Mint gets lit: Glow-in-the-dark toonie unveiled for Canada 150
Published Thursday, June 15, 2017 7:58AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 1:12PM EDT
The Royal Canadian Mint wants your pocket to glow with pride for Canada's 150th anniversary.
The mint has unveiled a limited-edition, glow-in-the-dark toonie to commemorate Canada 150.
There are only 3 million of them out of the $2 coins in circulation.
The specially designed toonie will be the world's first glow-in-the-dark coin in circulation, the mint says.
“We’re really proud. This is a world first in terms of technological innovation,” Royal Mint senior adviser Alex Reeves told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview from Ottawa. “It acts as a calling card to the rest of the world to apply this new feature to circulation.”
Drawn by B.C. artist Timothy Hsia who called the illustration “Dance of the Spirits,” the coin design shows the Northern Lights with a pair of paddlers looking up at it.
Reeves told CTVNews.ca that the mint chose this piece because it lent itself well to the glow-in-the-dark technology.
The coins were coloured using the mint’s new pad-printed process and a new ink formulation containing luminescent material.
They also won’t lose their glow-in-the-dark properties like glow sticks commonly sold at party stores or seen at rave parties.
“We perfected our colouring technology since 2004 with the first 25 cent poppy coin,” Reeves said.
The toonies also come with some special anti-counterfeiting technology.
Reeves explained that at the top of the coin there’s a latent image of two maple leafs, where one leaf is engraved in a certain direction and the other is engraved in the opposite, so “the leaf disappears” depending which way you look at it.
“There’s also two circles at the bottom with micro-engraved maple leaf patterns which make the anti-counterfeiting coin much more robust,” Reeves said.
A range of other commemorative glow-in-the-dark coins are available on the mint's website, but the new toonie will be the first glow-in-the-dark coin you might find in your pocket this summer.
If you don’t find one, don’t despair, the coins can also be found in collectible sets.
The glow-in-the-dark toonie being released into circulation along with special Canada 150 versions of the loonie, quarter, dime and nickel. Each coin features special artwork chosen in a contest last year.
With files from Misha Gajewski