Canada issues glow-in-the-dark dinosaur quarter

Less than two weeks after announcing it was removing the penny from circulation, the Royal Canadian Mint is back in the news after revealing plans for a glow-in-the-dark quarter featuring an illuminated dinosaur skeleton.

When exposed to light, the quarter looks fairly ordinary, featuring the image of Queen Elizabeth on one side and an image of a dinosaur on the other. But take away the light and the quarter produces its own bright display, as the full-image of the Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai is replaced by a glowing visage of its skeleton. The 26-foot dinosaur was discovered in Canada in 1972.

Though as CNET reports, the image of Queen Elizabeth does not glow in the dark.

But you don't have to be Canadian to get one of the unique coins. You can in fact purchase your own glowing dinosaur coin directly from the Royal Canadian Mint. The coin will set you back a little over $30 in U.S. currency, more than 120 times its actual monetary value.

One reason to pick up the collectible coin is that the future of Canadian small change itself may be in doubt. In another bit of interesting news, the mint announced on Wednesday its plans to unveil a digital currency card. The MintChip will eventually let Canadians make direct cash transactions with each other using smartphones, USB flash drives, Web browsers, tablets and cloud computing, according to the Toronto Star.

And while the coin's novelty may eventually wear off, its glowing properties never will. The mint says the coin's luminescence is a permanent feature that will not fade with use. The coin goes on sale April 16, and the mint says they are producing a limited run of 25,000 glow-in-the-dark coins.

The coin was designed by Julius T. Csotonyi (reverse) and Susanna Blunt (obverse).

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