The loonie has become a cherished national symbol for Canadians since its debut on June 30, 1987. The now-ubiquitous image of a loon looms large in Canadian iconography, but it wasn't the design intended for the coin—had the original dies not vanished in transit, the silver dollar’s Voyageur image would appear where the loon roosts today. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Canada’s golden-hued circulation coin, this exquisite two-coin set revisits history by featuring the now-iconic loonie alongside its original design—Canada’s $1 circulation coin that never was.
The first coin features the design by Canadian artist Robert-Ralph Carmichael that has become synonymous with Canada’s currency: the iconic side-profile portrait of a common loon on a still lake, where it floats past the Group of Seven-esque trees rising up on a small island behind it. The entire scene is representative of the lakes that dot the Canadian Shield across much of the nation, and includes the engraved words “CANADA” and “DOLLAR”, along with the commemorative dates “1987-2017” to mark the 30th anniversary of Canada’s $1 circulation coin.
Much as it appeared on Canada’s silver dollar between 1935 and 1986, the second coin, the “Voyageur” design by sculptor and artist Emanuel Hahn is a nod to Canada’s early history and the fur trade era. A canoe moves swiftly past the wind-swept pines that dot a semi-circular island. A voyageur paddles at the stern, while an Aboriginal paddles at the bow; between them lies a bundle of wrapped furs, while stylized vertical rays above represent the Aurora borealis. The reverse also features the engraved words “CANADA” and “DOLLAR”, along with the commemorative dates “1987-2017”.
Both coins feature the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt on the obverse.
An exclusive opportunity to own a 99.99% pure gold “loonie” showcased side-by-side with the Voyageur design that was intended to appear on the coin. Both designs are enhanced by the selective application of magnificent platinum plating on both the obverse and the reverse.