Toonie

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Toonie
Canada
Value2.00 CAD
Mass6.92 (was 7.30 before 2012[1]) g
Diameter28[2] mm
Thickness1.75[2] (was 1.8 before 2012[3]) mm
EdgeIntermittent milled/smooth
Composition

1996–2011
outer ring
  99% Ni
inner core
  aluminium bronze
  (92% Cu, 6% Al, 2% Ni)

2012–
outer ring
  steel,
  nickel plating

inner core
  aluminium bronze,
  brass plating
Years of minting1996–present
Catalog number-
Obverse
Toonie - back.png
DesignElizabeth II, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
Reverse
Toonie - front.png
DesignPolar Bear in early summer on an ice floe
DesignerBrent Townsend
Design date1996
 
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Toonie
Canada
Value2.00 CAD
Mass6.92 (was 7.30 before 2012[1]) g
Diameter28[2] mm
Thickness1.75[2] (was 1.8 before 2012[3]) mm
EdgeIntermittent milled/smooth
Composition

1996–2011
outer ring
  99% Ni
inner core
  aluminium bronze
  (92% Cu, 6% Al, 2% Ni)

2012–
outer ring
  steel,
  nickel plating

inner core
  aluminium bronze,
  brass plating
Years of minting1996–present
Catalog number-
Obverse
Toonie - back.png
DesignElizabeth II, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
DesignerSusanna Blunt
Design date2003
Reverse
Toonie - front.png
DesignPolar Bear in early summer on an ice floe
DesignerBrent Townsend
Design date1996

The Canadian 2 dollar coin, commonly called the toonie, was introduced on February 19, 1996 by Public Works minister Diane Marleau. The toonie is a bi-metallic coin which on the reverse side bears an image of a polar bear by artist Brent Townsend. The obverse, like all other current Canadian coins, has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It has the words "ELIZABETH II / D.G. REGINA" in a different typeface from any other Canadian coin; it is also the only coin to consistently bear its issue date on the obverse.

The coin is manufactured using a patented distinctive bi-metallic coin locking mechanism.[2] The coins are estimated to last 20 years. The discontinued two-dollar bill was less expensive to manufacture, but on average each bill lasted only one year.[4]

On April 10, 2012, the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) announced design changes to the loonie and toonie, which include new security features.[5][6]

Prior to 2012, the coin consisted of an aluminium bronze inner core with a pure nickel outer ring;[7] however in spring 2012 the composition of the inner core switched to aluminium bronze coated with multi-ply plated brass, and the outer ring switched to steel coated with multi-ply plated nickel. The weight dropped from 7.30 to 6.92 grams, and the thickness changed from 1.8 to 1.75 millimetres. The Mint states that multi-ply plated steel technology, already used in Canada's smaller coinage, produces an electromagnetic signature that is harder to counterfeit than that for regular alloy coins; also, using steel provides cost savings and avoids fluctuations in price or supply of nickel.[1][8]

Naming[edit]

"Toonie" is a portmanteau word combining the number "two" with the name of the loonie, Canada's one-dollar coin. It is occasionally spelled "twonie" or "twoonie", but Canadian newspapers and the Royal Canadian Mint use the "toonie" spelling.

When the coin was introduced, a number of nicknames were suggested. Some of the early ones included the bearie (analogous to the Loonie and its loon), the bearly, the deuce, the doubloonie (a play on "double loonie" and the former Spanish doubloon coin), and the moonie (because it depicted "the Queen with a bear behind").[9]

Jack Iyerak Anawak, Member of Parliament from Nunatsiaq, Nunavut, suggested the name Nanuq [nanook, polar bear] in honour of Canada's Inuit people and their northern culture; however, this culturally meaningful proposal went largely unnoticed beside the popular "toonie".[10][11]

The name "toonie" became so widely accepted that in 2006 the Royal Canadian Mint secured the rights to it. A competition to name the bear resulted in the name "Churchill", a reference both to Winston Churchill and to the common polar bear sightings in Churchill, Manitoba.[12]

Launch[edit]

Paul Martin announced the replacement of the $2 banknote with a coin in the 1995 federal budget speech.[13] The RCM spent CA$17,400 to canvas 2000 Canadian households about which of the ten theme options they preferred.[13]

Under the direction of Dr. Hieu C. Truong, the RCM engineering division designed the two dollar coin to be made from two different metals. The metals for the bi-metallic coin would be lighter and thinner than those produced anywhere in the world. To join the two parts, the engineering division perfected a bi-mechanic locking mechanism.[14] By the end of 1996, the Winnipeg facility had struck 375 million of these coins.[15] The coin was officially launched at Ben’s Deli in Montreal on February 19, 1996.[14]

The weight of the coin was originally specified as 112.64 grains, equivalent to 7.299 grams.[16]

The community of Campbellford, home to the coin's designer, constructed a 27-foot toonie monument,[17] similar to the "Big Loonie" in Echo Bay and the Big Nickel in Sudbury.

Commemorative editions[edit]

YearThemeArtistMintageSpecial Notes
1999The founding of NunavutG. Arnaktavyok25,130,000Commemorating the founding of Nunavut, featuring an Inuit drummer.
2000Knowledge/Le SavoirTony Bianco29,880,000Millennium edition, the coin value "2 DOLLARS" appears on the obverse instead of on the reverse. It also features three polar bears.

The issue date of the 2000 coin is on the reverse instead of the obverse side.[18]

2002The 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's reignBrent Townsend27,020,000The issue date reads 1952-2002.
200610th AnniversaryTony Bianco35,319,000Featuring an updated pose of the bear looking up at the dramatic lines of an Aurora Borealis. The first circulation coin to be introduced with the new 'mintmark'.[19]

The issue date reads 1996-2006.[20]

2008400th Anniversary of founding of Quebec City & 1st French settlement in North America.The coin was designed by jeweller Genevieve Bertrand, a Quebec City native. The engraving was done by RCM engraver William Woodruff.6,000,000The design of the coin is dominated by a large fleur-de-lis. Other elements include a ship, and lines representing the St. Lawrence River.[21]
2011Boreal ForestNolin BBDO Montreal5,000,000Celebrates Canada's boreal forest that covers over half of Canada's landmass. Features 3 stylized trees, a bird and a man.[22]
2012War of 1812: HMS ShannonBonnie RossTBDPart of a series of commemorative issues on the War of 1812. Features a modified reverse with HMS Shannon in the centre core, as well as artwork with "The War of 1812, HMS Shannon" in the outer ring.

Specimen set editions[edit]

YearThemeArtistMintageIssue price
2010Young LynxChristie Paquet15000$49.95
2011Baby ElkChristie Paquet15000$49.95
2012Wolf CubsEmily Damstra15000$49.95
2013Black Bear CubsGlen Loates17500$49.95

First strikes[edit]

YearThemeMintageIssue Price
2005Polar Bear2,375$14.95
200610th Anniversary Toonie5,000$15.95
2006New Mint Mark5,000$29.95

Separation of metals[edit]

A failure in the bimetallic locking mechanism in the first batch of Toonies caused some coins to separate if struck hard or frozen. Despite media reports of defective toonies, the Canadian Mint responded that the odds of a toonie falling apart were about 1 in 60 million.[9] It is against the law to deliberately attempt to separate a toonie. Defacing coin currency is a summary offence under the Canadian Criminal Code, section 456.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Order Amending Part 2 of the Schedule to the Royal Canadian Mint Act". Canada Gazette. Government of Canada. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  2. ^ a b c "Balance and composition – the 2-dollar coin". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  3. ^ "The New $2 Coin". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  4. ^ Fred Langan. "Canada's new coin a 'toonie'? By Fred Langan THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1996 | 11:59 a.m.". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  5. ^ Royal Canadian Mint. "The Loonie and Toonie have evolved". Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  6. ^ [1] Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  7. ^ George S. Čuhaj; Thomas Michael (11 July 2011). 2012 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001 to Date. Krause Publications. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-4402-1575-9. 
  8. ^ "Material change in store for loonies, toonies". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia News. January 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "'Toonie' makes its debut - CBC Archives". Archives.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  10. ^ "Jack Iyerak Anawak on Two-Dollar Coin - Hansard April 26th, 1996, Retrieved March 30, 2011". Openparliament.ca. 1996-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  11. ^ "WordReference Forums - Vocabulaire Anglo-Normand, Retrieved March 30, 2011". Forum.wordreference.com. 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  12. ^ Royal Canadian Mint. "Canadians Choose Churchill as Official Name of Toonie Polar Bear." Retrieved 27 Jan 2011.
  13. ^ a b Girard, Daniel (11 March 1995). "It's a real toss-up but here's our 2-cents worth: Call the $2 coin an American dollar". Toronto Star. 
  14. ^ a b Royal Canadian Mint: 100 Years of History, p.177, Published by Les Éditions Stromboli, 2008, St. Lambert, Québec, Canada, Project Co-Oridnator: Francesco Bellomo, Project Manager for Royal Canadian Mint: Susan Aubry, Legal Deposit: Library and Archives Canada, ISBN 2-921800-26-8
  15. ^ The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Canadian Coins, 61st Edition, p.139, edited by W.K. Cross, The Charlton Press, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 0-88968-315-8
  16. ^ "Canada Gazette, 42-43-44 ELIZABETH II, Chapter 26, p. 614". 
  17. ^ "Canada's two-dollar coin and its polar bear turn 10 this year". CNW Telbec, August 28, 2006.
  18. ^ "Order Authorizing the Issue of a Two Dollar Circulation Coin Commemorating the Millenium and Specifying its Characteristics, SOR/2000-245". CanLII. 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  19. ^ "'Toonie' turns 10 ... and gets a facelift". Cbc.ca. 2006-08-28. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  20. ^ http://www.talismancoins.com/catalog/Canada_2006_10thAnn_$2.jpg
  21. ^ Quebec City - 400th Anniversary Toonie. Royal Canadian Mint. Retrieved 27 Jan 2011.
  22. ^ [2]

External links[edit]