World Exclusive: NZ Mint surprises with Darth Vader gold and silver bullion coins for Niue

Despite the epic falls in sales of some of the worlds biggest bullion coin ranges, the market for coins with interesting designs and more limited mintages continues to thrive. With such recent fine offerings as the Australian Swan, the Salzburg Mozart, Dragon & Phoenix, the Cayman Islands Marlin, and Disney’s Steamboat Willie, the desire for limited mintage silver bullion coins in particular is alive and kicking.

The New Zealand Mint surprised us in February with a Disney-themed bullion coin in gold and silver featuring Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie. Available in the classic one-ounce format for both metals, the mintage was limited to 250,000 for the silver and 25,000 for the gold. Now the mint is back with another limited bullion coin based on one of its most iconic franchises, Star Wars. If you’re going to do a Star Wars bullion coin it certainly makes sense to go with a character that’s become a core part of popular culture, Darth Vader. The ultimate henchman and yet one representing the embodiment of redemption, Vader has a look like no other and a reach so far you could argue his image would be recognisable on the moon.

This new bullion coin is identical in specification and mintage to Steamboat Willie. Also issued for Niue, it shares the obverse and denominations with the earlier coin. The reverse depicts a stylised bust view of Darth Vader in a similar style to that used by the NZ Mint on its Forgotten Cities series, a kind of pseudo bas-relief. The background is filled with the symbol of the Galactic Empire from the seminal movie series. Inscriptions are limited to the all important composition, and the annoyingly necessary copyright info. Unlike Steamboat Willie, the design here is all new rather than a simplified version of a proof coin.

The gold coin will be available encapsulated singly or in a wrap of ten, the silver in tubes of 25 or themed monster boxes of 250. It should be available to order in the next week or so so keep an eye out at your coin dealer of choice. We’d summise that those stocking Steamboat Willie will also have this one for sale. Another welcome addition to the growing popular culture bullion market, joining Superman, Star Trek and Disney, this could be the most popular yet.



Regularly voted amongst the greatest movie villains of all time, Darth Vader is the main protaganist in one of the most popular and iconic movie series ever, Star Wars. A cyborg in service to the Galactic Empire, Vader was a former Jedi called Anakin Skywalker that turned to the Dark Side of the Force upon the death of his beloved. He first appeared in the original movie, now retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Developed into quite a complex and tragic figure, Darth Vader has transcended the movie to become a pop culture icon of huge widespread appeal.



The coin features an officially licensed, close up image of Darth Vader, which is raised and polished. He is set against a satin matt background featuring the Imperial logo. The reverse also features the metal weight and quality, and it has been stamped with the Lucasfilm copyright and New Zealand Mint logo to provide further authenticity.

The gold coins are individually packaged in capsules, supplied in wraps of ten. The coins are packaged in tubes of 25 within a themed monster box of 250 coins.


DENOMINATION $250 New Zealand $2 New Zealand
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 33.00 mm 40.00 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated Brilliant uncirculated
MINTAGE 25,000 250,000
PACKAGING Encapsulated, 10 per pack 25 per tube, 250 per box