Canada mints special black-ringed ‘toonie’ coin in memory of Queen Elizabeth

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Royal Canadian Mint has produced a special, black-ringed C$2 coin to commemorate Queen Elizabeth, whose death in September triggered a huge outpouring of affection in Canada and sent collectors scrambling to secure rare coins and bills bearing her portrait.

The C$2 coin, Canada’s highest denomination coin, which would go into circulation later in December, features Susanna Blunt’s portrait of Elizabeth on one side and the traditional Brent Townsend polar bear design on the other, the mint said in a statement on Wednesday.

Canadians call the C$2 coin a toonie, a play on the ‘loonie’ nickname for the Canadian dollar coin, which features a picture of a loon bird.

The composition of the new nickel-plated steel coin remains unchanged, but differs from regular C$2 coins due to a black outer ring on both sides. There would be nearly 5 million such coins that will begin appearing in circulation gradually as banks re-stock their coin inventories, the mint said.

Elizabeth was Canada’s head of state for 70 years and the country observed a 10-day mourning period after her death. She visited Canada more than any other country during her reign.

“Our special C$2 circulation coin offers Canadians a way to remember her,” Royal Canadian Mint Chief Executive Marie Lemay said, adding that Queen Elizabeth was the only monarch most Canadians had ever known.

The queen’s death also sent collectors scrambling to secure rare coins and bills bearing her likeness, even as her portrait is set to remain in circulation for years to come on money throughout the Commonwealth.

Canada remained in the British Empire until 1982. It is still a member of the Commonwealth of former empire countries which hold the British monarch as head of state.

Photo: Royal Canadian Mint

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