One dollar
Value 1 CAD
Mass  7 g
Diameter  26.5 [1] mm
Thickness  1.75 mm
Edge Eleven-sided, smooth
Composition 91.5% Ni,
8.5% bronze plating
(88% Cu, 12% Sn)
Years of minting 1987–present
Catalog number -
Loonie obverse view.png
Design Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada
Designer Susanna Blunt
Design date 2003
Loonie reverse view.png
Design common loon in water
Designer Robert-Ralph Carmichael
Design date 1987

The Canadian 1 dollar coin (commonly called Loonie) is a gold-coloured, bronze-plated, one-dollar coin introduced in 1987. It bears images of a common loon, a bird which is common and well known in Canada, on the reverse, and of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

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 master dies were lost by the courier service while in transit to the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg. In order to avoid possible counterfeiting, a different design was used.[1]

The coin has become the symbol of the Canadian dollar; media often discuss the rate at which the loonie is trading against other currencies. The nickname loonie (huard in French) became so widely recognized that on March 15, 2006 the Royal Canadian Mint secured the rights to the name "Loonie".[2] The name is so ubiquitous that, when it was introduced in 1996, the Canadian 2 dollar coin was nicknamed the "Toonie" (a portmanteau of "two" and "loonie").

The coin—an 11-sided curve of constant width—is made of Aureate, a bronze-electroplated nickel combination. In order to maintain a constant width of 26.5 mm the "sides" of the coin are not exactly straight, but curved in the same manner as the 7-sided British twenty pence and fifty pence coins (the latter is comparable in size and value to the loonie). Its size was (and remains) nearly identical to that of the then-circulating Susan B. Anthony dollar and its successors in the United States. The total composition of the coin is 91.5% nickel and 8.5% bronze. The bronze is about 88% copper and 12% tin.


Public reaction

The coin was released on June 30, 1987. The $1 note remained in issue and in circulation along with the coin for the next two years, until the note was finally withdrawn on June 30, 1989.[3] The coin has been met with a general public acceptance. The town of Echo Bay, Ontario, home of loonie designer Robert-Ralph Carmichael, has erected an enormous loonie in his honour along the highway—similar to Sudbury's 'Big Nickel'.

Commemorative editions

The design has been changed several times for commemorative editions:

The Parks Canada Centennial Commemorative Loonie.
# Year Theme Artist Mintage Special notes
1 1992 125th Anniversary of the Confederation[4] Rita Swanson 23,010,000 Showing children and the Parliament Building. The regular loon design was also minted that year bearing the double date "1867-1992".
2 1994 Remembrance Design[5] RCM Staff 15,000,000 Image of the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
3 1995 Peacekeeping Monument[5] J.K. Harman, R.G. Enriquez, C.H. Oberlander, Susan Taylor 41,813,100 (see note) Included in 1995 Loon Mintage.
4 2004 Olympic Lucky Loonie[6] R.R. Carmichael 6,526,000 1st Lucky Loonie.
5 2005 Terry Fox Stan Witten 12,909,000[7] Fox is the first Canadian citizen to be featured on a circulated Canadian coin. There are versions that exist without grass on the reverse of the coin.[6]
6 2006 Olympic Lucky Loonie Jean-Luc Grondin 2,145,000[7] 2nd Lucky Loonie.
7 2008 Olympic Lucky Loonie Jean-Luc Grondin 10,000,000 3rd Lucky Loonie. Part of the RBC Vancouver 2010 Coin Set.
8 2009 Montreal Canadiens Centennial Loonie Susanna Blunt 10,000,000[8] To Commemorate the 100th anniversary celebration of the Montreal Canadiens professional hockey team. Circulated only in the province of Quebec at Metro(c) Grocery Stores.
9 2010 Olympic Lucky Loonie RCM Staff 11,000,000 4th Lucky Loonie with the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympic symbol ilanaaq, an inukshuk. Part of the RBC Vancouver 2010 Coin Set.
10 2010 Navy Centennial Bonnie Ross 7,000,000[9] To commemorate the Centennial of the Canadian Navy Features a Halifax-class Frigate below anchor, a 1910 naval serviceman and a modern-day female naval officer.
11 2010 Saskatchewan Roughriders Centennial Suzanna Blunt 3,000,000[10] To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Features the Roughriders logo along with a stylized 100.
12 2011 Parks Canada Centennial [11] Nolin BBDO Montreal[12] To celebrate Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary. Features stylized land, air and aquatic fauna, varieties of flora, as well as a symbolic park building and the silhouette of a hiker framed by a snow-capped mountain range.[12]

Specimen set editions

The Big Loonie in Echo Bay, Ontario.
Year Theme Artist Mintage Issue price
2002 15th Anniversary Loonie[13] Dora de Pédery-Hunt 67,672 $39.95
2004 Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary[14] Susan Taylor 46,493 $39.95
2005 Tufted Puffin[15] N/A 39,818 $39.95
2006 Snowy Owl[16] Glen Loates 39,935 $44.95
2007 Trumpeter Swan Kerri Burnett 40,000 $45.95
2008 Common Eider Mark Hobson 40,000 $47.95
2009 Great Blue Heron Chris Jordison 40,000 $47.95
2010 Northern Harrier Arnold Nogy 35,000 $49.95

First strikes

Year Theme Mintage Issue Price
2005 Common Loon 1,944 $14.95
2005 Terry Fox[6] 19,949 $14.95
2006 Lucky Loonie 20,010 $15.95
2006 With New Mint Mark 5,000 $29.95

The lucky loonie

In recent years, the golden-coloured loonie became associated with Canada's winning hockey and curling teams and has been viewed as a good-luck charm in international competition. The legend began during the 2002 Winter Olympics, when a Canadian icemaker for the ice surfaces in the ice hockey tournament, Trent Evans, buried a loonie under centre ice.[17] The original reason for placing the loonie was to assist in the puck-drop: the centre ice at Salt Lake was emblazoned with a large logo, and was missing the customary circle used by the referee and face-off players as a target for the puck — so he needed to add some kind of a dot as a puck target that would not stand out, and a loonie buried under the ice served well. Both the Canadian men's and women's hockey teams won gold in the tournament, the men's 50 years to the day after their last gold medal victory. Following the Games, Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky recovered the coin and gave it to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

A loonie was also used at the IIHF World Hockey Championships between Canada and Sweden on May 11, 2003. This lucky loonie is known affectionately as the Helsinki Loonie. It was hidden surreptitiously before the Gold-Medal hockey game and saw Team Canada to victory. After forward Anson Carter scored against Swedish goaltender Mikael Tellqvist in overtime to win the World Hockey Championship for Canada, Team Canada officials admitted they had placed a Loonie in the padding beneath the crossbar of the Swedish net.[18]

The legend is also prevalent in curling, as the Kevin Martin rink at the 2002 Winter Olympics had won silver medals on a sheet with silver-coloured quarters underneath the surface. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Canadian icemakers in the curling tournament buried two loonies, one at each end of the sheet — coincidentally, Brad Gushue would win the gold medal there. In the same Olympics, the icemakers at the hockey tournament announced that they would not bury a loonie under the ice. The men's team finished out of the medals while the women's team won gold. Likewise, for the 2010 Winter Olympics, as part of the venue construction for the curling venue, three loonies were placed in the floor by the architect before the concrete was poured.[19] Both the Canadian Men and Women's Ice Hockey team took home Gold.

This legend is kept alive by the Royal Canadian Mint, which has since issued specially-designed "Lucky Loonies" for each year the summer and winter Olympics Games are held. Two new Olympic-themed loonies are due to be released in commemoration of the 2010 Winter Olympics being held in Vancouver-Whistler.

Team Russia has also made use of the lucky loonie — in the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Quebec City Alexander Ovechkin famously dug out the "lucky loonie" from centre ice after Russia beat Canada 5–4 in overtime and gave it to Russian teammate Ilya Nikulin, who cut it in two and made two necklaces out of the souvenir. Capitals defenceman Mike Green, who was on the losing Canadian team in that game, says Ovechkin's jewellery still makes an appearance from time to time. Green would love to get a chance to steal that half loonie away from his tormentor, but the opportunity simply hasn't come up.

An episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ("Blaze of Glory") also made mention of a lucky loonie – although the episode's air date (12 May 1997) predates the more-recent Olympic tradition, making it impossible for the scriptwriter to have intended a connection between the fictional coin and its real-world counterpart. The character, Michael Eddington, had a family heirloom in the form of a 22nd century Canadian one dollar coin that he called his "lucky loonie".

Saskatchewan Roughrider Loonie

The Saskatchewan Roughrider commemorative loonie.

On September 2, 2010 at Regina, Saskatchewan the Royal Canadian Mint launched a commemorative one-dollar circulation coin honouring the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders' 2010 centennial. The coin's reverse features the Roughrider logo and is dated 1910-2010. The circulating mintage was limited to 3,000,000 coins.[10] However due a production oversight, the obverse of the Roughrider loonie does not bear the mandated Royal Canadian mint logo. On July 21, 2006, the Royal Canadian Mint announced its policy and unveiled its new privy mark to be displayed below the monarch's effigy on the obverse of all circulation and numismatic coinage beginning in 2006.[20]


  1. ^ Snopes: Loonie Design
  2. ^ "Application Number: 0916677". Canadian Trade-marks database. Canadian Intellectual Property Office. http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/opic-cipo/trdmrks/srch/vwTrdmrk.do?lang=eng&fileNumber=0916677&extension=0&startingDocumentIndexOnPage=51. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. ^ http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/banknotes/general/character/1969-79_1.html Bank of Canada: 1973 issue $1 note.
  4. ^ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, p. 174
  5. ^ a b Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, p. 175
  6. ^ a b c Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, p. 177
  7. ^ a b 2006 Royal Canadian Mint Annual Report, p. 46
  8. ^ "Habs' 100th anniversary celebration continues with logo on Canadian dollar". Associated Press. 24 September 2008. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3607792. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  9. ^ Royal Canadian Mint’s 2010 Navy Centennial Dollar Coin - Coin Collecting News
  10. ^ a b Royal Canadian Mint Celebrates Rider Pride with One-Dollar Circulation Coin Commemorating Saskatchewan Roughriders' Centennial
  11. ^ Royal Canadian Mint Celebrates Nature and Canada's Great Outdoors with New Circulation Coins Commemorating The Centennial of Parks Canada, The Boreal Forest and Three New Animal Themes
  12. ^ a b Parks Canada Centennial $1 Circulation 5-Pack (2011)
  13. ^ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 60th Anniversary Edition, p. 315
  14. ^ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 62nd Edition, p. 236
  15. ^ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 62nd Edition, p. 237
  16. ^ Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 62nd Edition, p. 238
  17. ^ Do you believe in luck? Discover the Lucky Loonie from the Royal Canadian Mint
  18. ^ Hockey Hall of Fame - 1st Annual Hockey hall of Fame Game
  19. ^ "Architect placed lucky loonies under floor of Olympics curling venue". The Vancouver Sun. http://www.vancouversun.com/Architect+placed+lucky+loonies+under+floor+Olympics+curling+venue/2619340/story.html. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  20. ^ The Mint makes its mark on Canadian currency - All circulation coins to bear new symbol

External links



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Look at other dictionaries:

  • loonie — [lo͞o′nē] n. [after the LOON1 depicted on the reverse] Cdn. 1. the Canadian one dollar coin 2. the Canadian dollar …   English World dictionary

  • Loonie — Dollar Land: Kanada Unterteilung: 100 Cents ISO 4217 Code: CAD Abkürzung: $, C $ Wechselkurs: (17. März 2009) 1 EUR = 1,6495 CAD …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Loonie — A slang term for a Canadian dollar. It is derived from the picture of a loon on one side of the coin. Just like in the U.S. where the dollar is referred to as the greenback , the loonie is a often used to refer to the Canadian dollar. For example …   Investment dictionary

  • loonie — Canadian one dollar coin    I bought this rose for one loonie! …   English idioms

  • Loonie Cooper — Lonnie Cooper, né le 28 septembre 1976 à Tallulah (Louisiane) est un joueur américain de basket ball.Il mesure 1m 92 et joue actuellement pour l AEK Athenes Sommaire 1 Carte d identité 2 Biographie 3 Clubs successifs …   Wikipédia en Français

  • loonie — noun Etymology: from the image of a loon on the obverse of the coin Date: 1987 Canadian a coin worth one Canadian dollar …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • loonie — /looh nee/, n. Canadian Informal. a dollar coin. Also, loony. [from the image of a loon on the reverse] * * * …   Universalium

  • loonie — noun The Canadian dollar (both the coin and the monetary unit) …   Wiktionary

  • loonie — I Canadian Slang the Canadian one dollar coin. II Canadian Slang Canadian one dollar coin. Derived from the use of the loon on the reverse …   English dialects glossary

  • loonie — n. Canadian one dollar coin (has a loon on the side opposite the Queen) …   English contemporary dictionary

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