The beloved “loonie” garnered significant attention when it entered circulation in 1987. It wasn’t Canada’s first circulation 1-dollar coin—that claim to fame belongs to the 1935 Voyageur silver dollar, a non-circulating commemoration of the silver jubilee of King George V —but it marked a major milestone in Canadian currency as the country said goodbye to the one-dollar bank note. This iconic loon is familiar to most Canadians; after all, it has glided gracefully across our 1-dollar “loonies” for more than three decades. The famous loon swims outside its circle in a Royal Canadian Mint first! The coin is dated 2020 with a $50 denomination and weighs three ounces of pure silver. Adding to its collectability, the mintage is extremely limited to just 1,200. HST/GST exempt.
Design: The coin has been specifically designed for consistent weight while also ensuring that the subject remains unaltered from the original in detail and proportions. From the original 1987 1-dollar coin reverse, Robert-Ralph Carmichael’s iconic loon floats on a still lake with a small island populated by conifers in the background. The scene is portrayed within its own silhouette. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt and a stylized pattern of loon silhouettes.
About the LOONIE: The design originally chosen for the reverse side of the loonie was that of the original Voyageur silver dollar: Emanuel Hahn’s iconic image of an indigenous guide and a French voyageur paddling a canoe. But in November of 1986, the master dies for this design disappeared en route to the Royal Canadian Mint’s Winnipeg branch from its Ottawa branch. To avoid potential counterfeiting—since the dies were never recovered—the government chose Ontario artist Carmichael’s common loon image as the replacement.