It may not be made of gold, but Canada’s new glow-in-the-dark, two-dollar coin sure does glitter.
Known colloquially as the “toonie,” the C$2 ($1.50, £1.20) coin is said to be the world’s first glow-in-the-dark coin to enter into circulation.
The winning design, which was chosen from 10,000 entries, depicts boaters looking up at the Northern Lights.
The Royal Canadian Mint is releasing three million of these toonies to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
In the daylight, the Northern Lights scene depicted on the coin is brilliantly coloured in blue and green. But when the lights are off, it glows in the dark.
The coin was designed by Timothy Hsia, a doctor from Richmond, British Columbia, who says he was inspired by the design contest’s theme, “Our wonders”.
“I wanted to choose a subject that was truly wonderful,” Mr Hsia said. “I feel like there is nothing more truly wonderful than Canada’s Northern Lights.”
Although it was Mr Hsia who created the design, it was the Mint that chose to make it glow in the he dark, says spokesman Alex Reeves.
The Royal Canadian Mint makes coins not only for Canadian circulation, but for about 75 countries around the world, and the coin is a bit of a calling card for the company, Mr Reeves said.
As the world’s first glow-in-the-dark coin to enter general circulation, the Canada 150 toonie will help celebrate “a little Canadian innovation along with the pride of this year’s festivities,” Mr Reeves said.
It is also not the first time the Mint has gone for a glow-in-the-dark coin – in 2012, Canada created a quarter with a glowing Pachyrhinosaurus Lakustai dinosaur skeleton.
That coin, which was not in general circulation, took home the Krause Publications 2014 Coin of the Year award for “most innovative coin”.
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