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What is a two dollar coin? A Canadian two dollar coin is popularly referred to amongst collectors and all Canadians, as ‘toonie’. It is a bimetallic coin that bears an image of a polar bear standing at the edge of an ice floe. It was introduced by the Public works minister in 1996 following the popularity of the one dollar coin popularly known as the ‘loonie’ that in turn was introduced in 1987. Since then it has weighed down pockets of every Canadian and has become largely popular. All Canadian coins have a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. However the toonie is the only coin that has Elizabeth ii written in a different typeface. Also unlike other Canadian coins, the date of issue is printed on to the reverse side of the coin.

Despite being given a number of different names in the beginning, the 2 dollar coin became popular simply as the toonie. The name was the officially adopted by the Canadian government later in 2006. The toonie was produced to replace the two dollar bill. This has proven to be much more effective because the toonie, although costlier to make, lasts longer. While a two dollar bill costs six cents a bill, a two dollar coin costs about 16 cents to mint. However the bill lasts for about a year while the coin can be used for at least twenty years. This is the reason why the toonie gained widespread popularity and the two dollar bill was discontinued.

Another important feature of the Canadian two dollar coin is that it weighs about 7.3 grams. This is among some of the heaviest coins in circulation. It has a diameter of about 28 mm and a thickness of 1.8 mm. While the outer ring consists of pure nickel, the inner portion consists of copper, aluminum and nickel in various proportions.

Do you collect coins? Are you interested in collecting rare coins?

Initially the toonies caused a few problems. The technology to mint these coins came from Italy. However due to lack of proper manufacturing process, the bimetallic locking in the first batch of these two dollar coins produced became weak. As a result many such coins separated when they were struck hard. This problem was overcome later. However in Canada it is illegal to deliberately deface a coin by trying to separate it.

In the year 2006 to celebrate ten years of the Canadian two dollar coin in circulation, a new design was chosen for the coin. Although similar to the old design, it has some slight modifications. The polar bear from the old coin is designed such that it has an upturned head that is facing towards the rays of a sun. About five million of these coins were introduced on the first day for general circulation.

Following the success of the Canadian two dollar coin, plans were made to introduce a five dollar coin but these were later scrapped. Due to its brilliant design and bimetallic locking technology it has become very popular. The loonie is definitely a collectors item and worth having even if you are a Canadian with plenty to spare! What is a two dollar coin?

Years Toonie is Active so far

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