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The loonie coin is turning 20


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OTTAWA — The loonie coin, the dollar which should never have been, first clinked into Canadian pockets 20 years ago this week.


On June 30, 1987, the first 80 million shiny, bronze-coloured loonies began to go into circulation, sounding a tinkling death knell for the old green-and-white $1 bill.


The ubiquitous loonie, which has become as much a part of the Canadian fabric as the Maple Leaf or Tim Hortons’ rollable rims, wasn’t actually supposed to happen.


The original design for the $1 coin featured a voyageur canoe, much like the one that graced the silver dollar coin for years, says Pam Aung Thin of the Royal Canadian Mint.


‘‘The original master dies were lost in transit,’’ she said.



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