Mint’s ‘mourning band’ toonie wins best new circulating coin

The Royal Canadian Mint’s bi-metallic $2 coin featuring a world-first black outer ring serving as a mourning band to honour Queen Elizabeth’s more than 70-year reign has been awarded the Best New Circulating Coin or Coin Series.

In a release, the Mint said its research and development team developed the black nickel plating to make the coin’s outer ring reminiscent of a mourning armband. The award, under the International Association of Currency Affairs’ (IACA) 2023 Excellence in Currency Awards, was officially presented at the 2023 Currency Conference in Mexico City, Mexico.

“Queen Elizabeth II served as Canada’s head of state for seven decades and millions of Canadians, she was the only monarch they had ever known,” said Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “By leveraging yet another Royal Canadian Mint innovation to create this special $2 circulation coin, we were able to offer Canadians an excellent way to remember her.” Queen Elizabeth died on Sept. 8, 2022.
The special circulation coin was launched on Dec. 7, 2022, featuring the Brent Townsend polar bear design on the reverse’s core and the Susanna Blunt effigy of the queen on the obverse.

The Mint said almost five million coins entered the national coin distribution system in December, and additional volumes are being produced to meet ongoing marketplace demand.

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