A loon is a Northern diving bird that frequents Canadian lakes and lets out blood-curdling calls leading to the popular phrase 'crazy as a loon.'
Unencumbered by the loon's reputation, Candian officials authorized minting of loon dollars in 1987. These coins are made of nickel and are plated with aureate-bronze. They, for the most part, are worth face value, i.e., one dollar in Canada. A collector will pay a few US dollars to purchase a fully uncirculated specimen for his or her collection. Use xe.com to convert currencies.
Canadians affectionately call these coins loonies, and they are very popular with the people, circulating freely. They also have a two dollar coin, called a toonie in honor of the loonie. When the US tries to get dollar coins to circulate freely, nothing happens. They never circulate. Why? Because there are just no catchy nicknames for 'Susan B. Anthony dollar' or 'Sacajawea dollar.' Instead, millions and millions of Susies and Weejies just sit idle, taking up space in dusty vaults at the mint!
Something interesting happened to the loonie in 2012. The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) abandoned the nickel composition and went to bronze-plated steel. When they changed the composition, they added a small security symbol above the loon. Now, here's the interesting part. Some old-style loonies were produced in 2012, and they are very difficult to find. According to a CoinQuest visitor, the old-style coins (without the security symbol) were sold in mint rolls or fell into an undetermined state due to a truck accident. Surrounded by intrigue, old-style 2012 loonies are climbing steadily in value.
2012 LOONIE WITHOUT SECURITY SYMBOL
average circulated: $2 US dollars
fully uncirculated: $20 approximate catalog value
Go see if you can find one!
By the way, if you have a proof loonie, like the one in the picture, with frosty devices and mirror-like fields, the value goes up to a few 10s of dollars.
For more Canadian silver dollars, click here.