With the recent release of the New Zealand Mint's 1oz Silver NIUE Clone Trooper 2019 Coin, we thought we'd take some time to look at the other designs the mint has released for the series so far. Discover more about the different designs in this article.
The Expanding Star Wars Franchise
Unless you've lived under a rock, you'll have heard of the Star Wars franchise. It began with a film trilogy in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, followed in the late 1990s and early 2000s by a new prequel trilogy and, most recently, with an acquisition from Disney in 2015, a new saga of Star Wars films are being released.
Here are 10 of our favourite Star Wars facts:
- The majority of Stormtroopers are left-handed due to the construction of their prop guns (not the case on our bullion coins though!)
- The lightsabre sounds were created by combining the hum of an old television’s picture tube and the buzz of a film projector’s motor.
- Chewbacca’s voice is a mix of bears, walruses, lions, badgers and dying animal sounds.
- George Lucas's was thinking of ending the original trilogy by Luke removing a dying Vader’s helmet, putting it on and proclaiming, "now I am Vader", before turning to the dark side.
- Frank Oz, and English-born puppeteer and filmmaker did the voice for Yoda in Star Wars but also did the voice for Miss Piggy and the Cookie Monster.
- Harrison Ford wasn’t even close to the first choice to play Han Solo. He was originally brought in to run lines to other actors auditioning for the role including Burt Reynolds, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Christopher Walken.
- James Earl Jones (Darth Vader voice) was so sure the film would be a flop that he refused to allow his name to be published on the original credits of A New Hope.
- George Lucas missed the 1977 Star Wars premiere because he was on holiday in Hawaii with Steven Spielberg.
- In 1977, a disco music version of Star Wars was released and reached #1 on the charts for two weeks.
- The sound of a TIE Fighter engine was created by combining an elephant's bellow and a car driving on wet pavement.
There have already been many unofficial coins produced surrounding the franchise from private mints from different parts of the world. It was the tiny South Pacific nation of Niue however, that produced the first legal tender officially-licensed bullion coins to coincide with the new film releases. These coins were minted and produced by the New Zealand Mint and continue to delight coin collectors and film-buff investors worldwide.
We're still unsure as to how many official coin designs will be minted for this series, but all of us here at Bleyer are big Star Wars fans, and we're thoroughly looking forward to seeing what will come next.
So far, The New Zealand Mint's NUIE Star Wars bullion series contains:
- 1oz Clone Trooper Coin (2019)
- 1oz Darth Vader Coin - Design 2 (2018)
- 1oz Stormtrooper Coin (2018)
- 1oz Darth Vader Coin (2017)
1. 1oz Clone Trooper Coin (2019)
The Clone Troopers largely make up the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Although they were fighting alongside the Jedi at first, the execution of order 66 solidified their alliance to the republic and left the Jedi movement outcast to the empire.
With the recent animated 'Clone Wars' series spin-off from Disney, this figure is particularly prominent with the younger Star Wars fans. We're not surprised that the New Zealand Mint released this design early on. It's a wonderful depiction of the Clone Trooper advancing forward into action and we really appreciate the energy this coin design brings.
The 1oz silver Clone Trooper coin features an image of an armed Clone Trooper running head-on into battle and is set against a backdrop of the Imperial logo, and features the 'NZM' stamp of authenticity from the mint and Lucasfilm copyright logo.
2. 1oz Darth Vader Coin - Design 2 (2018)
Probably one of the most recognisable villains in modern-day culture. Anakin Skywalker was discovered on Tatooine by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and was believed to be the 'Chosen One' who would bring balance to the Force. His turn to the dark side as Darth Vader is one of the main storylines throughout the original Star Wars saga.
We found it interesting that the mint decided to focus on this legendary character again for a second issue, so quickly after the first coin design. This design, in comparison, is far more dramatic and evokes a dominated feel with a view of Darth Vader from below with his lightsabre drawn. There are many more characters still to explore within the franchise, but maybe due to the high demand for the first rendition, The New Zealand Mint went for a second Darth Vader design to satisfy collectors.
This 1oz silver Darth Vader coin features the image of Darth Vader facing rightwards this time, with his lightsabre drawn and the backdrop of the imperial logo and the 'NZM' stamp of authenticity from the mint appear behind him. The Lucasfilm copyright logo on the outside of the coin as with the rest of the collection.
3. 1oz Stormtrooper Coin (2018)
The stormtroopers are the main ground force of the Galactic Empire, under the leadership of Emperor Palpatine and his commander, Darth Vader. They are shown in collective groups ranging from squads to legions and for some, their armor and training are modified for special operations and environments.
This standard Storm Trooper outfit, however, is an absolute Star Wars classic and has been a massive hit with collectors worldwide who were fans of the first film series. This powerful pose by the figure is menacing and intrusive and we think it encapsulates a Storm Troopers striking nature perfectly. We found it strange that the mint decided not to go for another 'hero' character, but this bullion coin design is fantastic nonetheless.
The 1oz silver Stormtrooper coin features a Stormtrooper in full original body armour as he raises his E-11 blaster at an enemy. As with the other coins, the 'NZM' stamp of authenticity and Lucasfilm copyright logo appear on the coin next to the figure.
4. 1oz Darth Vader Coin (2017)
Darth Vader is the primary antagonist in the original Star Wars trilogy, and is the main protagonist in the prequel trilogy as well.
He's such a big character that we think he deserved to start this series off. It's an incredibly tranquil pose for Darth Vader to pull but has a powerful look and feel to it. This was a safe option to start with and the simple design is a great introduction to the set.
The first 1oz silver Darth Vader coin features a sideways look at Darth Vader as he gives his commands. The officially licensed product has been stamped with the Lucasfilm copyright and has a 'NZM' stamp of authenticity.
Where next for the series?
We're hoping that the New Zealand Mint will align some of their next releases with some of the latest Star Wars films. It seems strange how they're not capatalising on this more, with some of the most recent films starring some of our most-loved Star Wars characters; Han Solo and Chewbacca.
One commonality we see in all designs thus far is that they all feature the imperial crest of Palpatine's Galactic Empire in the background. It would be nice to see the opposing 'Rebellion' faction also represented in this series.
The mint hasn't announced a series end date and gives no clue as to what the next designs will be, so we can't conclusively say how expansive this series will get. As we continue to enjoy the films at the cinema each year, we're eagerly awaiting to see what designs will come from the New Zealand Mint next.
These coins would make for a delightful addition to any collector's stack. With a limited mintage of each design, make sure you start collecting these early as availability to older designs will become limited. For more information, please call one of the team on 01769 618618 or email [email protected]