This article provides additional stories about the Canadian loon dollar, or "loonie".
The introduction of the 11-sided loonie "was the most significant change to Canada's coinage in over 50 years," said Aquino, noting that the scrapping of the $1 bill vastly increased the lifespan of the average dollar and presaged the introduction of the polar bear "toonie" in 1996.
She said the switch to loonies was pushed by various interest groups across Canada, including transit companies eager to end the use of difficult-to-handle, small-denomination paper money.
"Organizations for the visually impaired, which we consulted with quite extensively back then, really appreciated the coin's 11-sided shape," she added.
The coin went on achieve mythic status at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics when a "lucky loonie" was secretly placed at centre ice by Canadian icemaker Trent Evans ahead of the gold-medal match - won by Canada over Winter Games host Team U.S.A., this country's first Olympic hockey title in 50 years.
Capitalizing on the story, the mint has struck special "lucky loonie" coins before each subsequent Olympic Games.
The loonie also made history in 2005 when Terry Fox - the heroic one-legged runner whose 1980 Marathon of Hope raised millions of dollars
for cancer research - became the first Canadian-born individual depicted on a Canadian circulation coin. The
2005 loonie celebrated the 25th anniversary of Fox's epic, marathon-a-day fundraiser across Canada, which
ended in Northern Ontario with a recurrence of his cancer. The illness claimed his life in 1981.
Earlier this year, after the minting of about 1.5 billion loonies since 1987, the coin was given its first major production makeover in a quarter-century.
The 2012 loonie is the first edition of the coin to be made of multi-ply, brass-plated steel - at 6.27 grams, a slightly lighter composition than the original nickel-core loonie.
The new coin, released in April, also features a laser-mark maple leaf above the bird's head for enhanced security.
To read the complete article, see:
The loonie turns 25 years old
Wayne Homren, Editor
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