Canada's New Loonie Launches​ Next Week & You Can Get A Colourful Purple Version (PHOTO)

It honours a "national treasure."

A pile of Canadian circulation coins.
Senior Editor

A pile of Canadian circulation coins.

Check your change, folks! Canada's new loonie will enter circulation next week and the new $1 coin celebrates Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

On August 11, the Royal Canadian Mint confirmed that the new commemorative coin will begin circulating on Monday, August 15, to coincide with Peterson's birthday.

The coin's design shows Peterson at the piano, with his hands moving in full motion. A flowing musical scale details the two closing bars of his famous "Hymn to Freedom" — a song which became an anthem of the 1960s civil rights movement.

His name finishes off the design.

The mintage is limited to three million coins, two million of which feature a splash of purple — the musician's favourite colour.

Like with all new circulation coins, Canadian banks and businesses will begin introducing the piece gradually as they replenish their inventories of $1 circulation coins. This means you can expect to have one in your pocket very soon!

Collectable versions are also available to buy online.

The coin pays tribute to Oscar Peterson, who was born in Montreal in 1925. According to the Mint, he is widely regarded as one of the most iconic jazz pianists of his time.

"The Mint is passionate about celebrating stories of exceptional Canadians on its coins and I am delighted that Oscar Peterson, the first Canadian musician to appear on a circulation coin, is being celebrated as one of the world's most respected and influential jazz artists of all time," the Mint's CEO said on Monday.

During his 60-year career, Peterson won multiple Juno and Grammy awards.

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame says he was an "eminent jazz pianist with technical mastery and limitless creativity," and "a performer who could instantly inspire awe." His skills earned him the nickname "Maharaja of the Keyboard."

Peterson died of kidney failure in 2007. He was 82 years old.

The new loonie was unveiled in Toronto on Monday morning, where Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland joined the musician's widow, Kelly Peterson, and his daughter, Céline Peterson.

Speaking about the Mint's tribute to her father, Céline said, "My dad being given this recognition by the Royal Canadian Mint is something I never would have even thought to imagine because to me, he is and always will be, dad."

That's it for today! Come back for more tomorrow!

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.