MUST WATCH: Happy 30th, loonie!
It wasn't that long ago the now-ubiquitous loonie was shiny and new.
It was on this day in 1987 that the Canadian government introduced us to the golden one dollar coin though it didn't go into circulation until June 30 of that year.
The loonie was brought in as a cost-saving measure. The coin is twenty times more durable than the paper dollar bill it replaced.
Over a billion loonies were manufactured between 1987 and 2012. Those coins were aureate bronze plated over a nickel core. In 2012 the coins' composition changed, making them lighter and causing multi-million dollar headaches for vending machine owners.
The fact that Robert-Ralph Carmichael's design is rattling around in your pocket or purse is somewhat of an accident.
The first design for Canada's one dollar coin featured a voyageur canoe, not a loon.
The master dies for the coin were struck in Ottawa and sent to the Mint in Winnipeg for production. But the dies never arrived, having been lost or stolen along the way. Fearing the dies might have been taken by counterfeiters who could use them to pump out fake coins, the voyageur dollar was scrapped and a new design process that gave us the loonie was launched.