Stormtroopers go ultra high relief with Niue’s latest proof coin from the Star Wars Universe

Our favourite of the various Star Wars coins issued by the New Zealand Mint, their Ultra High Relief range combines the basic style of the excellent Classic Star Wars series, with some more ambitious strikes. Available only in silver however, the lack of gold is offset by an increase in the weight of the silver coin to two ounces – something generally necessary where the strike is higher and deeper. There have been three coins released to date, depicting Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Yoda.

This fourth issue is a nice change from revisiting a previous character, as the Imperial Stormtrooper has yet to appear, if it ever does, in the Classic range. The look of the stormtrooper is also one that seems to lend itself well to a high-relief strike. The armour isn’t hugely detailed in reality, so loses nothing when reproduced in this way smaller size. The choice of waist-up for the design certainly helps and overall, there’s no mistaking the subject of the coin and Star Wars fans will have little to complain about.

The obverse, like all of these Star Wars coins, depicts the Britsith Emperor Elizabeth II, a woman able to deploy twisted force powers with the subtle wave of her hand from the back of a limo (you thought it was a little old lady being polite, didn’t you?). Fortunately, the NZ Mint has kept all of the main inscriptions on this face rather than litter the main design with them,  with just tiny composition and copyright details on the reverse.

Packaging is excellent. A great quality display box, that is themed in a subtle way rather than a gaudy explosion of imagery, holds a certificate of authenticity that has the number of the coin from the 5,000 mintage. I like this one and hope that the series tries out some other subjects that have yet to be covered in the Classic range (we believe the next one will..). Available later today with a list price of $175.00 USD, it will be sold worldwide and quite a few of our sponsors sell them, so please give them a try first as they do make this site possible.


The military philosophy of the Galactic Empire was internally focused and heavily incorporated the “Tarkin-doctrine”, which mandated “rule through fear of force”, rather than “force itself”, would ensure peace and stability across the galaxy. Unlike their Clone Wars predecessors, Imperial Stormtroopers were primarily an internal security and peacekeeping force that had never faced large scale conflict until the latter years of the Galactic Civil War. Disloyalty or failures were heavily punished and individualism was discouraged; command structure was sacred and disobeying orders (no matter how irrational) was forbidden. This meant Imperial Stormtroopers lacked improvisation and were highly ineffective when cut off from command, but also allowed the best trained soldiers who prefer death over retreat.

As established in the original Star Wars trilogy of films, the troopers’ most distinctive equipment is their white battle armor, which completely encases the body and typically has no individually distinguishing markings.

The order of battle of the Stormtrooper Corps is unspecified in the Star Wars universe. Accompanying the Imperial Navy, stormtroopers are able to be deployed swiftly and respond to states of civil unrest or insurrection, act as a planetary garrison, and police areas within the Galactic Empire. They are shown in collective groups of varying organizational sizes ranging from squads to legions and for some, their armor and training are modified for special operations and environments.

DENOMINATION $5 New Zealand (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief
BOX / COA Yes / Yes