Exactly 30 years ago today, the Reserve Bank of Australia introduced the $1 coin into circulation, on May 14th, 1984. It replaced the $1 banknote that had circulated since the inception of Decimal Currency in 1966. Stuart Devlin’s now famous Mob of Roos featured on that initial circulating $1 coin and has been a favourite amongst collector and non-collector alike ever since.
According to the Royal Australian Mint, plans to replace the $1 note had been contemplated since the 1970s, due to the need for higher face value coins that could be used in coin operated machines, and to replace the short service life of the $1 note.
During its life there have been around 100 commemoratives issued by the Royal Australian Mint using the $1 denomination and its standard circulating specification - understandably making it one of the most popular coins amongst collectors today.
Some of the highlights of the series are:
Also worth mentioning, aside from the official commemorative releases, is the unofficial 2000 Mule Error - an error which was created when incorrect obverse and reverse dies were mistakenly matched. For those interested in reading more about this fascinating error, we featured it in a previous article here.
The introduction of the new $1 coin wasn’t the only interesting or important thing to happen in 1984. Some other events of note that occurred that year:
- 1 February – Medicare comes into effect in Australia.
- 2 February – Melbourne newspaper The Age publishes phone taps incriminating an unknown judge.
- 6 February – A bomb blast wrecks the home of Judge Richard Gee in the Sydney suburb of Belrose
- 30 March – Tennis player and 2011 US Open Grand Slam winner, Samantha Stosur is born
- April - A 115g jar of Vegemite is the first product in Australia to be electronically scanned at a checkout
- 19 April – Advance Australia Fair is proclaimed as Australia's national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.
- 14 May, Gary Abblet Jr, a modern day AFL football marvel, is born
- 21 August – The Federal budget is televised for the first time.
- 25 November – Ashes Winning Cricketer Peter Siddle is born
- July 28–August 12 - Los Angeles hosts the Games of the XXIII Olympiad.
- The $100 Paper Banknote is issued, becoming Australia’s highest Decimal circulating denomination.
But for many, it’s the introduction of the Mob of Roos $1 coin that marked the commencement of a new era in numismatics. To celebrate, the Royal Australian Mint released a spectacular 30th anniversary high relief silver proof coin, which has delighted thousands of collectors in Australia, and around the world!
Downies is fortunate enough to have a number of this spectacular coin in stock, so if you are interested in marking this special anniversary, click here to learn more!