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.
The arrival of the Merino sheep with the First Fleet in 1788 began one of Australia’s most successful industries. By 1870, only 82 years after the arrival of those first Merinos, Australia had become the largest producer and supplier of wool in the world.The humble Merino has also featured on Australian coinage over the years - from the one shilling coin of 1937-1963, the fifty cent coin in 1991 and gracing the two dollar note from 1966-1983.
So for the two coin year sets in 2011 the Royal Australian Mint decided to pay homage to wool, the foundation of the burgeoning economy which led to the phrase that Australia "rode on the sheep’s back".
The coin was issued in a small two-coin set together with a non-circulating 20 cents coin on the same topic; the sets were in brilliant uncirculated grade (Royal Australian Mint Product Code: 310011, issue price: A$15.00) or proof (Royal Australian Mint Product Code: 210013, issue price: A$45.00).
No coins of this type were issued into circulation.