

A note displaying an early Spanish coin

The Wfd. Nelson & Co., Distillerie de St. Denis, 1837, 10 sous note shown above depicts a Spanish homeland 1738 1 real or 2 reales coin (the same design was used for the reverse; the denomination is on the obverse).  The note also carries a 5 pence denomination.  On other early Canadian notes, there is a 1 real on a 15 sous note and a 2 reales on a 30 sous note.

1738 1 real coin image from note
Coin image from the note

The image on this note is enlarged here.  An example of a Spanish 1 real coin dated 1739 is shown below (courtesy of Heritage Auctions).  The image on the note is quite faithful.  The side shown on the note has the date but not the denomination or mintmark.

1739 1 real coin image
Spanish 1 real 1739
Champlain & St. Lawrence Rail Road, Lower Canada, Montreal, 1837, multiple denominations

A Canadian uncut sheet using four monetary systems

The six-note remainder sheet of the Champlain & St. Lawrence Rail Road uses no fewer than four monetary systems:  English (pence, shillings), French (ecu, francs, sous), Spanish (all the coins), and United States (half a dollar, quarter dollar).

The equivalences are interesting:
15 sous = 7 1/2 pence =  1 real (coin)
30 sous = 15 pence = quarter dollar = 2 reales (coin)
un ecu = 2 shillings 6 pence = half a dollar = 4 reales (coin)