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Striking in its solitude – the 1-dollar coin, familiarly known as the 'loonie'

The 1-dollar circulation coin was introduced in 1987 as a cost-saving measure to replace dollar bills. The coin was instantly dubbed the 'loonie' after the solitary loon that graces the coin's reverse side. The nickname caught on and Canadians have been using it ever since. The loon design was created by noted wildlife artist Robert-Ralph Carmichael.

Reverse side designs  |   Technical specifications  |   Mintages

Reverse side designs

1935 - 1938, 1940 - 1948, 1950 - 1957, 1959 - 1963, 1965 - 1966, 1968 - 1969, and 1975 - 1986
The Voyageur
This design by Emanuel Hahn features a voyageur and an aboriginal travelling by canoe. One of the bundles depicted on the coin bears the initials "H.B." for Hudson's Bay Company. The illustration has been modified only slightly over the years.

1939
The Royal Visit
This design by Emanuel Hahn commemorates the visit of His Majesty King George VI and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to Ottawa. The Latin phrase "Fide Quorum Regnat" means "He reigns by the faith of his people."

1949
Newfoundland's accession to Canada
Thomas Shingles' design commemorates Newfoundland's status as a province of Canada. Pictured on the coin is The Matthew, the ship historians believe John Cabot was sailing when he discovered Newfoundland. Below the ship reads the Latin inscription "Floreat Terra Nova," meaning: "May the New Found Land Flourish."

1958
The founding of British Columbia
Stephen Trenka's totem pole and Rocky Mountain backdrop marks the centenary of both the Gold Rush and the creation of British Columbia as a colony of England.

1964
The Confederation meetings
Thomas Shingles' design features the French fleur-de-lis, the Irish shamrock, the Scottish thistle, and the English rose. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec City meetings that led to Confederation.

1967
The centennial dollar
Alex Colville created a special set of coin designs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation; the 1-dollar coin features a Canada goose. After 1967, circulation 1-dollar coins were made of nickel until 1987, when the 'loonie' was introduced.

1970
Manitoba's centennial
Raymond Taylor's prairie crocus design commemorates the centennial of Manitoba's accession to Canada.

1971
British Columbia's centennial
Thomas Shingles' design commemorates the centennial of British Columbia's accession to Canada. The coin features British Columbia's coat of arms and its provincial flower, the dogwood.

1973
Prince Edward Island's centennial
Walter Ott's rendering of P.E.I.'s Provincial Legislature building commemorates the centennial of the province's accession to Canada.

1974
Winnipeg's centennial
Patrick Brindley created this design from a drawing by Paul Pederson to commemorate Winnipeg's centennial anniversary. Inside the two zeroes of '"00" are images of Winnipeg's Main street in 1874 (left) and 1974 (right).

1982
The Constitution commemorative coin
This design features the famous painting of the Fathers of Confederation along with the inscriptions "Confederation 1867" and "Constitution 1982."

1984
Jacques Cartier on the Gaspé
Hector Greville's design of Jacques Cartier and a cross with the French coat of arms commemorates the 450th anniversary of the explorer's landing on the Gaspé Peninsula.

1987 - 1991, 1993 - present
The Loon coin
The 1-dollar bill was replaced in 1987 by a new eleven-sided circulation coin nicknamed the 'Loonie'. Ralph-Robert Carmichael's popular design features a Canadian loon, and is made of aureate bronze.

1992
The 125th Anniversary of Confederation
Rita Swanson's design features three children with a Canadian flag on Parliament Hill in commemoration of Canada's 125th birthday. Note the clock on the Peace Tower reads 1:25.

1994
The National War Memorial coin
A representation of the National War Memorial in Ottawa honours the contribution and sacrifice made by Canadian soldiers in both World Wars and the Korean War.

1995
The Peacekeeping coin
This coin commemorates the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, and pays tribute to the Canadians who have served as UN peacekeepers. It features an image of the Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa.

2004
Lucky Loonie
The 2004 Lucky Loonie features the Common Loon design accompanied by the Canadian Olympic logo.

2005
Terry Fox
The Terry Fox coin commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Marathon of Hope.  This coin was designed by Stan Witten

2006
Lucky Loonie
This coin, which features the familiar loon in flight along with the official emblem of the Canadian Olympic Team, serves as a good luck charm for Canadian athletes competing at the 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

2008
Lucky Loonie
The 2008 Lucky Loonie features a common Loon getting ready to take flight with the Canadian Olympic Team's logo at its side. The Mint has provided each member of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams competing in Beijing with a Lucky Loonie as their own personal good luck charm.

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Technical specifications

1935 - 1967
Composition: 80% silver, 20% copper
Weight (g): 23.3
Diameter (mm): 36.06
Thickness (mm): 2.84

1968 - 1982
Composition: 99.9% nickel
Weight (g): 15.62
Diameter (mm): 32.13
Thickness (mm): 2.62

1982 - 1986
Composition: 99% nickel (minimum)
Weight (g): 15.62
Diameter (mm): 32.13
Thickness (mm): 2.55

1987
Composition: 91.5% nickel, 8.5% bronze plating
Weight (g): 7
Diameter (mm): 26.72
Thickness (mm): 1.95

1988 - 2002
Composition: 91.5% nickel, 8.5% bronze plating
Weight (g): 7
Diameter (mm): 26.5
Thickness (mm): 1.75

2003 - 2012
Composition: 91.5% nickel, 8.5% bronze plating
Weight (g): 7
Diameter (mm): 26.5
Thickness (mm): 1.95

2012 - present
Composition: multi-ply brass plated steel
Weight (g): 6.27
Diameter (mm): 26.5
Thickness (mm): 1.95
A single laser mark of a maple leaf positioned within a circle on the coin's reverse

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Mintages

1935 - 1939
1935 - 428,707
1936 - 306,100
1937 - 241,002
1938 - 90,304
1939 - 1,363,816

1940 - 1949
1940 - 0
1941 - 0
1942 - 0
1943 - 0
1944 - 0
1945 - 38,391
1946 - 93,055
1947 - 86,730
1948 - 18,780
1949 - 672,218

1950 - 1959
1950 - 261,002
1951 - 416,395
1952 - 406,148
1953 - 1,074,578
1954 - 246,606
1955 - 268,105
1956 - 209,092
1957 - 496,389
1958 - 3,039,630
1959 - 1,443,502

1960 - 1969
1960 - 1,420,486
1961 - 1,262,231
1962 - 1,884,789
1963 - 4,179,981
1964 - 7,296,832
1965 - 10,768,569
1966 - 9,912,178
1967 - 6,767,496
1968 - 5,579,714
1969 - 4,809,313

1970 - 1979
1970 - 4,140,058
1971 - 4,260,781
1972 - 2,193,000
1973 - 3,196,452
1974 - 2,799,363
1975 - 3,256,000
1976 - 2,101,000
1977 - 1,393,745
1978 - 2,948,488
1979 - 1,884,789

1980 - 1989
1980 - 2,544,000
1981 - 2,778,900
1982 - 13,356,398
1983 - 2,267,525
1984 - 1,223,486
1985 - 3,104,592
1986 - 3,089,225
1987 - 205,405,000
1988 - 138,893,539
1989 - 184,773,902

1990 - 1999
1990 - 68,402,000
1991 - 23,156,000
1992 - 27,253,000
1993 - 33,662,000
1994 - 40,406,000
1995 - 41,813,000
1996 - 17,101,000
1997 - 0
1998 - 0
1999 - 0

2000 - 2009
2000 - 0
2001 - 0
2002 - 2,301,000
2003 - 5,102,000
2004 - 10,894,000
2005 - 44,375,000
2006 - 49,111,000
2007 - 38,045,000
2008 - 29,561,000
2009 - 39,601,000

2010 - present
2010 - 24,460,000
2011 - 25,410,000
2012 - 119,519,000

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