Like maple syrup, hockey, and poutine, the golden loonie is an iconic symbol of Canada that many love.
I remember the excitement I got as a kid when I broke open my piggy bank to roll my multi-coloured coins to deposit them into my bank. It was one of the first lessons I ever received in money.
Despite the rise of digital coins like Bitcoin, the loonie isn’t going anywhere. Like rolling up the rim of Tim Hortons cups, people will continue to roll loonies up for decades to come.
Most people think the answer to how many loonies are in a roll is 20, but they are sadly mistaken!
How Many Loonies Are in a Roll in Canada?
There are 25 loonies in a roll, which is equal to $25 in Canadian dollars (CAD). This is minus the roll’s cost — the cost of the plastic or paper roll usually isn’t included in the price, unless it is a modified or a differently sized collector’s roll.
The $1 Canadian coin, a.k.a. the loonie, gets its name from the picture of the loon found on the back side of the $1 coin, while Queen Elizabeth II adorns the front. The coin has been in circulation since 1987 as a cost-saving measure.
It’s important to note that there have been several versions of the $1 coin, including novelty and commemorative editions. However, the most common and prevalent “variant” of the loonie has a solitary loon.
Loonie – Material and Dimensions
A loonie used to be made up of nickel and bronze, but the composition has changed over the years. Nowadays, the loonie is composed of steel with brass plating. It’s not a circular coin but an 11-sided Reuleaux polygon, making it circular-ish.
It’s 26.5 mm in diameter and 1.95 mm thick, and while these numbers might not matter right now, wait until you try and fit 25 loonies in a roll that was made for a different coin.
Canadian Coin Rolls – All Coins Currently Under Circulation
Canada stopped minting pennies in May 2012, and they are slowly being phased out of circulation, though they are still legal tender.
|Coin/Denomination||Coins per Roll||Cost of Roll||Diameter Of the Coin (mm)||Thickness Of the Coin (mm)|
|Five Cent/Nickel ($0.05)||40||$2||21.2||1.76|
|Ten Cent/Dime ($0.1)||50||$5||18||1.22|
|25 Cent/Quarter ($0.25)||40||$10||23.88||1.58|
This chart can help you realize that unless it’s a flexible or simple polythene roll, one roll for one coin cannot be used for the other because of different diameters.
How and Where to Buy or Cash in Your Loonies in a Roll?
If you have been saving loonies, toonies, and other coins in a jar and want to cash them in, you’ll have to find venues that will accept them. If you want to exchange cash for a roll of loonies because you need them for laundry, you might be looking for a place that offers this service.
Whether you want to buy or cash in loonies, you should first try the bank you have an account in. They usually have pre-made rolls they can give you in exchange, though there might be a limit on how many rolls they can give you in a day, week, or month. If you are cashing in your loonies, you can roll the correct number in transparent plastic.
You might find some machines here that will take your change and give you either cash or a store credit in the grocery store. But beware, they usually will take a hefty fee.
Coin dispensers can be found in laundromats and a few other places, and they allow you to exchange dollar bills for loonies.
If you’re searching online, you will mostly find rolls of novelty and commemorative coins. Take note that their rolls would most likely be a bit more expensive.
FAQs & Fun Facts About Canadian Coins
Now that you know how many loonies are in a roll, here are some other fun facts about Canadian coins, including where to find special edition loonies.
Who Manufactures Canadian Coins?
All Canadian coins are manufactured in the Royal Canadian Mint. From nickels to quarters, loonies, and toonies, they’re all cut, pressed, and added to Canada’s coin circulation in the mint.
The Royal Canadian Mint is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This high-tech facility is one of the top-rated mints in the world. There’s also a historic mint located in Ottawa, where all special edition Canadian collector’s coins are manufactured.
The Royal Canadian Mint doesn’t just produce Canadian coins either. The Winnipeg mint has produced millions of coins for over a thousand different countries!
Visitors and tourists can request a 45-minute tour at either location.
What’s The Most Popular Coin In Canada?
Despite the popularity of loonies and toonies, the most-used coin in Canada is the 1-cent coin. Although you may not enjoy getting a handful of pennies back, they’re an essential denominator that allows Canadians to deal in exact change, so they’re not going away any time soon.
Canadian Coins vs. US Coins: What’s The Difference?
If you’ve ever crossed the border to visit the US, then you may have realized that US coins are quite similar to Canadian coins. Like us, Americans use pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. They even have $1 coins (although they aren’t commonly used in the US).
Canada actually based their coins on the American system. Since we’re close neighbours and business partners, it made sense to have common denominators that everybody could understand.
Interestingly, though, both US and Canadian “dollar” coins are based on the original Spanish peso. This was the first dollar coin in production and became so popular that the US and Canada replicated their own dollar coins.
How Did The “Loonie” Get Its Name?
If you grew up in Canada, then you’ve probably never thought about this. For most kids, loonies are a part of everyday life. If you recently moved to Canada, though, you may be wondering, “Why are they called loonies?”
Looking at the front of the Canadian dollar coin, you’ll see a duck sitting in water. In Canada, ducks are often referred to as “loons,” which is why they’re called loonies.
Why Is Queen Elizabeth On The Loonie?
The loonie (and all other Canadian coins, for that matter) all feature a pressed image of Queen Elizabeth II. Since the queen was 8 years old, her face has been imprinted on all Canadian coins.
This is because England’s Queen Elizabeth II still remains the head of state in Canada. Despite Canada declaring independence in 1982, it’s still a part of the British Commonwealth.
The Queen’s position and powers are largely symbolic, and she plays very little role in Canadian politics. However, she’s still honoured as a part of Canadian culture.
Here’s a master list of how many coins are in a roll for the nickel, dime, quarter, loonie and toonie.
What Are Loonies Made Of?
Historically, loonies have been made using bronze-plated nickel. The nickel is what gave them such a heavy weight.
In 2012, though, the Canadian government decided to transition and started producing steel loonies. The goal was to save Canadian taxpayers an estimated $16 million in minting fees (which are collected through taxes). Steel is a far cheaper and more durable material than nickel.
The transition wasn’t good for everybody, though. Vending machine manufacturers, in particular, got the short end of the stick. Vending manufacturers and other coin businesses spent an estimated $40 million reprogramming their machines to accept the new steel loonies.
Why Is There A Loon On Loonies?
Loons are one of the most common birds in Canada and are found throughout the country. When the government made the decision to swap $1 bills for $1 coins, the Royal Canadian Mint commissioned reputable wildlife artist Robert Ralph-Carmichael to create the loonie using the image of a loon.
Sadly, the artist passed away in July 2016, shortly after his 78th birthday.
When Did Loonies First Come Out?
The loonie made its debut in 1987, when the Canadian government decided to do away with their traditional $1 bill. This decision was made in an effort to save Canadian taxpayers money in minting fees.
Today, loonies are the primary dollar used in Canada. Although a few $1 bills are still in circulation, they’re quite rare. $1 Canadian bills are generally viewed as collectors items these days.
How Many Toonies Are in a Roll in Canada?
The $2 coin has a picture of a polar bear, but since no one seemed to be in the mood to call that coin “poly” or “bearie”, it took its nomenclature from the loonie and got dubbed “toonie”.
There are 25 toonies in a roll (just like loonies), and the roll costs $50. The front side has the portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Another distinctive feature of the toonie is its inner core and outer ring, which are made with different metals.
Toonie – Material and Dimensions
The modern-day toonie is made up of nickel-plated steel, which makes the outer ring. Meanwhile, the inner core is made up of aluminum bronze with brass plating. The toonie is 28 mm in diameter and 1.75 mm in thickness, so you wouldn’t be able to insert the slightly larger toonie in a roll made for loonies.
How Did The “Toonie” Get Its Name?
Loonies are named for the loon (a close cousin of the duck) printed on the face of the coins. $2 coins are referred to as “toonies,” and the term is officially trademarked by the Royal Canadian Mint.
So, how did toonies get their name?
Simple – by combining the words “two” and “loonie.” Toonies were released after loonies became massively popular, and people naturally started calling them “two-nies” to differentiate them from the $1 loonie.
The term became so widespread that everybody used it, which is when the mint decided to trademark the name and make it official.
What Are Toonies Made Of?
The original toonies were made with an outer ring of nickel, combined with an inner core of aluminum bronze. In 2012, though, the nickel and bronze toonies were officially replaced with steel coins to save Canadians money in minting fees.
When Did Toonies First Come Out?
Toonies were released in 1996, nine years after the loonie replaced the Canadian paper dollar. After the loonie was adopted and became popular, the Royal Canadian Mint began the process of replacing $2 bills with new $2 coins.
Where Can You Buy Coin Rolls In Canada?
The easiest way to get a roll of loonies is to visit your local Canadian bank. Here, you’ll be able to exchange $25 for a roll of 25 loonies or $50 for a roll of 25 toonies.
Where Can You Buy Special Edition Canadian Coins?
In 2010 a 1-cent Canadian collector coin famously sold for $400,000. Periodically, the Ottawa mint released gold and silver-plated loonies and toonies, as special edition coins.
The best place to buy special edition or rare Canadian coins is through coin collector platforms like GovMint.com. eBay is also another great place to find deals on rare Canadian coins.
How Valuable Are Special Edition Loonies?
It all depends on how many were produced, what materials they were made of, and the condition they’re in. On average, newer special edition loonies (dubbed “lucky loonies”) cost around $2 to $5 each.
There are 25 loonies in a roll in Canada, which is worth $25 CAD.
After you save up enough, consider depositing them into an online bank to get the best interest rates.
Also, check out how many quarters, pennies, or nickels are in a roll.