The Royal Canadian Mint is issuing a new $2 coin with a black ring in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The coin, dated 2022 and set to go into circulation later this month, will include the regular design elements of a $2 coin in addition to the black band, which is intended to symbolize a mourning armband.
The centre of the coins remains gold, with its silver outside replaced by black nickel. The late Queen’s image will be emblazoned as usual on one side, with the traditional polar bear design by Brent Townsend on the other.
The Queen died in September after 70 years on the throne. She was succeeded by her son, King Charles III.
“Queen Elizabeth II served as Canada’s head of state for seven decades, and for millions of Canadians, she was the only monarch they had ever known,” Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, said in a press release. “Our special $2 circulation coin offers Canadians a way to remember her.”
The Mint is creating nearly five million coins in an initial run, although more may be created if needed. They will begin entering the national coin distribution system Wednesday, and will appear to the public throughout the month as banks restock their $2 coin inventories.
In addition, the Mint will hold public coin exchanges in Ottawa and Winnipeg on Wednesday and Thursday.
Canadian coins have included the likeness of the reigning monarch since production started in 1908, a fact that led to speculation after the Queen’s death that the Mint would need to quickly produce new legal tender with King Charles III on them.
However, the current $20 bank note is set to circulate for years, and there is no requirement to change the design of coins within a specific period after a change in the monarchy. Coins featuring the likeness of King Charles III have already been released in the U.K., but it remains to be seen when Canadian circulation coins with the king’s face on them will hit our wallets.
New coins are often minted to honour specific people, historical events or groups, but many specialty coins are created in more limited runs.
Last month, the Mint created a commemorative circulation $1 coin for inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and in August, the Mint launched a new $1 circulation coin honouring the jazz legend Oscar Peterson, both limited to a run of three million coins.
Around one billion circulation coins are manufactured per year in the Mint’s facility in Winnipeg.
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