With the Perth Mint powering on through its new Star Trek license, it seemed for a while that nobody would get a bigger one, but the old masters at this typer of coin, the New Zealand Mint, have pulled out all the stops with possibly the biggest license of them all, Star Wars. The NZ Mint have been doing movie/television tie-ins for years with some pretty good results. Doctor Who, Disney and Thunderbirds have been the latest to come, and while not every coin has been a huge success, they’ve done a super job overall and this bodes well for their latest acquisition.

Star Wars debuted in cinemas back in 1977 and has become a huge cultural and commercial juggernaut ever since. While much of its reputation rests on the first movie trilogy, the second not garnering much in the way of fan or critical acclaim in comparison, news that the series creator George Lucas had sold the rights to the Star Wars Universe to media juggernaut Disney has excited fans around the world anticipating the movies continuing. That anticipation was not misplaced, and Disney have detailed a hugely ambitious schedule of new movies over the next few years that has reinvigorated interest in Star Wars.

The news that a new movie is to be released for Christmas 2015 was obviously of staggering interest, with pundits already predicting a world-record $2.5b gross. The announcement that fan favourite director J.J. Abrams was to helm the movie has sent the initial excitement into the stratosphere. An early trailer has also further stoked interest.

It’s against this backdrop that the NZ Mint have released their first Star Wars coin and like Disney, it’s to the origins that they’ve gone for inspiration. Depicting the first appearance of uber-villain Darth Vader, the clean struck coin can’t help but be a success, much like the debut Disney coin, Steamboat Willie. Available in the usual 1 oz silver and ¼ oz gold, the mint is also making available direct from them a 1 oz gold. It’s specualation at present if the coin will follow the aforementioned Steamboat Willie into the realms of the kilo coin. With mintages set at 10,000 for the silver and the gold at 1,000 and 500 respectively, we’d imagine a sell-out happening quite quickly given many of these will end up far from the field of numismatics and well into the world of Star Wars merchandising stores.

Packaging is nice enough, in line with others in the mints range and prices are, all in US$, $85.00, $620.00, and $2,500 respectively. Available to order later today, you should see these for sale in quite a few places (there’s an advertiser deal on our homepage). Coming soon will be an announcement detailing new coins being launched in the programme to commemorate the launch of the new movie and we’ll detail that out when we have further information.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Once a heroic Jedi Knight, Darth Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force, became a Sith Lord, and led the Empire’s eradication of the Jedi Order. He remained in service of the Emperor – the evil Darth Sidious – for decades, enforcing his Master’s will and seeking to crush the fledgling Rebel Alliance. But there was still good in him…

This highly collectible coin has a Limited Mintage of only 10,000 coins (silver), 1,000 coins (¼ oz gold) and 500 coins (1oz gold).

REVERSE: This coin face dramatically illustrated an iconic Star Wars moment when Darth Vader first appears. The Sith Lord, is engraved in fine relief, while behind him two Stormtroopers stand at attention.

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

PACKAGING: The Star Wars Classic: Darth Vader 1 oz Silver Coin comes presented in a high-quality Star Wars themed coin packaging. The packaging makes this an ideal gift for any Star Wars fan. The Certificate of Authenticity sits within the coin case.

DARTH VADER

Regularly voted amongst the greatest movie villains of all time, Darth Vader is the main protaganist in one of the most popular and iconic movie series ever, Star Wars. A cyborg in service to the Galactic Empire, Vader was a former Jedi called Anakin Skywalker that turned to the Dark Side of the Force upon the death of his beloved. He first appeared in the original movie, now retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Developed into quite a complex and tragic figure, Darth Vader has transcended the movie to become a pop culture icon of huge widespread appeal.

THE COIN SCENE

Along with Grand Moff Tarkin, Vader is charged with recovering the Death Star’s technical schematics, which were stolen by the Rebel Alliance, a scene recreated on this new coin. To that end, he captures and tortures Princess Leia Organa, and stands by while Tarkin destroys her home planet of Alderaan with the Death Star’s superlaser. The coin depicts the moment Darth Vader walks onto Princess Leia’s ship and is flanked by two of the equally iconic Empire Stormtroopers.

She outwits him by launching an escape pod with two droids on board that aren’t detected by Vader’s Star Destroyer warship. The droids are C3P0 and R2D2 and from that moment on, the adventure that becomes the whole Star Wars universe, begins. Dart Vader is a integral part of the journey, without which it’s very likely that Star Wars may not have enjoyed the success it did.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 31.135 g 40.0 mm PROOF 10,000 YES / YES
$25 NEW ZEALAND 0.9999 GOLD 7.78 g 20.0 mm PROOF 1,000 YES / YES
$200 NEW ZEALAND 0.9999 GOLD 31.1 g 32.0 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES
NEW ZEALAND MINT