The Australian designer and metalworker Stuart Devlin designed the first coins for Ethiopia in 1977, including the lion head design as the common motif on the reverse side, according to Australia Embassy, Ethiopia.
Apart from designing Australia’s decimal coins that were released into circulation in February 1966, Devlin has designed coins for 30 other countries, including the United Kingdom and Ethiopia. He says: ‘I like the fact that millions of people around the world carry my work in their pockets.’ However, coins represent only one part of Devlin’s extraordinary career.
From the ubiquitous Wiltshire Staysharp carving knife to ground-breaking designs for coffee services, furniture, tableware and candelabrum that lit up dining rooms around the world, Devlin produced exquisite pieces in silver with filigreed gold ornamentation. His aim was to restore ‘richness and romance’ to peoples’ lives. Many honours have come his way, notably his appointment as Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Queen in 1982. After designing many of the awards within the Australian honours system, he was himself appointed an AO in 1988.
Among other achievements, he designed the medals and coins for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Devlin has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since the 1960s, setting up his business after travelling there to oversee production of the new Australian decimal coins at the Royal Mint.
Source: Australia Embassy, Ethiopia
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