Han Solo in carbonite follows Darth Vader into the ultra high relief silver coin world

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.



Captured by the Empire, Solo was frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader to see if a human could survive the process, one which he wanted to use on Luke Skywalker. Solo did indeed live through the freezing process and went into suspended animation. Given to Boba Fett, the iconic bounty hunter, Fett sold him to Jabba the Hutt, a crime kingpin who had long had a bounty out on Han for dumping a contraband cargo when confronted by the Empire.

Solo was eventually freed by Princess Leia who was herself disguised as a bounty hunter. Long considered one of the most iconic scenes in the Star Wars movies, it goes some way to explaining why The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered to be the finest of the movies.

REVERSE: This coin features the face of Han Solo frozen in carbonite, as in the 1980 release of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

PACKAGING: The Star Wars Han Solo Ultra High Relief coin comes presented in a high-quality Star Wars themed coin box. The packaging makes this an ideal gift for any Star Wars fan. The Certificate of Authenticity sits within the coin case.


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high relief
BOX / COA Yes / Yes