The art of Juan Ortiz adorns Niue’s latest series of Star Trek silver foils for the Next Generation

Good or bad, depending on your love or hate of silver coin notes/foils, the choice of subjects on this new format has increased exponentially as we work our through 2018. The foremost champion of this market has been the New Zealand Mint. With this mints heavy involvement in the movie and tv market through its licence with Disney and others, it was a no brainer that this would be where they would look for the subjects of their foil issues.

We’ve already seen multiple series of foils featuring Star Wars, DC Comics and Star Trek and it is to the latter that this new series belongs. The mint issues foils in three sizes. The most common of them closely replicates the size of a standard banknote (150 x 70 mm, 5 g), and the biggest are what they call ‘Premium Foils’ (262 x 175 mm, 35 g). Inbetween those extremes lies a good compromise format that retains the light 5 gram weight of the smaller format, but takes a shape similar to the larger. It was used for the Superman 80th set and is employed here to great effect on this new Star Trek: Next Generation (ST:NG) collection.

We’ve often commented on the safe choice of image used for some of these issues, particularly the reuse of the Star Wars posters after they’d been previously issued as standard coins, but credit where credit is due, the NZ Mint have taken the bold decision to ignore the generic look and go for something quite different. Juan Ortiz is an artist with a long association with Star Trek. Having produced a book containing reimagined retro pop culture posters of all 80 episodes of the original Star Trek series, he then produced a far larger set covering every episode of the Next Generation. It is to this rich source that the NZ Mint has turned for its new seven-coin set.

Encounter at Farpoint was the debut episode of ST:NG and while in retrospect it kinda sucked, it did introduce a whole new generation to the franchise. It’s a good choice for the first issue and we suspect the final episode will adorn the seventh coin, with a selection of classic episodes in the middle (the 2nd coin due in a few weeks certainly fits the bill). As with all these foils, this one is sealed in a protective sleeve. With this first issue only, the foil comes with a great quality hardcover album that will hold all seven designs. Selling for $39.00 each, these are relatively affordable for the Trek fan and are available now from our sponsors.


In 2364, the newest flagship of the United Federation of Planets, Starfleet’s USS Enterprise, travels to the planet Deneb IV for its maiden voyage. Enterprise is to open relations with the simple Bandi people who have somehow been able to tap immense energy reserves and construct Farpoint Station, much to the surprise of the Federation. En route, the Enterprise is met by an omnipotent being who identifies himself as Q, a member of the Q Continuum and declares that humanity is being put on trial—posing in appearance as a Grand Inquisitor—and deciding that their actions in their upcoming mission will be used to judge their worthiness and determine their fate as a race. Before letting the ship resume its course, Q warns Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) that he is destined to fail.

As the Enterprise arrives, the crew members explore the offerings of Farpoint Station and establish relations with their Bandi host, Groppler Zorn (Michael Bell). The crew becomes suspicious when items they desire seem to appear out of nowhere moments later, and are unable to identify the power source that feeds the station. Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), an empath, senses a being with powerful yet despairing emotions nearby, and the crew discover a strange labyrinth beneath the station, but Zorn does not offer an explanation. As the Enterprise crew continues its explorations, a large unknown alien craft enters orbit and begins to fire upon an older Bandi settlement near Farpoint Station, and abducts Zorn. Before Picard orders the ship’s phasers to be fired at the craft, Q appears to remind him of humanity’s trial and prompts Picard to send an away team to the alien craft. The away team discovers the craft has passages similar to those under Farpoint and they are able to free Zorn. Their actions cause the alien craft to transform into a jellyfish-like space creature, and Picard is able to deduce the mystery of Farpoint Station. He confirms with the apologetic Zorn that the Bandi found a similar lifeform injured on their planet and, while attempting to care for it, they also exploited its ability to synthesize matter to create Farpoint Station. The creature now in orbit is trying to help free its mate by attacking those who hold it captive.

Though Q goads Picard into punishing the Bandi, Picard refuses, instead ordering the Enterprise to fire a vivifying energy beam onto Farpoint after the station is evacuated. The beam allows the land-bound creature to transform back into its jellyfish-like form, and it flies into orbit to join its fellow being. As the crew watches the reunion of the alien creatures, Q reluctantly tells Picard that they have succeeded in their test, but hints that they will meet again. (Source: Wikipedia)

DENOMINATION $1 New Zealand (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 5.0 grams
DIMENSIONS 148.0 x 98.0 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
MINTAGE 50,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes