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125th Anniversary of the Loonie

Canada's Loonie reaches a milestone with special commemorative products

Canada's LoonieThe Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Loonie with a fine silver coin. The reverse image, designed by Robert-Ralph Carmichael, who designed the original circulation Loonie in 1987, offers a meaningful twist. With a low mintage of only 15,000 coins, be sure to get this special keepsake as of July 16!

The Mint has also released other special 25th anniversary Loonie products like the 2012 Specimen Set and the Silver-Plated 25th Anniversary of the Loonie Coin.

A change in Canada's coinage

It has been a quarter of a century since Canadians said goodbye to one-dollar banknotes and welcomed the new coin in their pockets and change purses. At that time, it was the most significant change to Canada's coinage system in over 50 years.

The one-dollar coin was introduced into circulation on June 30, 1987 as a cost-saving measure by the Government of Canada. 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.

A Canadian legend is born

Initially, the Loonie as we know it was never meant to be. The original master dies of the one-dollar coin, which depicted the motif of a voyageur, were lost in transit on their way to Winnipeg in November, 1986. To preserve the integrity of the Canadian coinage system, the Government of Canada authorized a new design of the coin, which was of the loon.

The loon design was created by noted Northern Ontario wildlife artist Robert-Ralph Carmichael and was engraved by the Mint's own Terrence N.E. Smith.

The one-dollar coin is eleven sided and is produced at the Mint's Winnipeg facility, along with the rest of Canada's circulation coins. Since 1987, 1.5 billion one-dollar coins have been produced.

The Loonie through the years…

Canada's Loonie

Including the original loon, several different designs have appeared on the reverse of Canada's one-dollar coin since 1987. Here are some of the most notable designs… How many have you found in your change?

Loonie - Canada's 125th

Canada's 125th

For the 125th anniversary of Confederation, a special design was also introduced in 1992. It featured the centre block of the Parliament Buildings and three children seated on the ground.

Loonie - Peacekeeping

Canada's Peacekeeping efforts

In 1995, the Mint issued a special Peacekeeping design on the one-dollar coin. It commemorated Canada's commitment to world peace, and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Loonie - Terry Fox

Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope

In 2005, Terry Fox became the first Canadian-born individual featured on a Canadian circulation coin when the Mint issued a one-dollar coin commemorating the 25th anniversary of his Marathon of Hope.

Loonie - 100th Anniversary Canadiens

Centennial of the Montreal Canadiens

In 2009, the Mint issued a one-dollar coin commemorating the centennial of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club. This commemorative circulation coin featured the Canadiens' official centennial logo and the dates 1909-2009.

Loonie - 100th Anniversary Rough Riders

Centennial of the Saskatchewan Roughriders

In celebration of the centennial of the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders and the unique tradition of Canadian football, the Mint issued a commemorative one-dollar coin featuring the team's official logo in 2010.

Loonie - 2010 Anniversary Vancouver Olympic Games

Canada's Olympic and Paralympic pride

A tradition since the Athens 2004 Games, the Mint has proudly issued Lucky Loonies in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 to wish our athletes luck while representing Canada at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Pictured is the Lucky Loonie bearing the official "Inukshuk" logo of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

Loonie - 100th Anniversary of Parks Canada

Canada's legendary nature

In 2011, The Mint issued a one-dollar coin celebrating the centennial of Parks Canada. It featured a number of iconic design elements capturing the core achievements of our national parks system.

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