Royal Canadian Mint Honours Queen Elizabeth II With New Toonie Featuring Black Mourning Band


The new toonie, which enters circulation Wednesday, will feature a black outer ring to signify a mourning band. Photo: Courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is honouring the late Queen Elizabeth II with the release of a new toonie.

The $2 coin, which goes into circulation Wednesday, will largely maintain its original design, including the effigy of the Queen and its gold centre, but will swap out its silver outer ring for black nickel to signify a mourning band.

“Like her effigy itself, she was a constant presence in the lives of Canadians, who will forever remember her unwavering dedication to public service and deep affection for Canada,” the Royal Canadian Mint said of the new coin in a press release.

Four different images of the Queen have been featured on the obverse side of Canadian coins since she made her first appearance in 1953.

The new-look coins will become available to the public throughout the month of December as Canadian banks restock their inventory. According to CTV News, nearly five million pieces will be released for the coin’s initial run.

Coin collectors can also get their hands on the new toonie at public coin exchanges in Ottawa and Winnipeg on Wednesday and Thursday.

The new toonie’s “tails” side features the polar bear, designed by Brent Townsend. Photo: Photo: Courtesy of Royal Canadian Mint


While Canada has featured the reigning monarch on its coins since production started in 1908, so far there’s been no talk of upholding the tradition for King Charles — who took over as monarch and Canada’s head of state upon Queen Elizabeth’s death in September — nor is there any legal requirement to do so.

As for Canada’s $20 bank note, Paul Badertscher, spokesman for the Bank of Canada, says the current polymer design featuring the Queen’s image is likely to remain in circulation “for years to come.”

“There is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the monarch changes,” Badertscher told Fortune.

Across the pond, the U.K. has already released coins and banknotes bearing the image of King Charles.

Meanwhile, Canada may continue its endeavour to feature more diverse subjects on their coins and banknotes.

Recent commemorative circulations include loonies honouring jazz legend Oscar Peterson and inventor Alexander Graham Bell — both of which were limited to a run of three million coins — while a banknote honouring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond has been in Canadian wallets since 2018.


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