On 10 April 2012, Royal Canadian Mint has release into circulation a new generation of one dollar and two dollar circulation coins. The new Loonie and Toonie incorporate advanced security features and are manufactured with the Mint's patented multi-ply plated steel technology. The reverse (or tails side) of both coins features a laser mark micro-engraving, and the two-dollar coin also contains a virtual image and edge-lettering. With the exception of these additional security features, the new coins will have the same diameter and thickness as the current coins. Old Loonie (one dollar) and Toonie (two dollar) coins issued since 1987 and 1996 will remain legal tender and will continue to circulate alongside this new generation of circulation coins. The patented multi-ply plated steel (MPPS) technology have been used for the lower denomination circulation coins since 2001.
The New $1 Coin
Instead of traditional alloys, and like the new two-dollar circulation coins, Canada's new one-dollar circulation coins are manufactured using the same Multi-Ply Plated Steel technology found in our current 25-cent, 10-cent, 5-cent and 1-cent circulation coins This patented process covers a steel core with alternating layers of metals such as copper, nickel and brass. The resulting coins are more economical to produce, durable and secure.
While the new one-dollar circulation coin maintains the traditional "Loon" design, there is one visible change:
A single laser mark of a maple leaf positioned within a circle on the coin's reverse – i.e. around the Loon design. This laser mark is produced during the striking of the coins using a contrasting pattern micro-engraved on the coin die itself.Specifications:
Edge Height: 1.95mm
Composition: Multi-ply brass plated steel
The New $2 Coin
Like the new one-dollar circulation coins, Canada's new two-dollar circulation coins are manufactured using the Mint's Multi-Ply Plated Steel technology.
While the new two-dollar coin maintains the traditional "Polar Bear" design, there are three visible changes:
The addition of two laser marks of maple leaves, each within a circle, at the bottom of the coin's reverse – i.e. on the side with the Polar Bear design.
A virtual image of two maple leaves will appear at the top of the coin – a different image is produced as the coin is turned from side to side. The virtual image is produced by engraving different patterns on each side of two-sided grooves on the face of the coin.
Edge-lettering of the words "CANADA" and "2 DOLLARS" are engraved along the coin's outer edge.Specifications:
Edge Height: 1.75mm
Outer Ring –Multi-ply nickel plated steel
Insert –Multi-ply brass plated aluminum bronze
Source: Royal Canadian Mint