$2 Circulation Coin with Black Nickel Finish in Memory of Queen Elizabeth II

Product Owner: Royal Canadian Mint

Coin Denomination/s and Date of Issue

Canada 2$, December 7, 2022

Project Description

This $2 circulation coin is a solemn tribute to Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) that marks the end of a historic reign. This new coin is distinguished by its black outer ring reminiscent of a mourning armband, echoing the loss felt by millions of Canadians upon the passing of their queen.

Many Canadians have a strong affection for Queen Elizabeth II and issuing this special circulation coin offered them an accessible and affordable keepsake by which to remember her.
This coin also demonstrates our ability to keep developing innovative circulation coin manufacturing technologies.

The $2 circulating coin is bimetalic and includes security features on the reverse’s outer ring, protecting them against potential counterfeiting, including: two laser marks of maple leaves, each within a circle, at the bottom of the coin’s reverse; a virtual image of two maple leaves will appear at the top of the coin; Edge-lettering (the words “CANADA” and “2 DOLLARS”) are engraved along the coin’s outer edge.

The Royal Canadian Mint hosted hugely popular public coin exchanges at its Ottawa and Winnipeg boutiques to allow Canadians to obtain these specials coins.

Innovation and Uniqueness of Design

The black colour is the result of a treatment applied to the standard nickel-plated steel $2 circulation coins. This process maintains the same composition as a conventional Canadian “Toonie” coin and was introduced for the very first time on a coin chosen as a way to acknowledge the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The black effect is produced during the manufacturing process of plating the outer ring of the $2 coin blank with a nickel alloy finish applied. A proprietary chemical interaction turns the nickel black as part of the electroplating process , the details of which are commercially sensitive.

The Mint’s R&D and manufacturing teams played a key role in transforming this new and innovative process from a lab scale environment to a fully commericalised production process. Over five million coins were initially produced at our Winnipeg, Manitoba facility, with the potential to manufacture more on demand.

Integration of historical or local content that is relevant to the country

This $2 circulation coin is a solemn tribute to Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) that marks the end of a historic reign. Like a mourning band, the black outer ring surrounds the polar bear design at the centre of the coin’s reverse. The same effect carries over to the obverse, which features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Like her effigy’s appearance on all Canadian coins, she was a constant presence in the lives of Canadians, who will forever remember her unwavering dedication to public service and affection for Canada.

Over the course of a reign that has spanned more than seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II has played an integral role in the life of Canada. Canadians have enjoyed a close and enduring relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, exemplified by numerous visits, her ties to our fundamental institutions and remaining current with the progress of Canada as a diverse, modern nation.

Effectiveness of integration of security features into the coin

This is a standard $2 Canadian circulation coin in terms of its design elements, with the exception of an all-black outer ring on both sides of the coin.

Existing security features on the coin include: multiply plated steel and bimetallic structure, edge lettering, interupted serrations, laser mark, and latent image

Aesthetic appeal and overall design of the coin or coin series

This 2$ circulating coin integrates the newly developed black nickel finish electroplating technology to commemorate the passing of Canada’s monarch and head of state for 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II.

Surrounded by a black outer ring that symobolizes mourning, the reverse design by artist Brent Townsend features the classic depiction of an adult polar bear on an ice floe. On the coin’s obverse, the black outer ring surrounds the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

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Awards | Currency Awards 2023


Best New Circulating Coin or Coin Series


Finalist | Nominee | Winner