Glow-in-the-Dark Coins: Why Not?

What the Royal Canadian Mint dubs "A glowing celebration of Canada!": a $5 silver coin featuring a colorized maple leaf at center with smaller surrounding leaves that glow green in the dark. (Photos courtesy Royal Canadian Mint.)

By Maggie Judkins

Here in the U.S. midwest, summer is winding down. Crisp, yellow leaves are peppering still-green lawns, and meticulously planted annual flowers on doorsteps and front-yard beds are losing their luster.

In what has become the norm in brick-and-mortar commerce, retail holiday displays are outlandishly ahead of schedule. While my summer impatiens and coleus begin to wither, Halloween merchandise is in full bloom in local stores.

Admittedly, fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday – even more so now that my son is old enough to understand the basic traditions and have an opinion on this year’s costume. So, as others grumble about the early appearance of fun-size Kit Kat bars and shiny plastic Halloween decor, I’m a bit excited. Yes, I’ve already browsed those store aisles crowded with orange, black, and glow-in-the-dark products.

Which is why a new coin from the Royal Canadian Mint caught my eye as I was doing my usual online peruse of new issues. The $5 coin with the name “Hearts Aglow” is just that: a 99.99% pure silver piece whose red-colored maple leaf reverse design is surrounded by smaller leaves that glow green when viewed in the dark.

The kid in me is excited. The Halloween-lover in me is excited. The Royal Canadian Mint never ceases to produce innovative, exciting products that appeal to a broad public base. And this isn’t even the mint’s first rodeo with glow-in-the-dark coins. Last year it released the first-ever glow-in-the-dark coin into circulation to mark the nation’s 150th anniversary. Just imagine that: finding a colorized, glowing coin with a gorgeous depiction of the Aurora Borealis among your change at the grocery store. An experience totally foreign to those of us in the United States.

Although some, more-“traditional” collectors aren’t fans of what they call “gimmicky” new issues, I applaud Canada’s mint for thinking outside the box and releasing coins that will no doubt capture the attention of the non-collecting public.

The packaging for the Royal Canadian Mint’s latest glow-in-the-dark coin also glows green when the lights are dimmed. (Photo courtesy Royal Canadian Mint.)

According to the RCM, the glowy effect on this latest coin, measuring 27mm in diameter, is achieved through photo-luminescent technology. The reverse was designed by Canadian artist José Osio, while the obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt.

Even the coin’s packaging glows in the dark! This, coupled with an affordable price point of $22.93 USD, makes it a perfect Halloween gift for the kiddos in your life, or for those of us who are kiddos at heart. More product and ordering details are available here.

As much as I like the coin’s design, I can’t help but notice that its featured hues are red and green: typical Christmas colors. But it’s far too soon to go there, wouldn’t you say?

Maggie Judkins is editorial director of COINage. She can be reached by email at

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