Glow-in-the-dark Canada 150 toonie now in circulation

Michael Shulman
The new toonie designed for Canada 150 is seen here. (The Royal Canadian Mint)

Canadians who have struggled to track down their loose change in the dark crevices of couches or in the shadows under furniture are getting a present for the country’s 150th birthday celebrations: glow-in-the-dark coins.

The Royal Canadian Mint announced earlier this month that its specially designed coins for the sesquicentennial anniversary of Confederation have been put into circulation.

And the crown jewel of the collection may be the new toonie, which is the first coin to go into circulation that glows in the dark. The mint has previously issued glow-in-the-dark coins but only as limited editions.

The two-dollar coin, which depicts the northern lights, was designed by Dr. Timothy Hsia and his brother Stephen and chosen by the public as part of a national contest. The pair hails from Richmond, B.C.

The design, which is also the world’s first coloured bimetallic coin and is called Dance of the Spirits, was unveiled last November.

Alex Reeves, a spokesman for the mint, told the Huffington Post Canada that the toonie was coloured using its new pad-printed process and ink formulation, which contains a material that glows.

He added that Canadians can expect to see the new coin as the banks restock their inventory and that about three million will be put into circulation.

The mint is also releasing new five-cent, 10-cent, 25-cent and one-dollar coins. The new quarters will also feature a coloured design.

“Over time, the Canada 150 circulation coins will become lasting keepsakes of this incredible year, so find them and hold on to them for future generations to enjoy,” said Sandra Hanington, president and CEO of the mint.

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