The Canadian one dollar coin, colloquially called the loonie, is similar in concept to the U.S. dollar. Both represent their nation's currency on world stock exchanges and both are equal in value to 100 cents. The U.S. dollar has traditionally been more valuable according to its international exchange rate, but there have been narrow windows, such as 2011 and parts of 2012, where the Canadian dollar has been worth more.
The United States dollar is often referred to as a greenback due to its green color, whereas the Canadian dollar coin is called a loonie because it features a profile of a loon on the heads side.
The Canadian loonie was only introduced nationwide in 1987, when the Canadian government began phasing out its green and white one dollar bills. Although many people think of the American dollar in terms of paper money, the United States has continuously printed and circulated dollar coins since 1794. Congress attempted to introduce the dollar coin to a major audience twice, in 1979 and 1999, but the coin has not been widely adopted by the general public.
The value of the Canadian dollar is heavily reliant on commodity prices and Canada's import-export balance. Historically it has been undervalued by the Central Bank of Canada so that United States consumers could buy Canadian goods at lower prices. As of October 2015, one United States dollar is worth 1.32 Canadian dollars.