The New Zealand Mint’s ‘trading coin’ concept makes the jump from Star Wars to Marvel, with 51 new coins

Just a couple of months ago, we reported on a new concept issued by the New Zealand Mint. Called Mint Trading Coins, they basically take the age-old swapping idea from baseball and bubblegum cards, and applies it to silver coins. The first range featured 51 coins depicting characters from the Star Wars universe, the use of characters, and not objects, another nod to the old sports cards. This time, it’s the mints relatively new Marvel Comics licence that takes the honours.

As before, what we have here is a set of 51 coins, 50 of which are one-ounce silver, with one a quarter-ounce gold. The coins are sold in a sealed black box which contains two coins. However, the contents are a mystery, being randomly placed, so you will get whatever you get, with no choice of design. We stated our concerns about the concept last time, and were criticised for it, but the reality remains that these are a speculators dream, and a collector’s nightmare. We said that the aftermarket would erupt with high prices, and that has indeed turned out to be the case. If you want a specific coin, be prepared to pay, as even the commonest of them are selling for above issue price, and that was an issue price 50% higher than the mint norm.

The silver coins are divided into five lots of ten, with mintages varying, and we’ve broken them out below (we have better images this time). The five levels are ‘Limited’ (250 mintage per design), ‘Uncommon’ (150), ‘Scarce’ (50), ‘Rare’ (30), and ‘Ultra-Rare’ (20). The last level, ‘Mythic’ is the gold coin, with just 10 of those mixed in. The image above shows a silver and a gold coin in the box, but don’t forget that no more than 10 of the 255 available boxes will be like this.

As for the coins themselves, we love them. The artwork is varied, and well-chosen, featuring a mix of styles and artists that encapsulate the comic book market perfectly. The presentation is first class, and overall, we find little to fault with the product itself, just with the sales concept. It would go some way if the mint perhaps offered the coins as a set, or individually in a different format, something like half-ounce, for example, that would allow traditional collectors a chance to get them. The coins sold out in 15 minutes at the mint, so you’ll have to go aftermarket for any of them now.