The Star Wars juggernaut has clearly been a big hit for the New Zealand Mint, and only the last six years we’ve seen a huge selection of coins covering all aspects of the movie universe. Encompassing bullion coins, large and small silver foils, coloured coins and a classic series of character coins, there’s something for most budgets. Arguably the flagship range has been the 2oz high relief series, now up to six issues, but the mint is trying something new this time, in format if not in subject. Dimensional.
Ostensibly part of the high-relief range, the latest Darth Vader issue is also a 2oz high-relief coin, but there the similarity ends. Moving away from the standard round format, this one apes the three-dimensional shape of one of cinemas most iconic mugshots, not only gliding easily into ultra-high relief territory, but going with a shape in plan that matches old wheezie’s helmet.
It’s an excellent likeness. Not exactly packed with intricate detail, but that’s more because the subject matter wasn’t either. In retrospect, Vader’s ‘costume’ is a bit comical – a product of its time – but icons don’t have to be perfect, just enduring, and Vader has certainly been that. The obverse is flat, and carries a pretty standard coin design for Niue, comprising of the effigy of Darth Elizabeth and the inscribed issue details.