Star Wars 40th anniversary celebrated with new classic movie poster silver coin series

The New Zealand Mint are increasing the choice of Star Wars themed commemorative coins with the launch of a whole new series. Standing alongside their Star Wars: A Force Awakens, Rogue One, and the flagship Classic Star Wars range, the 40th Anniversary Poster series is a new direction for the franchise. Instead of concentrating on the movies or the characters, these new rectangular silver coins look at the classic artwork used on the movie posters.

Apart from the shape the coins are pretty much standard New Zealand Mint fare. Struck in an ounce of silver, coloured on the reverse face and being issued for Niue Island are all hallmarks of this Auckland-based company. The mints excellent acrylic display frames are also present and we’re huge fans of these. Movie memorabilia collectors like to display their items far more than coin collectors do, so this is a sensible nod to the intended market, although there’s much here for the numismatist to like.

Star Wars movie posters are almost as iconic as the movies themselves and fit into a huge back tapestry of art and design that has built up around these hugely popular movies. Between the characters, settings, vessels and everything else that has made this universe a part of popular culture, there’s a huge wellspring of material to choose from. The choice of movie posters for the subject matter is an excellent one, given that their purpose is to encapsulate everything about a movie in a single piece of art.

The first in a series, these will likely be very popular with the Star Wars crowd. We think the New Zealand Mint has done a better job with this licence than Star Trek has experienced, Classic Star Wars in particular having enjoyed a universally high standard of design and execution. There will be more coins in this series released through 2017, they are themed for the 40th anniversary after all. This original movie coin will be available from 10 May and has a price of $85.00 USD and a mintage of 10,000.

2017 STAR WARS 40TH ANNIVERSARY SILVER COIN

THE ORIGINAL POSTER

The original design for the Star Wars movie poster (left) was undertaken by highly regarded fantasy artist brothers Greg and Tim Hildebrandt. This was undertaken before they had a visual representation of the actual actors playing the roles, hence the generic look of the main characters. A striking piece that obviously resonated with George Lucas as it came to be the basis for the iconic actual piece of art used.

Tom Jung, a Chinese American native of Boston, was a freelance illustrator (he did the poster for notorious bomb, Plan 9 From Outer Space) working for the advertisement firm Lucas went to consult with and he wound up doing a re-imagined version of the original Hildebrandt concept. Adding the droids and the actual actors likenesses, the work has gone on to become one of the most highly recognised and iconic pieces of work in movie history.

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 STAR WARS 40TH ANNIVERSARY
DENOMINATION $2 New Zealand
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 53.00 x 46.00 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Selective colouring
MINTAGE 10,000
BOX / COA Yes (Acrylic Frame) / Yes
NEW ZEALAND MINT