Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back hits four decades in age. NZ Mint issues a range of coins and foils.

For the fans, The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered the best of the Star Wars movies, for non-fans, one of the only movies in the franchise that can stand against some of the greats in science-fiction moviedom. It is fair to say that this is a great film and much loved, so the coming around of the 40th anniversary will no doubt get a lot of attention, probably from fans wondering what the hell happened to the franchse since 1980…

Easily the most popular offering is going to be the coin/foil set. This contains a 5g silver foil carrying a different poster from the Roger Kastel one the mint has used in the past, employing a variant of the Tom Yung artwork designed for the UK release campaign. The 1oz silver coin in the set has another new design, this time the Drew Sruzan art used for the later Special Edition of the movie. A favourite of mine, I’d love to see a premium silver foil version.

The set comes in a neat box that is nicely themed and displays well. We’ve seen a ton of the packaging for the Star Wars coins from the New Zealand Mint and it’s almost always first class. A terrific set for the Star Wars fan and a thankful deviation from yet another issue using the Kastel art, for a change. However..

The two individual coins are a mixed bag, in our view. The poster coin is a simple reproduction of the original from 2018, but with the 40th anniversary logo struck into the uncoloured area in the bottom 25% of the reverse face. This follows a similar issue for the first Star Wars movie, although in that case the branded coin came first and carried the 10,000 mintage. This one is capped at 1,980 pieces. It’s very disappointing to see the same poster art used again, but we guess it gives those that missed out a second chance. No doubt a 450th anniversary Return of the Judi coin will come in a couple of years time, although we’re thankfully decades away from a Phantom Menace reissue…

The biggest potential hit of the whole release is the quarter-ounce gold. This has a fantastic design, lifted straight from the Hoth scenes, but more importantly, has a mintage of just 100 pieces. I’d say this was one of the best gold issues we’ve yet seen from the New Zealand Mint’s franchise. Distributed by German dealer EMK, it comes in a wooden box with a COA.

All the coins here are available to order now.

SPECIFICATION
COIN POSTER SET FOIL SET COIN GOLD
DENOMINATION $2 NZD (Niue) $1 NZD (Niue) $2 NZD (Niue) $25 NZD (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 5.0 grams 31.1 grams 7.78 grams
DIMENSIONS 53 x 36 mm 98 x 148 mm 40.5 mm 22.0 mm
FINISH Proof Uncirculated Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS Colour Colour Colour None
MINTAGE 1,980 1,980 1,980 100
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Set / Set Set / Set Yes / Yes
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