Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
8.5% bronze plating
(88% Cu, 12% Sn)
|Design:||Queen Elizabeth II,|
Loonie is the unofficial but commonly-used name for Canada's gold-coloured, bronze-plated, one-dollar coin. It bears an image of a common loon, a well-known Canadian bird, on the reverse and of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The name was a tongue-in-cheek reference not only to the bird but also to the unpopular or 'looney' changeover from a paper dollar to a coin in 1987.
The design for the coin was meant to be a voyageur theme, similar to the country's previous one dollar/silver dollar coin, but the dies were lost in transit to the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg. In order to avoid counterfeiting problems a different design was used . The coin was released to the public on 30 June 1987, and circulation of the one-dollar banknote was intentionally reduced at the same time to forestall any reluctance by the public to accept the new coin.
The switch occurred when Brian Mulroney (which rhymes with 'loonie') was Prime Minister; hence the coin was in its early years sometimes called 'Mulroney's loonie' or the 'Mul-loonie,' but use of these terms has largely died out.
The coin has become the symbol of its currency (newspapers will often discuss the rate at which the 'loonie' is trading against the 'greenback'), and as such, Loonie (huard in French) is a slang term for the Canadian dollar in general.
On occasion the coin has shown other images, for instance the War Memorial to commemorate VE day; it is still, however, referred to as a loonie.
In 2005, the loonie gained an American neighbour when Minnesota's state quarter featured a loon, the official state bird. Like the Canadian dollar, Minnesota's loon also faces right with its head raised.
- Past and present designs of reverse side
- Past and present technical specifications
- Past and present mintages
- The chemistry of the loonie
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