Steve McQueen, a movie legend and the epitome of cool, gets his own epically cool bullion coin

Like James Dean, Steve McQueen became one of those film legends that burned brightly, but had their light extinguished before their time. Throughout the 60’s and early 70’s, McQueen and his anti-hero persona, grew into one of the biggest box office draws in the world, peaking in 1974, when he became the highest-paid film star in the world. He died, aged 50, in 1980, from complications to remove a tumour. He had already been diagnosed with terminal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Known for such films as The Cincinnati Kid (1965), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Bullitt (1968), Le Mans (1971),
The Getaway (1972), and Papillon (1973), he also joined
all-star ensemble films like The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape
(1963), and The Towering Inferno (1974), alongside many other greats of the day.

His first love, however, was racing, and he performed many of the driving stunts in his films. Outside of Hollywood, he raced cars and motorcycles for many years, and owned over 100 of each, including such classics as the Ford GT40, Ferrari 250 GT, and a Jaguar XKSS. This new bullion coin taps into that, more than his film career, and it’s all the better for it.

This one-ounce pair features the same basic artwork, and it lives up to its title, The King of Cool. There’s a fairly recognisable profile portrait of the man, as the main attraction, complemented by a smaller image of McQueen pushing a motorcycle, similar to, but not the same as, the modded Triumph TR6 used in The Great Escape. The background field is packed with his stylised nickname, ‘The King of Cool’, with his actual name underneath.

There are two variants, each an ounce in weight. The bulk of the interest will centre around the 0.999 silver version with its tight 10,000 mintage, while the well-heeled collector will find much to like in the gold version and its tiny mintage of just 100 units. The latter version comes boxed with a C.O.A. It’s great to see a subject like this on a bullion coin. We’ve seen a huge growth of interest in bullion coins with popular culture themes, but usually in the form of characters, rather than the actors that played them.

We’d imagine getting something like this to reality, with all the licencing headaches that come with it, wasn’t easy, but we’re glad they expended the effort. It isn’t clear who is producing this, but the evidence points to MDM, rather than Scottsdale, if the obverse design is a reliable indicator. We’ll investigate now we have the time after our hellish weekend downtime. Available to order now, it will ship in January.

DENOMINATION $5 Samoa $25 Samoa
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 39.0 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH Uncirculated Uncirculated
MINTAGE 10,000 100
BOX / C.O.A. No / No Yes / Yes