On June 30, 1987, Canadians found a new 11-sided coin jingling in their pockets and purses. The reverse of the new dollar sported Robert-Ralph Carmichael’s Common Loon design, KM-157. The coin was promptly dubbed the “Loonie,” and a Canadian icon was born.
The reverse of the new small dollar had been intended to show Emanuel Hahn’s “Voyageur” design used for many years on Canada’s silver dollar. However, the master dies went missing while in transit from Ottawa to Winnipeg.
As a security precaution, a new reverse was commissioned and a depiction of the Common Loon by Carmichael got the nod.
To mark the Loonie’s 30th birthday, the Royal Canadian Mint has produced a two-coin set. Along with a .9999 fine silver edition of Carmichael’s Loon is a dollar coin showing the original intended Voyageur design. Mintage is 10,000 sets.
This set was also struck in .9999 fine gold. The mintage of 350 was an instant sellout despite the $5,499.95 price tag. Collectors who missed out will need to contact their preferred dealer.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.
• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2017 North American Coins & Prices guide.