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Canadian dollar facts for kids

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Canadian dollar
dollar canadien (French)
The one and two dollar coins
The one and two dollar coins
ISO 4217 Code CAD
User(s) Canada
Inflation 2%
Source The World Factbook, 2006 est.
1/100 cent (English) and (French)
Symbol $ or C$
cent (English) and (French) ¢
Nickname loonie, buck (English)
piastre, huard (French)
cent (English) and (French) penny (English)
sou (French)
Freq. used 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, $2
Rarely used 50¢
Freq. used $5, $10, $20, $50
Rarely used $100
Printer Canadian Bank Note Company, BA International Inc.

The Canadian dollar (currency code CAD) has been the currency of Canada since 1858. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents. The Canadian dollar is the monetary basis for the Canadian economy, with all coins minted by the Royal Canadian Mint and all banknotes printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company and BA International Inc on behalf of the Bank of Canada.


1914 Canadian $5 gold reverse
$5 gold Canadian coin from 1914.)

Coins are minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently issued in denominations of 1¢ (penny), 5¢ (nickel), 10¢ (dime), 25¢ (quarter), 50¢ (50 cent piece) (though the 50 cent piece is rarely used), $1 (loonie), and $2 (toonie). The standard set of faces has Canadian symbols, usually wildlife, on the reverse, and an effigy of Elizabeth II on the obverse. However, some pennies, nickels, and dimes remain in circulation that have an effigy of George VI instead of Elizabeth II. Commemorative coins with differing reverses are also issued on an irregular basis. 50 cent coins are rarely found in circulation; they are often collected and not regularly used in day-to-day transactions. There have been repeated talks about getting rid of the penny as it is estimated that it costs the Royal Canadian Mint up to four cents to produce and distribute a one-cent coin. The Canadian penny costs at least C$130 million annually to keep in circulation, estimates a financial institution that called for an end to the penny. A 2007 survey shows that only 37 percent of Canadians use pennies, but the government continues to produce about 816 million pennies per year, equal to 25 pennies per Canadian.


Dominion of Canada one Dollar banknote of 1898
$1 Dominion of Canada note issued in 1898

Canadian banknotes are currently issued in $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations. All notes are identical in size, but each denomination has a different predominant colour: $5 is blue; $10 is purple; $20 is green; $50 is red, and $100 is brown.

Each banknote features a portrait of a different figure important to Canada's history:

Since late 2006, all new notes have a full set of modern security features, including a holographic strip, watermark, and other factors. They are issued by the Bank of Canada.

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