The New Zealand Mint’s flagship Classic Star Wars series continues onwards with the debut of the fifth character to be featured. Following on from Darth Vader, Han Solo, Yoda and R2-D2 comes another pivotal character in the movie canon, Princess Leia. Gradually whittling down the major players in the movies, we’re still left with some big ones to come like Luke Skywalker, C3-P0, and Chewbacca, along with Emperor Palpatine himself. How many of these will be released as part of this range we don’t know yet, but R2-D2 isn’t the last coin to come.
Following a pattern set out in previous releases, there will be three main formats available. In silver there’s the obvious one-ounce proof. In gold there’s both a one-ounce and a quarter-ounce proof. All carry identical artwork with no tweaking for the smaller coin like they did for the Yoda entrant. To date, only Darth Vader has been struck in a Deathstar-sized one-kilo coin and that came not at launch, but later on. Its absence from later subjects would seem to indicate a lack of demand at that size.
This is another fine looking coin, one that takes an iconic scene as its inspiration. The image of Leia placing the Death Star plans in R2-D2 is one that essentially kicked off the main story, so its importance to fans is obvious. Other than the coins composition and the usual ridiculous copyright statement that all big media companies insist upon, the reverse face is free of inscription. The obverse is a standard NZ Mint/Niue affair, with the Queens effigy surrounded by the date, issuer and denomination. Mintages remain at 10,000 for the silver, with the gold at 1,000 for the ¼oz and 500 for the 1oz.
Packaging has always been a strong point for this mint, and even though there’s little of the old extravagent designs of a few years ago, the boxes remain of a high quality. Prices have not changed at US, $85.00 for the silver, $600.00 for the smaller gold, and $2,500 for the larger.We have to say that the NZ Mint have done a sterling job with this series to date. We plan to photograph some of these for an AgAuSHOOT, as the official images really do no justice to the finished article. Keep an eye out for that. The Leia coins are up for sale today.