Glowing Fish Wins IACA Award

The Barbados $1 Glow-in-the-Dark Flying Fish coin was crowned Best New Commemorative or Test Circulating Coin. Image: Alex Reeves.
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The Royal Canadian Mint is recognized alongside the Central Bank of Barbados for the Barbados $1 Glow-in-the-Dark Flying Fish circulation coin, which was crowned Best New Commemorative or Test Circulating Coin under the International Association of Currency Affairs’ (IACA) 2022 Excellence in Currency Awards. Issued in honor of Bajan front-line workers who helped the nation overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, this pad-printed color circulation coin was enhanced with the Mint’s proprietary photo-luminescent technology. This application symbolized the light of hope breaking through the shadow of adversity. The IACA award, for the first-ever application of glow-in-the-dark color on a non-Canadian coin, was officially presented at the 2022 Coin Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Barbados / $1 / Basemetal / 5.55 g / 25.89 mm / Mintage: 1,000,000.

“The Royal Canadian Mint is dedicated to advancing the art and science of coin manufacturing, not just for Canada and Canadians, but also for the benefit of the global currency industry,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “This recognition by IACA is an important endorsement of our innovation strategy and of our strategic collaborations with key international customers like the Central Bank of Barbados, which show that our technological advances can make a difference for circulation coin users around the world.”

This limited-edition circulation coin was launched virtually on November 28, 2020. The coin highlights Barbados’ iconic one-dollar circulation coin’s “Flying Fish” design with the Mint’s glow-in-the-dark painted technology. In addition to entering general circulation, the coins were also made available in special commemorative credit card-style packaging.


The Barbados $1 Glow-in-the-Dark Flying Fish was pad-printed with luminescence.

The Excellence in Currency Awards were introduced by IACA in 2007 to promote and recognize excellence in currency issue, production, processing, management and distribution. The Royal Canadian Mint has been recognized through several previous IACA awards:

  • the Best Currency Initiative Implemented in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic (Other Organization) special award for the Recognition Medal honouring Canada’s front-line workers and community difference makers (2021);
  • the tri-metal token technology, under the Best new coin product, feature or distribution innovation category (2019);
  • the Canada 150 commemorative circulation coin program in the Best New Communications Program category (2017);
  • joint recognition with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for New Zealand’s 50-cent Anzac 100th anniversary colored circulation coin, in the Best New Commemorative or Test Circulating Coin category (2015);
  • the multi-ply plated steel $1 and $2 circulation coins with advanced security features, introduced in 2012, in the Best New Coin Innovation category (2013);
  • the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games commemorative circulation coin program in the Best New Coins Series category (2011); and
  • the 2006 25-cent Pink Ribbon circulation coin in the Best New Coin category (2007).


For more information on the IACA visit the website of the International Association of Currency Affairs.

Here you can find more information about the Royal Canadian Mint and the Central Bank of Barbados.

Innovative technologies as luminescence was presented and explained in our article “State-of-the-art Minting technology”.

Find more coins from the Royal Canadian Mint in our online archive Cosmos of Collectibles.

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