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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 well-known Canadian bird, 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 its currency. Newspapers often discuss the rate at which the loonie is trading against the United States dollar (actually a reference confusing the dollar-denomination of the Canadian currency trading on world currency markets floating against the U.S. dollar). 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.


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