The Royal Australian Mint honours and pays tribute to Stuart Devlin AO, who passed away peacefully on 12 April 2018 at the age of 86. Devlin is the designer of Australia’s circulating coins and regarded as one of the most creative and influential goldsmith and silversmiths of his time.
As the supplier of Australia’s circulating coinage, the Royal Australian Mint has a longstanding connection to Devlin, who designed Australia’s decimal currency released in 1966.
Devlin was born in Geelong in 1931 and at just 13 began studying at the Gordon Institute of Technology, before going on to study gold and silversmithing at the Prahran Institute of Art. Devlin was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, and the Harkness Fellowship, which took him to Columbia University in New York.
He returned to Australia in 1962 and it was in 1964 that Devlin won the competition to design Australia’s first decimal coins. His designs used well-known Australian icons and were widely seen as having captured the air of change and opportunity in Australia in the 1960s.
Devlin went on to design coins for another 36 countries, including the United Kingdom and Singapore. His design work, however, extends beyond coins to include medals, jewellery, decorative table wear, furniture, interiors and architecture. In 1982, he was granted the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Goldsmith and Jeweller to Her Majesty the Queen.
“The Mint pays tribute to Stuart Devlin AO, a passionate and prolific designer, goldsmith and silversmith, whose legacy is enduring,” says Ross MacDiarmid, CEO of the Royal Australian Mint.
“We are proud to have showcased Stuart Devlin’s work in the 2017 exhibition Stuart Devlin – The Designer with the Midas Touch, and to have collaborated with Stuart and his family on the production of a substantial biography released to coincide with the exhibition. The Mint is also honoured to hold plasters and original sketches of Devlin’s work in the National Coin Collection.”
Australians will continue to carry a lasting reminder of Stuart Devlin in their pockets for years to come, which is a touching tribute to his masterful designs and extraordinary career.