Wade Robinson has worked at the Perth Mint for almost a decade. During this time he has had an opportunity to work on many programs which have engaged his passion for creating coins for young collectors and his passion for general knowledge.
One of his most memorable experiences was his work on the Perth Mint’s first Silver Kangaroo coin which was mass produced in high relief. Released in 2010, the one ounce silver proof coin featured a scene of two kangaroos boxing in the outback. These coins were made with an extra-deep blank to accommodate the detailed high relief design.
“We are innovative in the mass production of high relief coins and I thoroughly enjoy creating a detailed design which has outstanding impact. I was very privileged to have the opportunity to work on The Perth Mint’s first Silver Kangaroo which incorporated deeper strike results for a spectacular finish. Demand for this particular coin was extremely high and it was great to be a part of it.”
The High Relief Silver Kangaroo has become an annual release, with the 2011-dated coin still available and the 2012-dated coins scheduled for release in July. The success of these issues has led to other high relief silver proof coins such as the recently released Year of the Dragon coin and the 2012 Kookaburra coin scheduled for release on May 1, 2012.
Perth Mint Creations
Wade Robinson studied at Central TAFE School of Art and Design, where he earned an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design. He then worked as a primary school teacher and illustrator of school books and educational material. Since commencing employment at the Perth Mint in 2003, he has had a number of opportunities to design coins that engage a child’s imagination and inspire them to take a lifelong interest in the hobby of coin collecting.
Most recently, along with the rest of the team, Wade helped create the 2012 Young Collectors Animal Athletes program. This new series features some amazing creatures that can accomplish incredible feats. Wade’s particular favorite, the Rhinoceros Beetle, is due for release later this year in September. The first release in the series, which is already available, features boxing kangaroos.
Another series that stands out for Wade is the Australian Sea Life II Series of silver proof coins.
“I worked on the Sea Life Series right from the initial in-depth research through to illustration, design and packaging. This particular coin program is inspired by Australia’s coral reefs and includes the Hawksbill Turtle, Starfish, Surgeonfish, Octopus, and Manta Ray. I have a real passion for general knowledge so it was extremely interesting to learn more about these amazing animals and bring them to life on coins.”
As part of the collaborative creative process undertaken at The Perth Mint, Wade has been involved in the design of a number of other coin programs. He worked on the entire Famous Battles in Australian History series. This program is inspired by the service and sacrifice that underpins Australian military history – Gallipoli, Tobruk, Kokoda, Kapyong, and Long Tan – the fabric of heroic legend. The first release, Gallipoli, is now sold out, with the other coins in the series expected to follow the trend.
“I thoroughly enjoy my role at The Perth Mint and I’m looking forward to working on more innovative designs in the future. I’m very lucky to be at the stage in my career where we are continuing to produce coin after coin and collectors are still driving for more – it’s very fulfilling.”
Challenges and Rewards
As a long standing member of the Perth Mint’s design team, Wade shared some of the particular challenges he has faced as well as the rewards of his work.
“The greatest challenge is designing an illustration to fit a circular format. Traditional designs usually fit a square or a rectangle, so designing art work for a coin is a constant task. After nine years, I have developed my craft and I can immediately judge which illustrations will work and those that won’t. Another challenge is portraying the full story and history of the coin onto such a small space.”
“It’s so rewarding to be able to design on long lasting, metal material and be a part of history. It’s a great feeling to see my initials on the coins I have designed and be assured in the knowledge that they will be passed down through different generations to come.”