Royal Canadian Mint’s $2 Coin Honoring Elizabeth II Named Best New Circulating Coin by IACA

Royal Canadian Mint’s $2 Coin Honoring Elizabeth II Named Best New Circulating Coin by IACA
2022 Canada $2 coin. Image: Royal Canadian Mint.

Two-dollar circulation coin with innovative black nickel plating earns Mint another Excellence in Currency Award


The Royal Canadian Mint is delighted that its bi-metallic $2 circulation coin featuring a world-first black nickel-plated outer ring was recognized as the Best New Circulating Coin or Coin Series under the International Association of Currency Affairs’ (IACA) 2023 Excellence in Currency Awards. Developed by the Mint’s Research and Development team, the black nickel plating on the coin’s outer ring is reminiscent of a mourning armband, echoing the loss felt by millions of Canadians upon their late queen’s passing on September 8, 2022.

The award was officially presented at the 2023 Currency Conference in Mexico City, Mexico.

“Queen Elizabeth II served as Canada’s head of state for seven decades and for millions of Canadians, she was the only monarch they had ever known,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “By leveraging yet another Royal Canadian Mint innovation to create this special Elizabeth II $2 circulation coin, we were able to offer Canadians an excellent way to remember her.”

The Queen Elizabeth circulation coin was launched on December 7, 2022, when thousands of visitors flocked to the Mint’s Ottawa and Winnipeg boutiques, to trade their loose change for an affordable and memorable keepsake by which to remember the late queen. It features the traditional Brent Townsend polar bear design on the core of the reverse, as well as the Susanna Blunt effigy of Her Late Majesty on the obverse. While the metal composition of the coin remains unchanged, the outer ring is black.

Nearly five million coins enter the national coin distribution system in December and additional volumes are being produced to meet ongoing marketplace demand.

The Excellence in Currency Awards were introduced by IACA in 2007 to promote and recognise excellence in currency issue, production, processing, management and distribution. The Mint is proud to have been recognized through several previous awards:

  • Best New Commemorative or Test Circulating Coin for the Barbados $1 Glow-in-the-Dark Flying Fish (2022);
  • Best Currency Initiative Implemented in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic (Other Organization) special award for the Recognition Medal honoring Canada’s front-line workers and community difference makers (2021);
  • Tri-metal token technology, under the Best new coin product, feature or distribution innovation category (2019)
  • Canada 150 commemorative circulation coin program in the Best New Communications Program category (2017)
  • Joint recognition with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for New Zealand’s 50-cent Anzac 100TH anniversary coloured circulation coin, in the Best New Commemorative or Test Circulating Coin category (2015);
  • Multi-ply plated steel $1 and $2 circulation coins with advanced security features, introduced in 2012, in the Best New Coin Innovation category (2013);
  • Vancouver 2010 Winter Games commemorative circulation coin program in the Best New Coins Series category (2011); and
  • 2006 25-cent Pink Ribbon circulation coin in the Best New Coin category (2007).

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About the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. The Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high-quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit

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