Canada to issue new $2 coin to honor Queen Elizabeth II

‘Toonie’ with black ring goes into circulation later this month.

Canada to issue new $2 coin to honor Queen Elizabeth II

Canada will issue a new ‘toonie” coin later in December to honor its former head of state, the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Canadian Mint announced Wednesday.

The coin, which replaced the $2 bill in 1996, will be circled by a black ring that is meant to indicate mourning.

“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,” Marie Lemay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Canadian Mint, said in a statement. “Our special $2 circulation coin offers Canadians a way to remember her.”

The 96-year-old Queen died in September.

The Mint will initially produce 5 million coins and add more if needed.

The Queen’s image appears on Canadian coins and the $20 bill since she was the country’s titular head of state.

At some point, her likeness will be replaced on all Canadian currency by her son, Charles, who is King Charles III.

The Mint often issues coins to honor individuals.

In November, a loonie -- the coin that replaced the $1 bill -- was issued to recognize the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, who is buried on Cape Breton Island in Canada.

And it produced a loonie in August to honor Canadian jazz great Oscar Peterson.