The New Zealand Mint recently expanded its range of Star Wars themed coins away from its regular series with the release of its first ultra high relief (UHR) coin. Darth Vader was struck in two-ounces of silver and sold out its 5,000 mintage in pretty quick order. It didn’t take a psychic to guess that the popularity went unnoticed and that more coins in the format would follow.
Han Solo is as iconic a good-guy Star Wars character as Darth Vader is for the baddies, so his choice for the second coin comes as little surprise. This time out however, the mint has decided to reuse artwork from the Classic Star Wars coin – something bound to be a bit divisive. The original design was an excellent one and we don’t doubt this new variant will improve on it, but we’d like to have seen something new. Depicting Han Solo frozen in carbonite from The Empire Strikes Back, it’s a fitting scene for the UHR technique.
Issued for Niue, the effigy of QEII sits in the centre of the obverse along with the inscribed date, issuer and denomination. The Darth Vader packing is used again and we can confirm it’s first class. That coin was also a superb item, far better than the early images suggested and we’d expect the same again here. For collectors who didn’t buy this design back in 2015, it’s the perfect time to grab one, although at $175.00 it remains a considerably more expensive way to do so. Those that did will have a more difficult decision to make.