New two-dollar coin, or toonie, features two canoeists under the aurora borealis – and glows in the dark thanks to special ink that contains luminescent material
The new $2 coin marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. Photograph: The Royal Canadian Mint
Canadians may now have a slight advantage when it comes to digging for lost change in sofa cushions and car seats; the Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled what it described as the world’s first glow-in-the-dark coin in circulation.
The specially designed two-dollar coin, or toonie, as it’s known in Canada, features two people paddling in a canoe as the northern lights – vivid in green and blue – dance high above them. When the coin is put in the dark, the aurora borealis glows softly, thanks to a new ink formulation that contains luminescent material.
The coin, part of a collection created to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, also ranks as the world’s first coloured bimetallic coin, said a mint spokesperson. “Only the core of the $2 coin is coloured and the glow effect makes the aurora borealis part of the design look lifelike,” said Alex Reeves.
Recent weeks have seen 3 million of these coins entered into general circulation. While the mint has produced coins that glow in the dark in recent years, this is the first time it has applied the technology to a coin in circulation.
The cutting edge design may be about more than just marking the sesquicentennial; it’s an opportunity for the Canadian mint to highlight its capabilities as mints around the world compete for clients. The Royal Canadian Mint currently makes coins for countries from Indonesia to the United Arab Emirates.
Approximately one in 10 Canadians are expected to come across the glow-in-the-dark coin. The rest will have settle for the option of purchasing it as part of a Canada 150 coin set.