An Olympic coinage tradition will continue in Canada.
The Royal Canadian Mint will circulate a special 2014 dollar coin
commemorating the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which are scheduled to be
held in Sochi, Russia, from Feb. 7 to 23.
The 2014 coin was announced and the design unveiled on Jan. 11 at
the Canadian Olympic Team’s Sochi Block Party event in Banff. A total
of 5 million coins will enter circulation beginning Jan. 20.
The reverse of the coin will depict a loon spreading its wings
while sitting on Canadian lake waters.
Four of five Olympic circulating dollar coins since Canada
launched its first “Lucky Loonie” in circulation a decade ago have
shown a loon, the usual occupant of the design space on the regular
version of the denomination. Only the loon-free 2010 Lucky Loonie
aureate bronze dollar, marking the Vancouver Winter Olympics, deviates
from the tried-and-true formula for a legend that was born in 2002 in
Salt Lake City.
The icemaker in 2002 buried a Canadian dollar below center ice as
a lucky charm for men and women’s teams from Canada. Both teams went
on to claim gold medal victories, and the RCM soon offered collector
coins celebrating the “Lucky Loonie.”
The legend of the “Lucky Loonie” is so large in Canadian sporting
lore that the original coin that was present at the 2002 Olympics is
now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Every two years, starting in 2004, the RCM has circulated a dollar
coin to mark the Olympics. Collector products including silver
versions continuing the theme have been part of the Lucky Loonie
program for many of those Games. Usually, each athlete competing in
the Games is given an example to carry.
Upon arrival in Sochi, each Canadian Olympian will receive a 2014
Lucky Loonie, according to the RCM.
The 2014 coin will show the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen
Elizabeth II on the obverse.
The 2014 coin will also include a lasermark maple leaf symbol
within a circle above the loon, the Canadian Olympic Committee symbol,
and the artist’s initials ED, representing Emily Damstra, a wildlife
artist who has produced several coin designs for the RCM.
Canada’s current aureate bronze dollar is 12-sided, weighs 6.27
grams and measures 26.5 millimeters in diameter.
A Reverse Proof .9999 fine silver version that is also 12-sided is
being released to commemorate the Games. In addition to bearing
Damstra’s design on the reverse, the coin features the Canadian
Olympic logo (a maple leaf above the Olympic rings in an oval) in full color.
The silver coin weighs 7.89 grams and measures 26.5 millimeters in
diameter. It has a mintage limit of 15,000 pieces and sells for $39.95
each. The silver collectors coin will be issued Feb. 4 and is
available only inside Canada.
Only Canadian residents currently may order packs of five 2014
circulation-strike coins, which are priced at face value plus
shipping. The coins are available at www.mint.ca/luckyloonie, and
limited to three packs per household.
Collectors elsewhere will have to search the secondary market to
obtain both the circulating $1 and the collector version. ■