new colourful loonie coin

Canada just got a colourful new coin and it's gorgeous

Check your change for any pops of colour this summer — you could be in possession of Canada's latest coin design.

The Royal Canadian Mint is dropping a new $1 commemorative circulation coin on Tuesday, August 1 in honour of history-maker Elsie MacGill.

MacGill broke many barriers for women in Canada and the world as an engineer and leading advocate for women's rights.

She was responsible for lots of firsts as a woman studying and practicing engineering. Most notably, she was celebrated for setting up the Canadian production of the Hawker Hurricane fighter plane during the Second World War.

MacGill was appointed to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in 1967 for her lifelong advocacy.

"What Elsie MacGill achieved as a trail blazing aeronautical engineer, and as a champion of women's rights, made a difference in her lifetime and continues to influence us today," said Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Mint, in a statement.

"Hers is a story that needs to be shown and celebrated on a circulation coin that will be shared by millions of Canadians of all ages."

The design

The new $1 circulation coin was designed by artist Claire Watson, who's based in Tofino, BC.

The artwork on the reverse (tails) of the coin features MacGill holding a pair of rolled-up blueprints.

Flying above her is the Maple Leaf Trainer II that she designed.

Beside her appears one of the over 1,450 Canadian-made Hawker Hurricane fighter planes that she helped produce for the Allied war effort in World War II, as chief engineer of Canadian Car and Foundry in Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay).

She was known as the "Queen of the Hurricanes" for that contribution.

Her name, "Elsie MacGill," is engraved beneath the fighter plane. There's a coloured and uncoloured version of this coin.

The obverse (heads) of the coin features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
new colourful loonie coin
While MacGill looks like she means business in the loonie design, her grandson Rohan Soulsby says he always had exciting conversations with his grandmother.

"Apart from all of her other notable achievements, she was a wonderful grandmother. I spent nearly every Sunday evening during my high school years with Elsie and my grandfather, Bill Soulsby," said Soulsby.

"There was never any shortage of interesting conversation around the dinner table as we discussed current events in Canada and around the world on topics ranging from politics to women's rights to aviation, music and the arts. On top of all that, she also made an awesome peach pie!"

How can you collect the coin?

The loonie is limited to a mintage of three million coins, of which two million will be coloured. As of today, it has already begun circulating.

There are two ways you can collect the coin.

The first is the organic way — waiting for it to appear in your change as bank branches and businesses replenish their inventories of loonies.

Can't wait for it to circulate into your hands?

The coloured and uncoloured circulation coins are also available as collectibles in a six-piece Collector Keepsake coin set.

new colourful loonie coin
Other collector products honouring MacGill include:

  • Coloured and uncoloured limited-edition special wrap rolls of 25 uncirculated coins each
  • A commemorative Collector Keepsake Card featuring both versions of the circulation coin, packaged with uncirculated versions of 2023 classic circulation coins (five-cent to $2)

You can order these collectibles starting today by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 or ordering online at

They are also available at the Royal Canadian Mint's Ottawa and Winnipeg boutiques, as well as through the Mint's global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.

Lead photo by

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