In an effort to reduce the escalating costs of both manufacture and materials, the Royal Canadian Mint have released (10th April) the next generation of their two highest denomination coins, the one & two dollar values, or more commonly and affectionately known as “Loonies and Toonies”. The change also comes on the 25th anniversary of the issue of current one dollar coin first released for circulation in 1987.
The new coins, which begin circulating today, incorporate advanced security features and are manufactured with the Mint’s patented multi-ply plated steel technology. More cost-effective than their predecessors and unprecedented in their security, these new coins retain the “Common Loon” and “Polar Bear” designs and physical appearance familiar to millions of Canadian consumers, businesses, and avid coin collectors.
The one dollar coin, first issued in 1987 was produced out of an aureate-bronze material plated onto nickel which gave the coins a bright golden color thus singling it out from all other circulating Canadian coinage and enabling the Bank of Canada to successfully transition the Canadian population from the paper one dollar banknote to the coin denomination. In 1990, the RCM introduced Canada’s first bi-metallic coin for general circulation comprised of an aluminium-bronze center disc and an outer nickel ring. The addition of the $2 coin denomination once again successfully replaced the paper note of the same value.
The new one-dollar and two-dollar coins are manufactured at the Mint’s facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba using the same patented multi-ply plated steel (MPPS) technology from which Canada’s lower denomination circulation coins have been made since 2001. This proven technology, by which a steel core is plated with alternating layers of different metals such as copper, nickel and brass, employs far less metals than alloy coins and produces highly cost-effective circulation coins.
The next generation of one-dollar and two-dollar circulation coins also incorporates new, visible security features which further enhance the security and integrity of Canada’s coinage system. The reverse side of both coins features laser mark micro-engraving, and the two-dollar coin also contains a virtual image and edge-lettering. With the exception of these additional security features, the new coins will have the same diameter and thickness as the current coins. These changes to the one-dollar and two-dollar circulation coins, which support the effort to modernize Canada’s currency system, are permanent.
The new coins will soon appear in general circulation and will be available through daily business transactions across Canada. All previous versions of the one-dollar and two-dollar circulation coins issued since 1987 and 1996, respectively, remain legal tender and will continue to circulate as usual. The release of the latest changes to Canadian coinage comes close on the heels of the recent announcement by the Ministry of Finance that after a 154 year run, The Royal Canadian Mint will discontinue the production of the one cent coin due to its lack of purchasing power and their overall cost to manufacture. The history of the Canadian cent actually pre-dates that of the actual year of Canadian Confederation by 9 years.
For more information on the latest circulation coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, please visit their website at: http://www.mint.ca/store/template/home.jsp