TORONTO — Canada isn't the only one celebrating a big birthday — one of its most commonly used symbols is, too.
The Royal Canadian Mint says the loonie is officially now 30 years old.
The 11-sided coin was first released June 30, 1987 as a cost-saving replacement for the one-dollar bill.
The mint says the one-dollar coin was not originally called the loonie, but the name caught on quickly thanks to the design by Robert Ralph Carmichael depicting a single loon on one side.
It says the introduction of the loonie marked the most significant change to Canada's currency in half a century.
The mint has issued 10,000 special edition sets featuring the loonie design cast in an almost 100 per cent silver coin to commemorate the anniversary of its release.
"It's very fitting that during Canada 150, we are also celebrating one of the country's most recognizable symbols," said Sandra Hanington, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "In addition to depicting several special designs over the past 30 years, the loonie is also known around the world as an innovative trailblazer for its composition and cutting-edge security features."
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