Happy 30th Birthday The Australian Dollar Coin

May 6, 2014

Let there be cake! The Mob of Roos One Dollar Cake at the Mint for the 2011 Product Launch

It's the 30th birthday of the iconic Stuart Devlin design 5 kangaroo dollar coin affectionately known as the "Mob of Roos". Open your wallet and you'll immediately pick out the attractive and timeless design coined by the master silversmith and designer of the echidna 5c, lyrebird 10c, platypus 20c and Coat of Arms 50c.

The Australian dollar coin was brought to life on May 14th 1984 when a coin replaced the dollar note. Our first "gold coin" to spend is actually struck in aluminium bronze with a gold appearance. The dollar proved extremely popular and has been struck with many many (many many) commemorative designs over the years, a browse through change will show you a sample of just how many there are from celebrating The International Year of Peace (the first commemorative in 1986), memorable Australians Sir Henry Parkes, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, The centenary of Scouts, Girl Guides and APEC and CHOGM. The Royal Australian Mint has also struck many dollar coins that haven't entered circulation, coins specifically struck for collectors. Examples of these include a myriad of War related issues, various coloured birds and animals, the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Blinky Bill, the Magic Pudding and the Steve Irwin dollar.

Proof Set Dollar (top left), Mint Set Dollar (top right), Wedding Set Dollar (bottom left) and High Relief 32mm Silver Proof (bottom right).(image courtesy www.ramint.gov.au)

The most popular is those 5 kangaroos and for the 30th birthday in 2014 the Mint has released some very special coins in commemoration. The normal standard 25 millimetre mob of roos struck on an aluminium bronze planchet can be found "tarted up" for this event. A coloured mob is found struck on an aluminium bronze planchet in the Mint Set. The proof set features a copper nickel planchet with gold plated kangaroos. The standard coin is also being counterstamped at various pop-up Mint shops in some capital cities. A larger (32mm) high relief silver mob can be found specially boxed. For more information on the various issues please see 2014 Australian Dollar Coins Issues and Mintages, as a dollar collector myself the plethora of issues even confuses me!

It was first reported in 1982 that government was to be going ahead with replacing the $1 note with a coin. It just made sense to replace a paper banknote with a lifespan of just 8 months with a coin you can still find in your change today 30 years later (yes, go and take a look!). The blanks among the first sourced from South Korea when the local supplier couldn't provide the quality of aluminium bronze alloy needed. This added to disruption at the Mint with industrial action prevalent around this time.

D Day or Dollar Day was 14th May 1984 and banks were instructed to return ALL dollar notes (even new one's) as soiled to the Reserve Bank to decrease the dual currency period. Before this date the dollar coin was not legal tender but some dollars sneaked out and were found in Brisbane and Sydney in early April 1984.

The distribution of coins by the Royal Australian Mint was the largest since the changeover to decimal currency in 1966. Convoys of semi-trailers travelled to various locations of the Reserve Bank with each semi carrying $10 million. These were escorted by plain clothed armed Commonwealth Police and was completed by March 1984 ready for D-Day. With all the fuss of the $1 coin, the birthday of the first $100 note on March 26th was completely overlooked!

Posted by harrisk at May 6, 2014 3:31 PM
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