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The Loonie--as Canadian as hockey, Molson's, saying "Eh," and as one US expatriate put it, "punting on the first down." The golden-colored (copper-plated nickel-based) Loonie is also the result of a 1987 mistake.
Want some good world coin tips? If you have a Canadian silver dollar prior to 1987, it probably depicts two men in a canoe. Hang on to your pre-Loonie Canadian coins, because those silver dollars were the model for the Loonie. However, when Canada decided to issue a gold one-dollar coin, the dies imprinting the design for the silver dollar got lost in the mail. The canoe design was in use since 1935, but thanks to a mail error, a loon graces the obverse of the one-dollar Canadian coins.
What does this mean for you, non-Canuck collector of world coins and foreign coins? Earlier dates are worth something on eBay. An 1867-1992 commemorative loonie with a rare loon on the reverse, dated 1992 is going for five times its dollar value on eBay.ca. While loonies might not approach the value of Canadian Maple leafs, if you want to be a true Canadian collector and acquire Canadian coins, owning loonies gets you a ticket to the Maple leafs game and a cold Molson.