The one dollar coin circulating denomination (written as $1) was introduced in Australia in 1984, replacing the earlier banknotes. The original reverse design by Stuart Devlin featuring five kangaroos - known in Australia as the "Mob of Roos" design - has not been changed since its introduction.
The denomination is also used by both the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint to issue an extensive range of collector coins, which are legal tender in Australia - such as this one.
This commemorative one dollar coin marks the 150th Anniversary of the Burke and Wills expedition.
In 1860-61 Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres. At that time most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and was completely unknown to the European settlers. The south-north leg was successfully completed (except they were stopped by swampland 5 kilometres from the northern coastline) but owing to poor leadership and bad luck, both of the expedition's leaders died on the return journey. Altogether, seven men lost their lives, and only one man, John King, travelled the entire expedition and returned alive to Melbourne.
The coin was issued in two-coin sets only: a 20 cents coin showing Burke and Wills setting out on their epic journey, and this $1 coin portraying the sole survivor John King. The sets had two versions: uncirculated and proof grade.
No coins of this type were issued into circulation.