Ever since the Mint of Poland debuted the beautiful Fortuna Redux coin back in 2013, there’s been a small, but growing interest in ‘dimensional’ coins. These are coins that take on a shape that extends into the third dimension. Unusually shaped coins are common, but they tend to maintain a flatness in one dimension. The Royal Canadian Mint has been experimenting with the concept lately, and has now applied it to its Star Trek franchise.
If you’re going to do a Star Trek special, it certainly makes sense to choose the ultra-iconic Starship Enterprise as a subject. Struck in a single piece of fine silver weighing ten ounces, the shape of the ship in plan is instantly recognisable. It’s less successful when viewed as a whole, however. The trouble of choosing something as weirdly shaped as the Enterprise is the virtual impossibility of producing a replica by striking, so compromises were made. In our view, they’re too much. It’s a big piece at over 100mm (4″) in length, yet the level of detail on it is quite limited, especially from the side. From the top or bottom the effect is good, but as soon as you move away from a plan view the effect is completely lost.
It’s an interesting item and we applaud the RCM for trying, but at $1200.00 CAD, it’s not something we feel is great value, although having sold out very quickly, it’s clear we’re in a minority. The packaging is also disappointing. A standard maroon coin box doesn’t really sit well with a piece as clearly distinct and special as this and we’re surprised they haven’t designed something unique for what is clearly a one-off coin.
As we said, this one seems to have sold most of its mintage on release, so whether we’re off base or not is a personal choice. We imagine this one will split opinions and that’s usually a great sign. No doubt this will be generating premiums quite soon, but how they hold onto them in the longer term is open to question. Well done to the RCM for having a go at something new and interesting, but we’ll wait for MK-II. It’s out now, although you’ll have to do a little searching to find one.