The Rebel Alliance Snowspeeder from The Empire Strikes back is blueprinted in silver

Rapidly working its way through the line-up of vehicles in the Star Wars Universe, the New Zealand Mints Star Wars Ships series of coloured silver coins is now on its fifth release. Previous issues have featured the Millennium Falcon, the Imperial Star Destroyer, the X-Wing starfighter, and the Tie Fighter. This time we’re closer to the ground and headed back to the Empire Strikes Back with the T-47 Snowspeeder.

Widely considered to be the best of the many Star Wars movies, The Empire Strikes Back included a showpiece battle amongst the blizzards on the surface of the planet Hoth. The memorable battle centered around the combat between the huge, lumbering Imperial AT-ATs and the small and nimble Snowspeeders. While there’s no sign of the former in this series, it’s the turn of the latter to appear.

Relatively simple designs, these are struck in an ounce of fine 0.999 silver, and relying almost entirely on colour for the artwork, relief of any kind being absent. As we said before, the series needs an appreciation of the universe in which the subjects are set as each one varies little from preceding coins other than in the fine detail. The blueprint itself occupies the whole reverse face, free of superfluous inscriptions bar the coin title, arguably a necessary part of the design anyway, and the composition in a tiny font.

The obverse of this Niue-issued coin includes the dependable Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Packaging is of a fine quality and the mintage is set at 10,000 units. Selling for $80.00 USD, a little less than the other Star Wars series, the coin is available to order today and can be bought direct from the New Zealand Mint or from many dealers, including some of our sponsors.



The Rebel Alliance was holding out on the planet Hoth, an icy and undeveloped world. To help with defence, they modified T-47 airspeeders to become snowspeeders. These were light, two-man craft with two forward-facing laser cannons and a rear facing grappling gun that trails a heavy cable. The cable could be used to entangle the legs of the Empire’s primary ground attack vehicle, the AT-AT and did so with some success during the Battle for Hoth.

Designed and built by the Incom Corporation, the same company that produced the X-Wing starfighter, the Airspeeder was an atmospheric vehicle designed for industrial cargo handling, but was also modified to work in other environments, thus producing such variants as the Swampspeeder, the Skyspeeder and the Sandspeeder. The military version of the airspeeder was piloted by one individual and featured a gunner.


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
MINTAGE 10,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes