The Lucky Loonie is a story that sees it's origins in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. During the preparations a Canadian 1 Dollar, or loonie(so called for featuring a common loon on the reverse), coin was embedded under the ice in the E Center arena.
The coin was subsequently dubbed the 'lucky loonie' after both the Canadian men's and women's ice hockey teams won gold medals at the event. The lucky loonie has now become a part of Canadian sporting folklore.
The Canadian Mint now issues a special 'lucky loonie' coin for every Olympic Games. The 2016 coin was designed by Canadian wildlife artist Derek Wicks and depicts an energizing new design of a common loon on the water, with its arched body and outstretched wings poised for take-off. The impressive portraits a symbolic salute to Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they get set to soar to new heights at Rio 2016. Behind the duck the Canadian Maple leaf mimics a rising sun, lighting the way forward to a new day filled with opportunity. The fields behind the maple leaf are textured and does an excellent job of drawing the eye to the foreground of the coin's design.
The logo's of the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are engraved at the bottom along with the words “LUCKY LOONIE “ and “DOLLAR PORTE-BONHEUR” on either side. The reverse legend is completed with “CANADA” and “2016” to the top of the coin. The image is framed by the loonie's now trademark eleven sided rim.
The obverse bears the Susanna Blunt effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II with the legend inscribed along the rim “ELIZABETH II D.G. REGINA DOLLAR”.
The circulating commemorative coin will also be supplemented by a special ¼ oz pure silver collectors coin. The silver coin shares the design of the circulating commemorative with a few minor changes to the reverse of the coin. Immediately noticeable is the fact that the COC and CPC logos at the bottom have been colourized. The textured background of the circulating coin have been omitted in favour of clean reflective fields for the silver proof coin. Coin collectors will naturally appreciate the much sought after cameo effect that this will create in proof coins. The smaller maple leaf inset in the large maple leaf has also been removed, and the date moved to the centre of the coin.
The obverse remains unchanged between the two coins. The silver dollar coin has a mintage figure of 15 000 coins and is listed for $39.95 CAD from the Royal Canadian Mint. The 26.5mm coin is however restricted to Canadian sales only, so international collectors will have to look elsewhere or ask their international coin dealer to obtain the coin for them.